Thermite burns at a temperature of four thousand degrees Fahrenheit. You can make it easily, with chemicals you buy at Home Depot.

You can make serviceable napalm by adding Ivory Snow to gasoline until it turns to jelly.

It doesn’t take money to create terror. All it takes is imagination and patience.

I enjoy miniaturized explosives. I make my own C-4 and pack it into soda cans with a bunch of screws and springs for shrapnel, timed fuses powered by 9-volt batteries.

I’ll walk downtown and drop them in trash cans,  long gone by the time the first one explodes.


Woman’s Touch


Ole Hank hit on his pint of Thunderbird, surveyed the yard with a cocked eye while the girl waited.

“I ain’t paying extra for them flowers,” was all he said.

She knew they didn’t cost nothing, and besides, she done that after all the other work. It did look nice, and was even funny in its way, though Ole Hank didn’t see the joke.

He grudgingly hauled out his pocketbook and peeled off three soiled bills, held out a grubby hand spattered with liver spots.

She put the money away. “So I come back tomorrow? They’s still plenty to do.”


Mike Fink


Old timers tell you Mike Fink
was a legend like John Henry
or Paul Bunyan.

he was my great-great-great grandfather
real as you or me

worked up and down this canal and past it
out onto the Missouri,  the Big Muddy
poling flatboats of grain, whiskey, passengers

Mike Fink wore a red feather in his hat
to show he’d fight any man big or small
himself a giant of a man

Fists like Virginia hams
arms like tree limbs
face all creased with scars

He’d bite off an ear
swallow it whole
beat a man’s insides to black pudding.


Outsiders Never Understand


Once this last test is passed I’ll be golden.

That’s what I keep telling myself as I shimmied up the drainpipe.

The first few were so easy they weren’t even a test, though the thing with the dog made me a little sick to my stomach. I love animals.

Still, the test was all about what you could  do, not what you want to do.

Outsiders never understand. They think we’re just a bunch of violent thugs who run around the city in red leather jackets committing crimes. Scaring citizens.

But that’s not it. It’s a brotherhood of the willing.



You never know what’s coming. You might not be able to go to the store, or if you went there it might be all empty. Imagine that.

Imagine the panic, especially if everybody knew them shelves was going to stay empty.

I always keep extras, just like I make sure wherever I go I’m wearing clothes that I’d be comfortable wearing for the rest of my life. I always have a knife, some string, my flint and steel. It wouldn’t be my preference to be stripped down to just them essentials,  but if it comes to it I’ll be ready.