The Bottom Drawer

When writers are blocked, sometimes it’s worth reaching into the bottom drawer to pull out some creative energy. Life isn’t all about money, so free publishing has a point too – the fun of words and connection. Check out some writing adventures, pulled from those bottom drawers, in The BD Posts, although only ones Phoenix Ark think worth sharing. Send in some of yours, and we’ll post them too.

Excerpt from HORRID HEROES AND CRAZY CROOKS
(Vicious verses and false histories, about famous Transatlantic goodies and baddies c 2010 Phoenix Ark Press)

AL CAPONE & THE VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE

Hot off the press, a headline runs:
A GANGSTER PLAGUES A TOWN WITH GUNS
So, kids, I hope you’re not alone,
To hear this tale of Al Capone:
Of all the creeps we’ve met so far,
This killer’s, still, the SUPERSTAR.
Since Al’s fame, to this very day,
STRIKES TERROR THROUGH THE USA,
And when it’s mentioned on TV
Turns BRAVE ENFORCERS off their tea.
In old Chicago, where, it’s said,
Al SHOT his patsies – STONE COLD DEAD,
A hundred victims Al gunned down,
That’s just around the edge of town,
With sub-Machine Guns, at his chin,
Al PLAYED them, like A VIOLIN.
And since the news boys love to shout,
A crook was soon being read about:

CHICAGO DAILY NEWS
A GANGSTER PLAGUES A TOWN WITH GUNS
SUPERSTAR STRIKES TERROR THROUGH THE USA
BRAVE ENFORCERS SHOT STONE COLD DEAD
AL PLAYED A VIOLIN

“Hey, ditch those lies, just hold a mo’,
Dat’s not the Al I used ta know.
No, Al was thoughtful, Al was kind,
Yeah, Al Capone was real refined.
The nicest guy I’ve met, by far,
Al doted on his dear ol’ Ma.
Oh sure, Al cracked a bank or two,
But with THOSE crooks, hey, wouldn’t you?
Al had to terrorise a nation,
To earn himself a reputation.
Yet in his heart of hearts, dis guy
Was sweet, romantic, modest, shy,
And every time he dropped some bloke,
The tears, dey nearly made Al choke.
I know the story dat’s ta blame,
For blackening the Gangster’s name:
THE VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE
The day, dey claim, Al went too far,
When rounding up some guys he hated,
He had the mugs… assassinated.
Yet every kid should know, I guess,
Them lies were cooked up by da press,
So listen, to da bitter end
To Al’S REAL STORY (By a friend)
And wise up to MY bottom line
On Al’s romantic valentine.:

“One day, with me, Snuff, Dutch and Gene
Al’s diary turns up Feb 14,
The day dat sweethearts, throughs der post,
Sends gifts to thems dey loves da most.
But this made Al Capone upset,
The boss had had no postcards yet,
Nor any broad, nor classy dame,
To buy Al choclates, nor champagne.
‘Hey, Boss, woss up with you?” asks Guss,
‘Aaahhh, nuddin much’ lies Al, ‘Don’t fuss,
It’s just….I wish….oh gee, if only
I wasn’t feelin’…well…so lonely.
I knows Capone would feel fine,
If I’d received some… valentine.’
A sentiment to tempt der fates,
Cos Al was never good wid dates!
Then, wid a most enormous sigh,
Al wipes a tear drop from his eye.
But soon a thought runs through Al’s head,
‘I’ll SEND a valentine, instead,
To all those dirty rats, in town
Who’s ever tried ta gun me down.’
‘Dat’s swell,’ cries Snuff, ‘I’ll make em jive”
And Snuff pulls out his ’45!
‘It’s noon,’ says Al, ‘so not too late,
To get them to agree a date,
Tonight, with me, in some place fancy,
That downtown garage, run by LANCEY.”

“Like magic, soon Al’s guest arrive,
The toughest bunch of crooks alive.
Each sporting velvet gangster hats,
In pin striped suites, with patchwork spats,
They slouch, or lean against their cars,
Smoking a box of dutch cigars.
With guns and rifles, inches thick,
With which they’ve planned to spring some trick,
On unsupsecting Al, whose heart,
Like fish, they’ll serve up in a cart.
The clock ticks by, they’re still alone,
There is NO SIGN of Al Capone.
Until Fats Diamond starts to say
‘Look, boys, we’ll wait anudder day
To stich up Al, let’s split, you guys’
But then Al shouts – ‘SURPRISE, SURPRISE’
And jumps out from behind a Ford,
With thirty mobsters, guns abroad.
‘Cripes, no,’ blubs Diamond, with a gulp,
‘I guess that means, us guys, we’s pulp.’
‘Dat’s right’ snarls Al, the Mafia boss,
‘I knows you planned a double-cross,
So says your prayers, and waves goodbye,
Right here, in Lancey’s, time to die!’
The mobsters’ bullets RAT-TAT-TATTER
Al’s sub machine guns starts to splatter,
Yet, when the smoke clears, in the air,
No bloodied mobster’s lying there,
Instead, among the smoke and sparks,
A GIANT HEART, in bullet marks,
Is patterned on a garage wall,
Ten, huge feet wide, five, warm feet tall.
While underneath, the dotted line,
In holes, spells H..A..P..P..Y……..V..A..L..E..N..T..I..N..E
And, looking on, cucumber cool,
Capone cries ‘tricked ya, APRIL FOOL!”
And from a huge machine gun case,
Capone pulls out a cloth, of lace,
A table, hampers, knives and forks,
As Dutch and me pop Champagne corks,
Then smiling gangsters, shower them crooks,
With roses, sweets, romantic books.
As Al, to raise their picnic’s tone,
Turns on a wind-up gramaphone,
To which we mobsters, face to face,
Begin a Waltz around the place.
Yer see, I tells ya, Al was fine,
He loved his Ma, AND Valentine,
Which shows why mobsters, to dis day,
Still wears, for AL…A RED BOUQUET.”

c DCD 2010

Next Month: SHERLOCK HOLMES – THE GREAT DETECTIVE

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Filed under Childrens Books, Poetry

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