Show, Don’t Tell

illustrated poem: show, don't tell

The Continuing Adventures of Detective Frank Green

In some cases
indeed, death does come
like a thief in the night,

wearing latex gloves
and a mask,
careful of what it touches.

I’m Detective Frank Green.
I used to work Vice.
Now I work Homicide.
I make my living
bringing killers and murderers to justice
then watching justice smack them silly
with a big old justice silly stick.
​ ​
Homicides by nurses in a hospital setting
have tripled over the last 40 years.
Now, I don’t mean to scare you away from
receiving proper medical attention,
which may include admittance to a hospital bed
for an overnight stay
or a stay of a much longer duration.
​Those are just the facts.

But it’s just one more reason to get yourself
or your loved ones
off the cancer sticks.

Because if you smoke,
you will eventually land in a hospital bed
and you will have an open IV crying out
“please fill me with potassium cyanide”
in a language understood by only sociopathic nurses
or nurse practitioners
or sociopaths pretending to be nurses
or nurse practitioners.

The Continuing Adventures of Detective Frank Green

One doesn’t press the grapes for
evidence of the wine,
especially when the grapes are
clearly tagged as evidence themselves.

I’m Detective Frank Green.
I used to work Vice.
Now I work Homicide.

And nothing pisses me off more
than when some gung-ho s*&t for brains
improperly handles a key piece of evidence
allowing a cold-blooded killer to walk free,
putting him back to the streets where he can –

You hear that Perkins?

The Continuing Adventures of Detective Frank Green

What are a young hare, a young falcon, and a young owl called?

If they have paid or agreed to pay money
in exchange for the performance of sexual acts
they are called guilty of Solicitation.

I’m Detective Frank Green.
I work Vice.
The night shift.
I bust hookers, their pimps and their johns.
It’s a living.

I know there’s peer pressure to begin engaging in
sexual activity and that pressure can only get worse
when you are a virgin and are about to graduate from
college, but the law is the law, and if I catch you –
I’m gonna bust you.

And besides, you don’t want to
go through life knowing that
your first time
you had to pay for it.

Little Sue

loving organisms die
and now disease can be blown in
or brought in by birds or animals

that lunch box
or thermos
begins to get thin

Little Sue
with an obstructed bowel
whittles a small corncob
into a doll of a little girl
with an obstructed bowel
named Littler Sue who
whittles a smaller corncob
into a doll of a littler girl
named Even Littler Sue
who is still awaiting test results
from her gastroenterologist
but is hopeful it’s nothing

arrive in wheelchairs
during flooding

and someone’s mother finds a way
to prevent wax from sticking to
a candle holder

Right Side

When crocheting your projects
you may have come across the terms
"right side" and "wrong side."

In a nut shell, "right side" refers
to the side more effective for
combating colorectal cancer.

There’s a Norwegian in the Woodpile

There’s a Norwegian in the woodpile.
COD appears to be GSW to upper torso.
Likely a shotgun blast at close range.
Wallet found on victim indicates
deceased’s name is Olaf Christiansen;
age 42; residence, Olso, Norway.
Business cards found in wallet suggest
Mr. Christiansen is probably employed
in the computer software industry.

My name is Detective Frank Green.
I’ll be straight with you –
I don’t like Norwegians.
Hate them in fact.
Ever since my boyhood best buddy Bjorn Bjornstad
stole my girl Shirley Templeton
right out from under me in 7th grade.
They’re married now.
Been married for 32 years.
When I think of her
up in their house of Hill Street
slaving over the torsketunger for him
it makes me want to vomit.

But I took an oath to uphold the law.
I will search for the killer of this
deceased 42-year old Norwegian male
just as if it was my own father there
in the woodpile with a shotgun blast to the chest.
It’s my sworn duty.

from “The Continuing Adventures of Detective Frank Green”

The Author Was Found Dead at His Desk

I query the quib.
I examine the pen.
Words can be deadly, but
This was a stabbing.

My name is Detective Frank Green.
I used to work Vice.
Now I work Homicide.
And there’s no time for rhyme
When there’s a murderer on the loose.

from one of my ongoing projects entitled, “The Continuing Adventures of Detective Frank Green”

Life Would Be So Much Better if All the Waiters Spoke Like Peter Lorre

If I may,
I’d like to read to you
our specials for this evening.

As an appetizer,
tonight we have Portuguese Littlenecks.
These are local littlenecks,
fresh from the bay,
lightly sautéed in extra virgin olive oil
with garlic onions
and linguica,
then served in a spicy –
but still very subtle –

Our special salad this evening
is a Steak Caesar Salad.
This salad features
blackened sirloin steak tips –
very tender –
on a large Caesar salad
made with fresh Romaine lettuce,
generous chunks of blue cheese,
succulent grape tomatoes,
hearty red onions
and warm, freshly-baked croutons
all topped by
our chef’s
special Caesar dressing.

This evening
we also have
two entrée specials
as well.

The first
is a Stuffed
Rib Eye Steak.
Cooked to your liking,
this is a wonderful,
flavorful, 12oz. cut
of grade A rib eye.
It is prepared by first
stuffing it with
fresh snipped herbs
and spring onions.
Our chef then
bastes the steaklet
in a red wine and soy sauce,
tops it off
with bread crumbs
and bakes to form a
bread crumb crust.
Very delicious.

And for our special seafood entrée,
this evening
we are serving
Broiled Scallops Casino.
Fresh channel scallops
topped w/ applewood smoked bacon bits,
fresh grated parmesan cheese
and buttered bread crumbs.

Are you ready to order?
Or would you like
a few more moments
to consider your choices?


I’m eying my first open mic night here in Philly in mid-October and this is one of the pieces I want to have ready to do. I feel it’s lacking in that I don’t really cook, so I don’t know how to get words/phrases like “radicchio”, “tender ears of baby corn”, etc. in there w/ it still being very mundane and realistic.