Yellow Mama Archives II

Keith Hoerner

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Yo Mamma’s

Food for Thought


by Keith Hoerner



The origin of last meals is unclear. It is believed French prisoners were given a glass of rum prior to their deaths. In 16th-century England, inmates were invited to dine with their executioners. Today, in America, the tradition has taken on its own flavorful manifestations.


Jasper County Texas State Penitentiary, 2011


He had a tendency to whitewash everything, but that’s what White Supremacists do. “It’s not me, some unethical morality taught through my upbringing . . . it’s just plain fact that Caucasian males are supreme over all other human beings,” was the blather he’d spew oh-so arrogantly. It’s supposed that the minor infraction Lawrence Russell Brewer felt toward James Byrd, Jr. on June 7, 1998, is what drove him to chain the disabled Byrd mercilessly by the ankles to the back of his pickup truck and drag him to his death. “He had his thumb out hitchhiking,” said Brewer. “He could see I was a white man; like I’m gonna be this Nigger’s chauffeur or somethin’. Well, I gave him a ride, all right.”


    Last meal . . . two chicken-fried steaks, a pound of barbecue, and copious, indiscriminate sides. Not taking one bite of the excessive meal, Texas abolished its last-meal courtesy directly afterward.


In an analysis of 247 last meals, prepared in the U.S. over four years, the calorie count averaged 2,756 with four meals estimated at 7,000 plus. Seventy percent was fried food. From Coca-Cola to other specific brands, the choices remain unusual—in their individuality and quirkiness.


Illinois’ Old Stateville Penitentiary, 1994


Pogo the Clown almost arrived late to the McCartneys’ house in suburban Chicago to perform for Tommy’s 7th birthday party. Subtle, but noticeable upon a discerning look, were the muddied ends of his faux satin, bell-bottomed costume—having just buried yet another victim in his prolific mass-murdering spree. The total victim count of this killer clown, surname of John Wayne Gacy, reached an unimaginable 33 young boys and men. Today, he would pay with his life, recognized as the worst serial killer in U.S. history. No painted-on smiles here. His pleas of innocence fell ‘frown down,’ even with support of a self-funded 900 number as a final party trick to scam funds to stay his execution.


    Eating a bucket of fried chicken until all pieces ‘disappeared’ is said to have been his final sleight of hand—followed by a salty testimony of his innocence to onlookers before dying.


As a ritual, the last meal is intended not to comfort the condemned but to soften—for society—the harsh fact that a human is about to be killed with the law's full sanction.


U.S. Penitentiary, Terra Haute, 2001


Like many a kid, Timothy loved to play war. His young mind thought himself a great patriot. “Get out of your trenches, you Commies,” he’d shout, rustling neighborhood friends from under bushes and out of trees . . . then, relieving them of their arms, take them “prisoner.” Timothy McVeigh couldn’t imagine, as a disgruntled army veteran, his mental incapacities would tip the scales of justice proving himself anything but patriotic: as the perpetrator of the bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma, killing 168 on April 19, 1995 . . .  The worst act of American domestic terrorism after only that of the attacks against New York and Washington, D.C. on September 11th, 2001. Standing in his stained khaki trousers and dirty white T-shirt prior to lethal injection, he says to the guard, “Where’s my damn ice cream, Commie?”


    Empty of two quarts of melting “mint chocolate chip,” the bowl rested near a poem left in defiance. The words of William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus” spoon fed his audience this sour message, “I am the master of my own fate; I am the captain of my soul.” 


Most states serve-up last meals two days before execution. Price limits vary between states from $15 to $40. Given the maximum dollar allotment, what would be your order?

Anthologized often and published in 100+ lit mags across five continents, Keith Hoerner (BS, MFA) is founding editor of the award-winning Mircrofiction ezine / print anthology: The Dribble Drabble Review. A Best of the Net nominee, he is also a Best Book and American Writing Award Finalist.

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