Jenny Drank St. Germain by John Greiner

Jenny drank St. Germain under orders from The Clapper. He was a second rate hypnotist, but Jenny’s insurance wasn’t so hot, so she had to take what she could afford. He told her that it would be good for her complexion. Jenny had been a pimply kid, but that was ages ago when all kids were pimply and dermatologists were hard to find. Jenny had searched for the Holy Grail, hitting all of the obvious places in the Holy Land that had been hit over the centuries hoping to come across the stone that had been left unturned. The crusaders were a barbarous bunch, showing no concern for other people’s housekeeping. All stones had been turned and tossed to the side at least eight hundred years ago. There was no way to get around it, Jenny’s life had been a disappointment and she was quick to let you know it when she was on the St. Germain. The fact that her face was breaking out, long after the age of puberty had passed, was the last kick in the teeth that she was going to take. She didn’t give a damn about the Holy Grail, or even the True Cross anymore. She had done what she had to do and it had gotten her nowhere better than here. Jenny drank her St. Germain, showing no concern for the house that was burning down the road. She was glad that everyone was quiet inside.

John Greiner is a writer living in Queens, NY.  He was educated at the New School for Social Research.  Greiner’s work has appeared in Sand Journal, Empty Mirror, Sensitive Skin, Unarmed, Street Value and numerous other magazines. His books of poetry include Turnstile Burlesque (Crisis Chronicles Press) and Bodega Roses (Good Cop/Bad Cop Press).  His collaborative work with photographer Carrie Crow has appeared at the Tate Liverpool, the Queens Museum and in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Venice, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg.

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Picnic by John Greiner

He told me to hook up with the hangman, hang and get the lay of the land,; I did and now there’s nothing more to do than cross the river with him in tow. He was a real mystery maker with that mask of his, now there’s not much left of him. He’s not even worth the myths made in dime store Western novels. The air around the hangman is starting to go bad and my cologne isn’t doing much to help the situation. When I started out on this crossing my only concern was for the free lunch on the other side, but now that my stomach is starting to turn I’m not sure that I’ll be able to hold down the cold cuts and coleslaw that they promised would be laid out for my arrival.. I’m a real sucker. They’re going to get my labor cheap. Here I am, going across as straight as I can and they probably never planned on playing it straight on their end of the line. They know what’s up. I bet you that they never even went to the supermarket to get the fixings for the picnic they promised me. I wish that I had a slaughter house hunger, so that this would be worthwhile. I just need to get this job done, no matter what it costs me. I think that I’m going to lose my breakfast. This journey is going to end with me in the hole. I’m not even sure how I’m going to make it back across the river once this job is done. I never discussed that particular with them when I signed on.

John Greiner is a writer living in Queens, NY.  He was educated at the New School for Social Research.  Greiner’s work has appeared in Sand Journal, Empty Mirror, Sensitive Skin, Unarmed, Street Value and numerous other magazines. His books of poetry include Turnstile Burlesque (Crisis Chronicles Press) and Bodega Roses (Good Cop/Bad Cop Press).  His collaborative work with photographer Carrie Crow has appeared at the Tate Liverpool, the Queens Museum and in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Venice, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg.

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Noir Evenings on an Uneven Street by John Greiner

There’s nothing but noir evenings on this street where the pavement is uneven. Never try to build up the infrastructure with a bunch of scabs who have no romance for civilization n their bones. The gunman is on his way to the pawn shop to get the ticket redeemed on his art. I saw him peeking through pretty Maryanne’s keyhole on Wednesday night. Those were better times. So much can change after a short trip to Egypt and the arrival of another Saturday. I was with him at Maryanne’s, but figured that it was for the best not to catch the flight to Cairo where I had never been, and didn’t want to be, being that I was short of cash and it was still another week until payday. I stayed behind singing the Dead Sea Scrolls by the side of the swimming pool at the Hilton Hotel where all the National Guardsmen had come to congregate and smoke cigars during the days of the emergency. They were a casual lot, easy with the toss of nickels and dimes. At a certain point I wasn’t even trying to carry a tune, but they didn’t care and I came out of it with enough cash to buy myself a pack of cigarettes. The gunman didn’t have the same luck. He had the Pyramids though. He ended up on some slave ship or Mayflower working in the galley to make his way back to America. There’s no money in that, but he was good at selling stolen harpoons that he had smuggled off the ship and that was what set him straight in the end. Now that he’s got the cash to get his pistol back, along with the silencer, the world seems like it’s spinning straighter than it has been in some time, probably since the days of Christopher Columbus. The road back to being an assassin isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be in the pulps.

John Greiner is a writer living in Queens, NY.  He was educated at the New School for Social Research.  Greiner’s work has appeared in Sand Journal, Empty Mirror, Sensitive Skin, Unarmed, Street Value and numerous other magazines. His books of poetry include Turnstile Burlesque (Crisis Chronicles Press) and Bodega Roses (Good Cop/Bad Cop Press).  His collaborative work with photographer Carrie Crow has appeared at the Tate Liverpool, the Queens Museum and in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Venice, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg.

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The Last Buck Passed by John Greiner

The Last Buck Passed

 

On the day that his mother

Passed the buck

Onto him he decided

That the best thing

To do was to go out

And put a bid

In on Meyer Lansky’s

Brown shoelaces

Which he soon

Acquired with minimal

Controversy being

That the prime

Rival held only

Too bits and a black

Bread baguette

(Nowhere near enough).

When he brought

The shoelaces back

To his mother

Saying “this is what

You get when

You pass the last buck,”

She was anything

But elated

For she had known

Meyer Lansky well

From the stories

That her aunts

Would tell

While sitting

On her mother’s

Brooklyn stoop

All of those years

Ago.

Having the inside

Scoop, although long

Past still remembered,

It was apparent

To her that these brown

Shoelaces never belonged

To that great financer,

But rather

To Dutch Schultz,

And that they had

Held tight his shoes

That long ago

Night in the blood

Bath diner.

 

She had always hated

Newark and these shoestrings

Held nothing but horrid

Memories of New Jersey

Nights that she

Believed she

Had long ago left

Behind.

 

She had nothing

But curses for him,

And the last buck

That she had

Passed.

Being the resilient

Type though,

The mother that Russia

Had always longed

For, she took

The shoelaces tightly

In hands

And quickly did away with him.

 

John Greiner is a writer living in Queens, NY.  He was educated at the New School for Social Research.  Greiner’s work has appeared in Sand Journal, Empty Mirror, Sensitive Skin, Unarmed, Street Value and numerous other magazines. His books of poetry include Turnstile Burlesque (Crisis Chronicles Press) and Bodega Roses (Good Cop/Bad Cop Press).  His collaborative work with photographer Carrie Crow has appeared at the Tate Liverpool, the Queens Museum and in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Venice, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg.

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