Penelope Weiss


The Nekid Revolutionary Anarchists assemble at dawn
with their friends the Nevermore Ravens of America.

The Nekid’s most famous members are the twins Nonny and Nathan.
Their dog Agog, aka Magog, is famous, too.

They have breakfast and set up their targets
like fried eggs on a china plate and blast away until lunch time.

Nonny likes to make fun of Nathan.
Nonny is smarter than Nathan, a better shot than Nathan, taller than Nathan.

But Nathan is meaner than Nonny, cleaner than Nonny,
and wears his pants higher than Nonny.

The Nevermore Ravens like to make fun of the twins, but never to their faces.
After all, they say, it’s all in good clean fun, and if they didn’t believe it
they wouldn’t be here in the first place.


Asmodeus is the king of the demons, but he’s also my husband.
And even though he’s a drunk, I still love him.

Sometimes he drinks and plays the piano all night long
and only comes to bed when the sun rises over the tallest mountain.

My fortune tellers say I have a brilliant future,
but I think they must be mad.
Anyhow, they laugh when they see me coming.

Another thing: Demons live in my cellar,
but they’re Asmo’s cousins, so how can I scold them when they trash the place?

I have no one to talk to in this stony palace.
No one notices me when I stand next to the stove

and look into the pots of stew and taste them
with the spoon I carry in my pocket.

Then I take a few napkins and old menus
and scribble my thoughts with a pen I found lying on the floor.

My fear is that I will live to be 100.
My greatest fear is that I will outlive the ink in this pen.

Penelope Weiss was born in 1942. She grew up in New York City and now lives in Shrewsbury, Vermont with her husband, John Davis. Storiana, her collection of stories, was published by Casa de Snapdragon Publishing in 2010.
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