“A Quiet Moment at the Madhouse” © Edward Michael Supranowicz


The Essential Front and Center Graveyard Shift Front Line

Let’s you and me go take a smoke, all right?
After THAT, we deserve a little somethin’, nope?
I’m glad its over with myself. Let’s hope
He stays asleep and don’t wake up all night
Or even money he’ll unload again.
No help on Dirty Dying Midnight Watch;
Rowin’ up Crapping Creek until the end.
Row, row your boat! Batten down the hatches!
Take the last; I’m good. WHAT? ABANDON SHIP?
Sure, laugh. Quit NOW? Now, don’t give me no lip!
I’m Admiral Cesspool! You’re my first mate, Stench!
We fix it all with fresh sheets, duct tape, wrench;
We save three hundred pounders best we can
Overboard the good ship Bedpan. Hell – we HEROS, man!


Ernie Brill is a fiction writer who tries to write poetry. He is the author of I Looked Over Jordan and Other Stories (Boston: South End Press, 1980 and 1999). His story “Crazy Hattie Enters The Ice Age” was purchased and performed by Ruby Dee for her PBS show “With Ossie and Ruby” to critical acclaim. Brill is a graduate of San Francisco State College where he received an MA in English with a thesis on Chester Himes. While there, he also participated in the historic student strike against racism, the longest in US history (November 6,1968 to March 21, 1969) where they won and established the country’s first School of Ethnic Studies.

Edward Michael Supranowicz has had artwork and poems published in the US and other countries. Both sides of his family worked in the coalmines and steel mills of Appalachia.