NEW FICTION: Bourbon & Blondes has arrived!

From the bus stations of Rt. 66 to the smoky, neon-tinged jazz dives of the big cities, these wanton tales of longing introduce us to vixens on the fringe and those shifty men that drove them there.

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Watch: The 'Bourbon & Blondes' Book Trailer

Get your shot glass ready because you're about to enter a retro world of showgirls, drifters, barmaids and thieves.

The eternal question for scribes?

In this new social media landscape, the question becomes: Is blogging dead? It just may be...

Watch: The 'Front Page Palooka' Book Trailer

Read the pulp novella that one reviewer called 'A potboiler in the style of old school writers like Mickey Spillane, Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler...'

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Anyone tuning into "The Walking Dead" on Sunday night was in for a treat because AMC showed a brand new crop of trailers for the fifth season of their flagship show "Mad Men."

It's pretty much a clip reel of what we've already seen in four seasons, but still cool, nonetheless. We're salivating. The show returns Sunday, March 25.

And the taglines? Doesn't get any more to the point:


Friday, February 17, 2012


Press play for some mood music

Merna turned on the radio that sat next to her at the factory. G.I. Jill was playing her G.I. jives for the troops overseas and, oddly enough, that helped her get through the twelve-hour shift.

Guns would be made. Steel would be melted. Tanks constructed.

The whistle blew and it signaled the middle of her day. Merna hopped on the counter and her daily ritual begun. She lit a Pall Mall and admired the elegant weapon she just built. It would surely be in a serviceman's hands within the month. Blowing smoke at the rifle, she wondered how many men it would kill, how many thousands of rounds it would fire and, moreover, who would get it?

Merna thought of her husband Nick who was stationed in Hawaii before ultimately shipping out to Japan. She smiled at the mere thought of him and figured it would be ironic if he wound up using the artillery she made and conditioned for the war that tore them apart.

Six hours later, the whistle blew again.

* * *

Merna's daily walk home was a long one. She could have easily took the bus but would rather pocket the change for some extra smokes at the end of the week and a few movie magazines. Besides, the solace gave her time to prepare. She dreaded the mail. Deplored envelopes. Anything that bore the seal of the United States or its War Department.

Would there be a telegram today? Would Nick still be alive tomorrow?

Approaching her rowhouse, Merna walked towards the steps of her front porch. Despite the horrendous hours and mile walk from the factory, this was the longest part of her day. She stuck her hand inside of the mailbox. It was empty. She sighed.

Nick got to live another day. She could now do the dishes and start the process all over again tomorrow.

Friday, February 10, 2012

CLEANING UP THE GAME (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

I'm a boxer by trade -- or I should say, I was. Someone retired me who wasn't exactly sportin' leather gloves but English Leather musk. In fact, he usually chomped a cigar, was half my size and wore bifocals.

In the ring, they called me Eddie "Eagle Eye" Rockport because I saw those haymakers coming from the next round. That skill was learned compliments of Uncle Sam who trained me as an Army marksman.

How good was I in the ring? I never bled, always beat the count and never kissed the canvas.

So why wasn't I studying 'The Sweet Science' anymore? Like I said, 'I never bled, always beat the count and never kissed the canvas.' You see, there's no drama in a guy who always wins. Sure, at first it's fun to see some palooka lead with his chin and eat some leather, but tell that to the gate. So I was prematurely retired.

Some of the luckier boxers would start their second life by coaching or maybe settling down with whatever wits they had left. Me? I did what came natural. Turned to the gun.

* * *

The main event was starting in about an hour and I wanted to get locked and loaded. The rifle, not me. That would come later. With her.

Shelly, tonight's featured ring girl, asked me if I was as good a shooter as a pugilist? I smiled and winked. "Sweetheart, on a moonlit night I could spot the wet glare of a rat's fanny as he trolled through the damp gutter."

"That good?" she toyed, as she took a drag of her Chesterfield.

I nodded and paid her for the information I needed. I told her that if all went well, I'd meet her after the fight. I knew it would go well, I just wasn't sure if wanted to see her again. A guy can only take so much Elizabeth Arden.

At the arena, I thought about Bifocals and the tomato can who's currently wearing those belts. He couldn't see a teddy bear coming. Even if I was punchdrunk, the bum's eye would look like a plum inside 30 seconds flat. It was time to focus.

I reminded myself that while I may have hung up the gloves, I'm still very much in the Fight Game -- just in a different capacity. I'm cleaning it. I'm famous now in a different way. Some newspapers call me a crusader.

Eddie 'Eagle Eye' Rockport now kills gangsters from the rafters. They never know I'm coming. The press say I strike fear into the heart of crooked boxing promoters nationwide. I know I will again tonight. Right through his bifocals.

MUSIC: Miles Davis, 'I Fall in Love Too Easily,' courtesy of the Internet Archive.
ART: Mort Kunstler, 'Nine to Go,' - Men's Adventure, magazine cover, 1968

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Was Mickey Mouse a gigolo? Was he thinking about turnin' tricks? Well, we're thinking not but if anything, the panel above from a vintage Mickey comic is proof positive that the lines were certainly blurred when it came to harmless kiddie entertainment and adultish fare (something we've pointed out before).

Hmmmm, we're wondering if Bukowski would have liked Mickey more had he seen the panel above. Confused? Not sure how many Buk fans out there realize that Hank hated that "three fingered son-of-a-bitch" with a passion -- a deep, dark and profane hatred.

For proof, check out the rant below, as seen in the stupendous Bukowski documentary "Born Into This."

Friday, February 3, 2012

THE LADY IN WAITING (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

She was a professional lady in waiting. That was her job -- to keep his ice cubes cold and the footplay hot. Nothing more.

Rinaldo booked them a corner suite at the Gran Hotel Velazquez in Madrid and made sure it was near an exit. He told his Lady in Waiting that he'd be gone for most of the day and, if by midnight he hadn't returned, she should go on to the next town and wait for him there. After all, poker with the gringos could get intense and who was he to break up anyone's winning streak? That was his story and she knew it was a crock.

A Lady in Waiting is much smarter than she lets on. She hears things and pretends not to. She sees things and files them away, putting together the pieces of the puzzle on days like this -- when the room is quiet and still.

It was funny, they always landed in exotic cities with museums, exhibits and unfortified banks. They would always skip town with sirens wailing in the distance and wherever they landed, it usually was for a while.

* * *

She kept herself occupied for the greater part of the day. She'd visited the El Restro market and after arguing with a local merchant about the price of a beaded necklace, she took in the late afternoon breeze at an outdoor cafe.

Usually, men flirted with her. They didn't today and, in an odd way, she missed the attention. The handsome men in the square came in all shapes and sizes. But no one paid her any mind. The savvy tourists, regal businessmen and shady pickpockets figured her for a gypsy -- especially with that beaded necklace. She must have been a working girl. If they only knew it was the complete opposite. A working girl who waited for a living.

Back at the hotel, she took a long, hot bath and made herself a Cuba Libre. Drink in hand, she walked towards the open balcony and watched the sun set, laughing into the open air at the very notion of Rinaldo's poker game.

After dusk, the air became crisp and Rinaldo never did come back. As instructed, she went to the next town like a good Lady in Waiting should. Only this time, she knew Rinaldo wouldn't be there -- his partner would and that was just fine by her.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


The fight game is a little sad this evening as reports that Muhammad Ali trainer Angelo Dundee has died at 90. Dundee helped mold and motivate a young Cassius Clay (Ali) and Sugar Ray Leonard into modern day boxing legends. In 1991, he also helped George Foreman win back the title in the early mid-nineties.