The Lost Novella

Hershel’s former literary agent said he’d bet a Las Vegas casino
on Richard Dawkins becoming a televangelist,
before he’d sink a cent into Hershel’s fantasy fiction career.

Thirty thousand words,
with more versions than Windows.
The early drafts are as disjointed as grenade victims.
Their mangled mixed metaphors
make the burnt out shell
of the haunted roller skating rink
look as inviting as a tropical island resort.
Every paragraph gives a sense of purpose, to shredders.
The traumatised readers were paid a gold nugget per review.
One brave masochist made it to chapter four.

The survivors watched their copies disintegrate,
in an abandoned plastic mine.
Some retreated, before the fire breathing octopoids
finished charring their cellulose entrée.
Please, death is our only antidote,
the stragglers bellowed,
as medicine ball crushing tentacles
emerged from semi molten milk containers.
No vagrant genie would resort to squatting in those bottles.
Once the plastic guzzling octopoids realized what they’d ingested,
they squeezed themselves to death.

The final draft is on hundreds of websites,
yet it’s as obscure as a typewriter museum,
a month’s drive from the nearest filling station.

An eight line poem, carved in sand,
was swept away
as the final exclamation point was added.

The video has been seen
in one hundred and seventeen countries,
admittedly by only eighty seven people.
Compared to Hershel’s novella,

it’s as famous as the forty fifth president.
Trump is to fame
what mad cow disease is to the beef industry.
Hershel’s novella is to obscurity
what Shakespeare is to theatre.
“It’s more lucrative than Harry Potter,”
Hershel screeched at JK Rowling’s editor,
until the authorities found an ankle bracelet
that rendered his bolt cutters as useless as nail clippers.

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