Daniel W. Galef


Angus MacHartey’s Parties

Angus MacHartey throws a party
unlike any you’ve ever seen,
from the feasting halls of the richest thane
to the city pubs of Aberdeen.

With a guest list long as the Firth of Forth:
The man who sells the Queen her smokes,
and Nessie, too, and Lady Macbeth,
and the vicar who knows all the dirty jokes.

In tankards, quoiches, steins, and mugs,
the whisky flows like ginger beer.
It’s aged so long that no one knows
if 1510 was a vintage year.

The building sways like a piper’s sporran
when the band begins to play.
The singing would wake a wild haggis
in a heath a mile away.

The dancing shakes the dust from the eaves
and slams the earth like a falling caber.
The only trouble is, you see—
Angus MacHartey is my neighbor.

The First Columnist

for Shipwreck Kelly, the 1920s king of the flagpole

Saint Simeon, he never danced
The Charleston, and never romanced
A flapper in a roadhouse bar,
Or took her jaunting in his car
(Of course, a souped-up hotrod flivver).
No bootleg rotgut stung his liver.
He never wore a coonskin coat, or
Oxford bags, or a dapper boater.
He never belted out Bill Bailey,
Strumming on a ukulele.
Instead, he sat, serene and solemn,
Perched atop a spindly column,
Talking to himself and God.
He never streaked across the quad
Or piled into a telephone booth,
And, probably, to tell the truth,
He never swallowed goldfish whole,
But, in the desert, on that pole,
Old Saint Simeon, it is written,
Began the trend of flagpole-sittin’.

Daniel Galef was born and raised in a hostile savage wasteland whose very name is unknown to the peoples of civilized places, but, upon attaining manhood, left home on a quest to pursue enlightenment deep in the frozen north where the sun never shines. He took up an apprenticeship in an ancient scholomance located on the misty slopes of a mountain on an island in a river. There he labored in deep study among the twisting passageways of ancient stone castles, absorbing obscure and esoteric lore from the wizened and long-bearded elders.