a ghost town called love



frenzy art by ladislao loera 




kiss of democracy theatre II


A Love Story

Clyde Collins


A place of ultimate contentment, the Pure Zone, existed in a corner of the mind of PFC Donald Duty, inspiration specialist, Poetics Lab.

In this Pure Zone between his ears, there blew a gentle cool breeze over a limitless field of green, green grass.  The grass cheerfully, constantly waved “howdy” while an infinite herd of fat cows, dumb and content, munched on it.  The sun always shined.  It never rained.  There were no flies or cow paddies.

Somewhere in the midst of the lackadaisical cows, under a tree on a small knoll, Duty and Sp5 Denise Daisy, assistant ward master, Ward Pluto, sat together.  They sat upon a colorful, smartly designed, afghan blanket knitted by Duty’s grandma in another age.  In the Pure Zone of the PFC’s mind, he and Daisy picnicked eternally.

When the cows mooed, they did so in cohesive chorus and created the ultimate melody.  Occasionally a bird perched itself on a branch of the tree on the little knoll and chirped, which did nothing but add even more charm to the scene.

Not too far away was Duty’s hometown, Buttermilk, Kan.  But nobody could reach Daisy and Duty because the cow herd, being infinite, surrounded everything.

The Pure Zone in Duty’s head was largely responsible for the charismatic grin that was always (well, almost always) dancing around on his face as he accomplished mission after mission at Tripler Army Medical Center.

However, in actuality Daisy married Sgt. Mickey Kandoo, bad dude, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks.  She moved out of the TAMC barracks to live with her infantryman in Aliamanu Military Reservation (AMR).  When she did this, Duty’s Pure Zone was shattered.

Duty could not sleep.  Duty could not eat.  One day at noon a few weeks after her wedding, in the TAMC dining facility, Daisy happened to notice that her little buddy looked like death warmed over.  She parked her tray of good Army chow on the table next to Duty’s and said, “Hi.”

“Hi,” moaned Duty.

“What’s wrong, Donald?” she inquired with a deep furrow of sincerity upon her brow.  “You look like death warmed over.”

Duty tried to swallow a mouth full of fresh buttered peas and coughed it up.  “I’m sorry, Denise.  Ever since you got married I haven’t been able to eat or sleep.  I guess I love you.  But since you got married there’s nothing I can do about it except roll over and die.”

“Oh Donald,” said Daisy in a barely audible whisper.  Tears suddenly sparkled in the corners of her eyes.  She was speechless for a long moment.  Finally under the table her hand touched Duty’s hand and squeezed it.  This was the only time Daisy and Duty had ever touched.  “You’re the best friend I have,” said Daisy.

The juices in the PFC’s brain gushed like a refreshing cloudburst and in the Pure Zone a single flower radiantly bloomed.  He attacked the peas on his plate with a new fervor and successfully swallowed every one.

“Oh boy, am I hungry!” grinned Duty.



gideon spilett


i met this feller in a 554-page piece of pulp fiction

that took one week to read in the 6th grade

i did not find the monsters for which i was looking but

i got to know newspaper reporter gideon spilett



spilett is probably most responsible for

my becoming a reporter in the u.s. army

on a bimonthly newspaper 

at tripler army medical center in hawaii

once upon a time



spilett & i were hard working reporters for the military

he was a  bonafide civil-war correspondent &

i considered myself a sunshine soldier

supporting support during peace time 1980-1984

in hawaii



earlier i draft-dodged the vietnam war

i lied my way into the army & did it well

so they didn’t mind

I earned an honorable discharge & some medals

& got out



& that’s one way

mysterious island by jules verne

partnered with reality

in the life of the wayward butler



elvis bojangles


kiss of democracy theatre

The Living Legend Of

Jesusita & Padre Gallegos

by Cloyd Campfire

El padre of 
La Villa de 
Padre Gallegos 
was he 
 was he  
mucha bonita 
widowed & free 
of Padre Gallegos 
was she, was she  
Together they lived 
in thee adobe 
labyrinthine rectory 
And together 
they lived happy 
& comfortably 
Isolated & 
surrounded by 
wild hostility  
Was the humble 
a-crumble New Mexico 
of years  
There were 
folk cures 
When Jesusita 
took a 
spoonful of one 
She become beautiful 
forever like the 
rising & setting sun  
She never cried 
she never died 
now she do abide 
In the world of 
today ~ el diablo’s 
delectable bride  
Padre Gallegos 
like everyone else 
sooner or later died 
Padre Gallegos though 
his soul wouldn’t go 
to el grande other side
a ghost 
The Host 
But most 
of all 
he haunts the trail  
Of the eternal beauty 
whom he loves 
   Jesusita his holy grail…


staring Richard Burton & Raquel Welch

(text copyright Clyde Collins 2017)