Funny stories in under 500 words.

That % ^ # ( * Poem

I had just fallen asleep after tossing and turning for three hours. I drifted off into a sea of dreams, embarked in the arms of a beautiful woman who sang to me and cradled my head in her lap. Then that % ^ # ( * poem roused me from my sleep playing sour notes on his stupid trumpet.

If it wants to get to Carnegie Hall, it had better start practicing a whole lot.

Then he shouted in my ear as if I were ten miles away.

Get up out of that bed. No good for nothing lazy bum and write me down. How dare it sleep while I’m at my creative peak? Doesn’t it know that I am a genius who needs its constant attention 24 hours a day? It better get its butt up there and write me down before I lose my train of thought. Grab that pen and paper. Good. Is it ready? Here it goes.

The girl turned red
And so did Ed

Isn’t that amazing! Now take it to the publisher and tell him it’s gonna’ kill him when he reads it. I’m so brilliant. Isn’t it glad I woke it up?

“Not really,” I thought.

But off to the publisher’s I went with that % ^ # ( * poem. They weren’t open, of course, but the % ^ # ( * poem wouldn’t let me go home and sleep until I got the head editor to read the work. The editor didn’t appreciate being woken up. Join the club. It must have been 5 AM before I was back in bed.

Now doesn’t that feel good! It’s finally living up to my potential. I wonder what I’ll come up with next.

“Don’t bother me,” I told him.

I was out cold. A % ^ # ( * poem couldn’t wake me up if it tried. Then again, he didn’t have to try. About two hours later, the cops came to my door, put the cuffs on me, and took me down to the police station. The judge sentenced me to ten days in jail for scaring the hell out of the publisher. I meant to say the “poem” would kill him; the editor remembers me saying that I would kill him.

I tried to explain that I couldn’t sleep. I told him that my poems keep me up at night; made me do things to get them noticed.

“You know, not everyone is cut out to be a poet,” the judge said, before slamming the gavel.

What did he say? What does he know? I will write the best % ^ # ( * poem! Look at this filthy place. A jail cell cannot hold me back! Find a pen! Why is it tying that blanket around its neck? Stop! Don't! It needs to breathe!

This story was written by Robert L. Martin. His writings have appeared in Mature Years, Alive Now, Asinine Poetry, Poets' Espresso, among others. He wrote two chapbooks entitled, In Reverence to Life, and A Sage's Diary. His poetry blog is He won two Faith and Hope awards. He is a member of GLVWG, a writers group. He is also a jazz pianist and the organist at First UMC of Wind Gap, PA. He loves his NY Giants football team.


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