“First on the List” from Be Story Free

A member of the Be Story Free Brigade reminisces on a time prior to their becoming free of narrative addiction.

I was first on the list once. It was a list

I made, n it didn’t last long, cuz I kept

Remaking the list, cuz ya gotta keep

Remaking the list in order for ppl

To care about the list, but wile it lasted,

Me being first on the list, it was awsum.

I was first for six versions of the list,

Then I started to drop. First I moved from

First to third, and I’m like, wo, but then

I shoot up back to first, but only briefly,

Cuz I fall to second, but a close second,

Like me n first, we’re really close, cuz my list

Is like that, ya know, it’s got that killer

Shit down, but then sumthin happens, n boom,

I’m fifth. Fifth. Fifth on the list, on the list

I made. Fine, I’m fifth. Like I’m getting used

To bein fifth, which is prolly the slack

That brot the snap, cuz now I’m sixth, now eighth,

Back up to third, down to tenth, back to eighth,

Then down to twelfth, that’s rite, twelfth, n I was

Twelfth for like forever, then eleventh,

N I’m like O yeah, he’s comin ba-ack,

Then ninth, then sixth, O he’s havin a run,

N then it was all over. I came out

With a new version of the list, n me?

I’m nineteenth. Like I’m barely on the list,

Cuz the list only goes to like twenty,

N get this, the next version of the list,

Wer am I? Nowhere. Not on it. Totally

Nickt from my own list. I mean, it was so

Awful. I put out this list, n I’m like

Wer am I? Y am I not on the list,

The list I made? That’s wen, like a street shrimp,

It hits me. N I’m like, yeah, that’s damn rite,

Yr not on the list, cuz like wut did u

Make last year? Wut did I make last year? Yo,

I made the list. Wut, u mean like the list

Yr not on? Yeah, I mean that list. Gee, guess

U’ll have to get on someone else’s list.

Get on someone else’s list? Like fat chance

I be get’n on someone else’s list;

Like nobody puts anybody else

Other than themselves on thr list anymore,

U noe that. I noe that. N so I’m like,

Well, I guess that’s wut it’s all about, ain’t it?

N ur like, yep, I guess that’s wut it’s all about.


“I’m a Rebel” from Dazl

Burners, the sister of the incredible girl child Dazl, talks about what differentiates her from her so-called perfect sibling.


I’m a rebel. I rebelize. N the root

Of my rebelishus rebelution

Is wdn’t u like to noe. I wil, howev,

Spot u one clue, cuz yr so clueless. Dazl.

Wuts it about Dazl? I tell you wut:

Me, whose rebelum vitae makes

Rebelishly clear how no one will ever

Outrebel my rebullient rebellicosity.

I don’t use toothpaste, n if my dad’s

Like, did u? I’m like, hu? I don’t do

Gratitude, warning signs, honesty,

Transitions, instructions, regulations,

Calm, trust, sympathy, seasoned counsel,

Weather appropriate clothing, learning,

Expectations, reality testing, cost

Benefit analysis, introspection, fresh

Food, accepted science, second thoughts,

Or sorry, but if sumthins makin it

Hard for me to breathe, I’m on it like

Who on u. Wen someone shouts “look out!”

I shut my eyes. You suggest it, I detest it, lolz.

U wana noe wut possesst me? U possesst me,

So I dispossesst u, cuz nuthin cd be

Further from the truth than my couth.

If I’m hungry, I deny it. If I’m tired,

I’m wired. Vendetta? Never been betta.

But bein a rebel don’t make me all no sho.

I like grafting grudges on sense data,

Dumping mor out the bak than u can hak,

Being careless with yr belongings

So I can shout “my home isn’t safe!”

Destroying a simpl errand with my

Griping n begging cuz it’s just so awkward.

N my sikest fave? Givin my rebel yell.

“I hate u yr so stupid I’m gona kil myself!”

My first rebelious act wuz wen my mom

Sed, “Who’s my baby?” n me? No habla yo face.

My second rebelius act wuz to not

Perform a rebelius act – dam, who’s thinkin?

Not me, cuz that’s another detox I free box.

My third rebelius act is to skip that n impose

On u my fourth rebelius act (she turns the camera off).


“What Must I Be?” from Griffin Hunter

Griffin Hunter, Undersecretary of Disarmament for the United Nations, is caught in a web of deceit woven by a covert consortium of international arms dealers. Having just returned home from a “chance” encounter with an old girlfriend (which was in fact orchestrated by said consortium to destroy his public credibility) he lies to his wife multiple times about where he’s been simply because he hasn’t yet figured out how he’s going to explain himself.


What must I be to be what I am not?

Untolds ago, my life became a lie,

A guilt I feebly quilt into reserve,

But now, guilt gives good chase, and I am caught

In more me than I know: last night, two lies,

This morning, twenty more. Tomorrow, what?

I will not know the story from the spoof.

After all my scraping thru the firma,

Blindly carving out the sight-splurging light,

Must I return as empty as I went

To the burrow of my birth? How live anew?

The past’s a driving virus that creates

Its own defense to mutate prior to

Identity, yet made to kill its host,

In its upper hand arrives its fail,

And so it dies, and takes its source along,

A happy couple, vigor-victimized.

I am so deeply basted in deceit

That every smirking probe emerges drencht

In truth-corrupted bunk. O sacrifice,

You’re nothing in yourself; they make you mean.

This Walker talk has clogged my cribration

For trust and chat. My loll of judgment’s basht

By fact I suspect of being fiction,

By fiction I must force into some fact,

And in this paragenesis, my mind

Fulgurates dioptricious crystals,

Enlight’ning to see, madd’ning to see thru,

All skewed and hued by dark stenecious growth,

Its cells fabricating and dividing

A heavy, fervent, raw duplicity,

That I am crafted of my self-distortion.

Round me, deceit convects, and thru me too,

Yet how can I be free of this affliction

When truth now seems an advertising trick

Burning the bridge that brought me to my sense?

Lies over lies over lies, O let me out!

Perhaps to leave a lie, one has to lie,

Much like a life-raft off a sinking ship

Is a lesser craft, but at least it floats,

And once on land, it’s fondly set aside,

Then on good ground you stand, which after all

Is but another respite from the sea.

To know you lie’s to know you know the true;

Yet what if you know two, and can’t decide

Which is the truer? Truer is the truth,

As less is but a lie. O fatal fact.


“Face” from The American Revolution

Peggy Arnold, wife of Benedict Arnold, prepares to meet her husband outside a British party where she is cavorting with her love, Major John Andre of the English Army.


Now must I face my husband, tho my mind’s

Upon my love. Thus in this about-face

Must I reface myself in a face off

With my own face, so off with my face

And on with me, who is but faced by face,

For face it, it’s all on the face of it

Yet anything with a face is nothing.

Face? There you are, I am. Now, master face,

We must work as one and not. You shall be

Other than I am, tho still my true face,

So pretty, so deadly, so dreamy carat.

On my sadness, a smile; of my anger,

Agreement; and paint my frigid blasé

With a lusty splend’rous sheen, for we must

Win him, face, and harmony wins the man,

So I need you to defray your deception

And make of me the facist I must be

To most candidly accoutre my façade.

Indeed, you are my weapon and my wound.

My weapon as I wield you, yet my wound

As I mend you, and who wants her weapon

Dull, her wound unkisst? You are a good face

For being so bad. But here comes boring.

I will face and deface him as myself.


“Goin Indie” from No More Pretending

Mobad, a successful Hollywood actor, runs into an old acting friend (who is not a successful actor in any sense of the term) and becomes convinced that he needs to leave show biz behind and return to his indie roots.


I’m talkin bout an indie reformation!

Gonna set my own standards, disregard

Dispense, gonna compose my audience,

Develop along my own lines, gonna

Misdirect the signs, disinvite the times,

Refine what I need, underfeed the god greed

So I can risk my assessments, squander

My investments, gonna stand for no frisk,

Won’t pander to nuthin, not even myself

On a compact disc all slanderin and cussin.

Gonna strut the gamut, prove the or-else

A bluffin but, gonna fight for the right

To be useless, define to dispossess,

Gonna say “But I digress” with the pride

Of the powerless, gonna crave my errors,

My snide ambassadors to metaphors

Unthought of, emulating prior to

Judgment, gonna flop, falter, feign my what-for

Beyond this grudgement of ingratiating,

Gonna hang with the wrong crowd that they might

Be neither, call me theater, but I love

To close, gonna sing my sinking song loud

Til I get away with the everyday.

Gonna descend to the occasion of

My rejection, cuz that’s the direction

Whence I transcend the trend and end this trance,

Gonna practice passive use, induce diffuse,

Make money jealous, defuse the famous,

As I run into problems like a hippo

Into potamus. Gonna show my know

To miscompute, miscompete, misconstrue,

Ain’t you? No one should work for someone else,

The planet’s way too precious for your wealth,

Yo, gettin paid be givin pollution,

I want the tribe, not the distribution.

Gonna pay my trib to the dis if the sys

Don’t salute, gonna refute my repute,

I’m done securin significant deals,

Gonna deal in significance that we

Might lose the need to be secure, embrace

The unsure – the medium is the mess,

So we fail in success – gonna recoup

What I divest, I don’t care what you think

Cuz I care what you think, ain’t gonna stress

No “How to be a snake and walk on two”

Booshit lessons, pressin on the buttons,

Hopin someone put my butt on sumthin

That I can get a cut on, I’nt no slut

What slugz execs for coupons. You a pawn?

Hear me yawn, as I get my naked on:

Fuck the industry; Mobad goin indie.