Thursday, June 28, 2007


by Laurel Speer


HERE'S BARBARA FRIETCHIE DURING the Civil War waving our flag in the faces of Stonewall Jackson's Confederate troops marching through Frederick, Maryland:

"Shoot, if you must this old gray head

But spare you're countries flag." she said.

Being in her nineties - or so the story goes - perhaps she figured she didn't have all that much to lose. Still it's a nice note of patriotism for our side.

Here's our very own Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of the Governor of Arkansas, the year before he gets elected as president of these great United States:

Then there was the morning of Labor Day, 1991, when Hillary noticed as she was driving away from the mansion that the security detail had neglected to raise the American flag. Pulling a U-turn, she came careening back to the guardhouse and screamed, "Where is the goddamn fucking flag? I want the goddamn fucking flag raised every fucking morning at fucking sunrise!"

No question, Hillary's got my vote. She knows where she's going, but if necessary she'll do a U-turn to correct a mistake. This woman's got time to pay attention to details. She's forceful, keeps her hair free of gray. And she's only in her fifties.

Copyright 2005 by Laurel Speer



 Laurel Speer lives in Tucson, Arizona. Her work has been published in many journals including, The Louisiana Review, and Chiron Review. This piece comes from her chapbook Ali's Mouthpiece. The quotes are from Barbara Frietchie by John Greenleaf Whittier and The First Partner, Hillary Rodham Clinton, by Joyce Maynard. You can order a copy of this chapbook, for $4.00, from Laurel Speer, PO Box 12220, Tucson, Az 85732-2220. A complete list of other titles available from this author, including her Geryon Press Series Poetry Books, can be had by sending an SASE to the address above. And watch for more of her short pieces on OE in the future.

Sidney Grayling, editor, OnagerEditions 





Monday, June 25, 2007



by Franz Kafka

translated into the patois of middle-Pennsylvania by Hans Upph-Ovryerhed

LIKE IF YOU'RE SHLEPPING your ass up a hill at night and see some dude a ways off because there's a full moon, and this here dude is running at you full-bore, well, you don't tackle the fucker even if he is some whipped out little piece of shit, if you know what I mean, and even if there is some other fucker panting after him. You play it smart and let the bastard run by you.

Because it's night, even though there is a full moon. And like what the fuck do you know, maybe these assholes are just having a game of tag or something. Or maybe the two are chasing some other motherfucker. Or maybe the second guy has a grudge against the first dude, maybe for something he didn't even pull. And maybe he's going to snuff the fucker. You might even get sent up as an accessory. If you know what I mean. Or maybe they don't even know each other at all and are merely running home separately to get laid. Or like maybe they just always like to go jogging at night.

Anyway, like you're too tired to grab anyone, even if you had the balls to. And haven't you had a few too many beers, and are a bit shit-faced. You watch the two men disappear into the darkness, thankful that you didn't stick you're nose in it. If you know what I mean.

translation copyright 2007 OnagerEditions



Hans Upph-Ovryerhed was born in East Germany. Accused of being a snitch for the STASI, he fled his homeland and moved to Trout Run in central, Pennsylvania, where he still lives. He has had many jobs, and currently works as a grocery-bagger in a supermarket. On Sundays he is an usher in a Slovak Catholic church. Han's goal is to translate all of Kafka's work into the middle-Pennsylvania dialect. This is his first published translation.


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Sidney Grayling, editor