by Jacob Mantia
(used with permission)
Jack Satan's the greatest of gods,
And Hell is the best of abodes.
'Tis reached through the Valley of Clods
By seventy beautiful roads.
Hurrah for the Seventy Roads!
Hurrah for the clods that resound
With a hollow, thundering sound!
Hurrah for the Best of Abodes!
We'll serve him as long as we've breath--
Jack Satan, the greatest of gods.
To all of his enemies, death!--
A home [with] the [Manteca Sods].
Hurrah for the thunder of Clods
That smother the souls of his foes!
Hurrah for the spirit that goes
To dwell with the Greatest of Gods!
(from A Sole Survivor, The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol 1, 1909, [slightly amended].)
'Round and 'Round
Yes, once more I will try City Hall
Where my chance of success is so small
If it's legal or money,
There, the law goes all "funny"
This pig sty still run by Oink, McFall
To Karen MacLaughlin, Manteca City Manager:
(on witnessing a Waste Dept employee attempt to collect
a 14-year-old debt the court ordered the City to write off)
Your new job inspired much incredulity
In those few who have any acuity
But to everyone's eyes
There's a nicer surprise
Your best feature - your great assiduity!
You're a peach, looking out for a buck
To be made off a TLC truck
Garbage bills pile high
While they chop, stir, and fry
"Twen'-three years we was down on our luck"
So that debt from way back - Ninety-seven?
(one plus one... let's see... hmm...) Twenty-'leven!
If you weren't so damn blind,
Take a look! You will find
That the perps have packed up, left this heaven
(on the City's drug
But... they left behind great farms of weed
And a tender who shares in the feed
Check inside the locked freezer
(That just might stop a geezer)
The shit's prime - "not one stem, branch, or seed."
For the which you have issued permit?
And ignore our state law? What says it?
Permit written contrary
Makes it void - mere hot airy
You dolts make me so mad I could spit!
(Yup, City filed $800 suit '96, lost suit '00)
But they got Small Claims court to agree
From Manteca they should be cut free
With their pass sayin' "Granny"
Kicked you girls in the fanny
And your shame is now open to see
Your drug cops are the worst of the blind
They identify with their own kind
Those blue clouds of foul smoke
Of their brains make a joke
Dream of action while still on behind
(on blind eyes to blatant zoning violations)
I believe that you clowns are mere swabs
Who lucked out when out looking for jobs
Comprehension from reading?
Well, you're sure not succeeding
In my sight, you're less bright than door knobs
(on my money damages claim)
Brings us back to the question at hand
'Bout my money, my peace, and my land
For, while singing the Gospel,
Sinful “Lard” has been hostile
In a vain, hypocritical stand
(and the perps' address still doesn't have garbage service!)