Yellow Mama Archives II

Daniel G. Snethen

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Centorbi, David Calogero
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.
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Garnet, George
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernice
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Koperwas, Tom
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Jen
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Prusky, Steve
Reddick, Niles M.
Robson, Merrilee
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark



by Daniel G. Snethen


My first dog cost me $3.00.

He was part Collie and a mix

of who knows what other breeds.


Duke was territorial

and protected the home front.

His bite, literally was worse than his bark.

Duke never bit family,

but everyone else was an intruder.


I trained him in basic dog obedience

for 4-H and we received a purple ribbon,

but we were forbidden

to advance to the SD State Fair

because Duke was prone to biting.


Typical dog, he loved chasing cars.

We discouraged this

by chaining him up at night,

but you have to give a dog some freedom.


One evening,

the neighbor girl’s boyfriend

went zooming past our place

with rags locked into his hubcaps.


Duke chased and grabbed on.

The next morning, I found Duke—

dead on the shoulder

of our township gravel road.


At fourteen, that was likely more grief,

than I’d ever before experienced.


And my mother was livid

with an anger I’d not seen

in her before or since.


Mother looked up at God and said,

“Damn him, Yahweh!”

To my knowledge she never swore again.


A year later,

on a hot humid summer afternoon,

the neighbor girl’s boyfriend drowned,

while swimming in a stock dam.



by Daniel G. Snethen


What next?

She was naked and free.

Covered in blood spatter

like the bathroom walls.


He lay on the tile floor,

prick-less and dead.

Blood still flowing

from whence his member came.


The straight razor still

clenched in her right hand.

She, still in shock, wondering

what next?


Fly Collector


by Daniel G. Snethen


Blue-bottle blow flies

& sarcophagic flesh flies

neatly mounted—skewered

with nylon-headed Bohemian pins,

by the thousands, filled tens of dozens

of professionally made Cornell

entomological specimen drawers.


On display, neatly dispersed,

throughout his country cottage.

Filled with expertly pinned,

captive-raised flies.


Nurtured from blood-fed maggots

collected at crime scenes.


Each encasement a sacred mausoleum:

a genetic gene pool of human DNA,

labeled with taxonomic information; locality;

date; collector nomenclature and

corpus delicti identification.

Pickles Butte

by Daniel G. Snethen

Named after a farmer's dog,
the highest point in Canyon County,
Idaho is an ecological treasure.

Black-tailed jackrabbits
play tag and chisel-toothed
kangaroo rats leave tail drags
in ancient volcanic ash.

Rear-fanged venomous spotted
night snakes and desert hairy
scorpions venture out after dark
in search of xerarch sustenance.

Giant turquoise blue centipedes
slither and slink like many-legged
diminutive serpents overhauling
slower, often larger prey, killing

them with venom before dining.

 Black widows spin high tensile
strength silk over lava creating
sticky traps for ensnarement.

 Rock wrens, woodrats, lizards,
ground nesting hawks and mound-
building formicide ants thrive
on barren rock devoid of water.

Jerusalem crickets and Mormon
ones too, eat what vegetation
there grows in this dry wasteland,
predated upon by habitat-destroying
dirt bikes and four-wheel drive trucks.

But the strangest creature,
to sojourn across this magma-
hardened bluff, the solpugiid,
or camel spider, looks like
a tailless tarantula-scorpion hybrid.

An odd arachnid, inviting the heat
of the Idaho sun to get hotter
and even hotter, parching every other
living thing as he crawls unimpeded

through the moisture-less Idaho dust

hunting undeterred for whatever prey

he can capture in his massive hideous
exoskeleton crushing jaws of death.


Daniel G. Snethen is the owner and publisher of Darkling Publications. He serves as vice-president of the South Dakota State Poetry Society. In May 2017, 10 pages of his poetry was anthologized in Resurrection of a Sunflower, a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, curated by Catfish McDaris. Snethen's poetry has been published by Bear Creek Haiku; Cover of Darkness; Danse Macabre; Dark Gothic Resurrected; Haiku Journal; The Horror Zine; Miller's Pond; Pasque Petals: Thirteen Myna Birds, and several other publishers of poetry. Snethen also coaches oral interpretation of literature and Poetry Out Loud. He has qualified two high school students for the National Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington DC and has had the SD State Poetry Out Loud runner-up on two separate occasions. His favorite poet is William Blake, and his favorite poem is “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Native American Male Kills Caucasian Teenager at Hardee’s: Rapid City, SD


by Daniel G. Snethen


“The court finds the defendant Maȟpíya Kimímila Lúta (Cloud Red-Butterfly) guilty of third-degree manslaughter and hereby sentences him to 10 years of imprisonment.” And, just like that, the 19-year-old Indigenous teenager from Potato Creek, SD, was sent off to the state penitentiary.

Eleven months earlier, Cloud had entered the lobby of the 6th & St. Joseph Street Hardee’s near downtown Rapid City, SD. What Red-Butterfly didn’t realize is that he was walking into the midst of a clandestine anti-bullying campaign. What he first saw were three non-native teenage males picking on an overweight native girl.

“What’s that on your fish, baby?

“Looks like tartar sauce—bet you wish it belonged to me—don’t ya?”

Another grabbed a handful of her fries and with a mouthful, exclaimed, “Damn bitch, these sure taste good—just like you, I bet.”

The third spit a wad of chewing gum into her Dr. Pepper. The girl started to cry.

The surrounding patrons appeared to be a bit disturbed by this blatant display of disrespect but ultimately chose to ignore it. And the bullying antics continued. But as the clientele began to unwrap their sandwiches, they seemed to become more and more agitated. Finally, they started to approach the front counter to complain.

But they were not uptight about the horrible behaviors being perpetrated upon the young native girl in plain sight. Oddly, instead, they were upset because several of their food items had been deformed. Buns were flattened, burgers had no meat and fries were served mangled and broken in two. The customers were both puzzled and outraged and demanded satisfaction.

Finally, after much consternation, the manager started to explain that this was all part of an anti-bullying awareness campaign to show just how easy it is for people to become ambivalent and ignore the plight of others while at the same time becoming extremely defensive when they felt wronged.

“Hopefully, you all now realize that none of us should ever stand around complacent while others are being harmed. Naturally, we will refill your orders and reimburse you your money and we thank you for your participation and understanding.”

But while this was taking place, Cloud Red-Butterfly—with the noblest of intentions and totally oblivious to the ongoing campaign, asked the three teenage males to please leave the young lady alone.

And that’s when they called him a fucking prairie-nigger.

Dallas County Phone Calls


by Daniel G. Snethen


I knew a Native gal in the Dallas jail

who called me, her Dad.

Apparently, I was

the only father-figure

she’d ever had.


I put money on her books

so we could have our

weekly phone calls

and so she could

call her mother too.


One young black woman,

a fellow inmate of my friend,

was lonely and apparently

had no one to talk to

on the outside of prison.


Amber gave her my number,

and before I knew it,

I was talking to some young

African American woman

from inside the Dallas County Jail.


She thought I was nice

and funny too.

Wanted me to check

her status on Facebook.


I think she thought

perhaps we could hook up

once she left County.


I checked her out,

half my age,

and a booty that’d make

Sir Mix-a-Lot’s

anaconda smile.


How the hell was I

going to hook up with her,

there’s a thousand miles

separating Dallas, Texas

and Dallas, South Dakota.

Two Old Ladies Arrested for Feeding Feral Cats


by Daniel G. Snethen


Damn shame Yellow Mama is retired.

Wetumpka law enforcement

 is in dire need of her assistance.


Beverly Roberts, 85 and

Mary Alston, 61 were found

guilty of feeding feral cats

near the courthouse lawn.


Several thousand dollars

of damage was claimed

by Elmore County officials.


Both cat molesters

were fined, arrested,

sentenced and released

on two years of probation.


Both claimed they weren’t

really feeding feral cats,

but were capturing them

to be neutered thus reducing

the feral cat problem

plaguing parts of the Nation.


Apparently, it’s illegal to stand

on private County property

enticing feral cats

with a can of Fancy Feast

in your wrinkled hands.


Besides, such mutilation

and the denial of a cat’s

reproductive rights

just ought to be illegal.


And apparently,

in Wetumpka, Alabama it is.

Her Name Isn’t Margo, but It Should Be


by Daniel G. Snethen


She never talks about feelings.

It is as if they do not exist.

If they do, they are to be repressed.


But how can I repress such things?

Ours, is clearly a nebulous relationship,

obfuscated by shadowy concrete differences.

I am the Yang for her Ying.


To most, I am a mystery shrouded in smoke.

Best understood thru Eastern mysticism.


She helps stem my rage.

She is my soothing opiate.

She completes me.


To her, I am a child—yet complicated.

When I need her most—she knows.

But does she know why she knows?


Does she really know who she is?

Does she really know who I am?

Does she even understand who we are?


I doubt it, I doubt it, I absolutely doubt it.

I doubt she understands the answer

is deeply spiritual—not empirical.


She doesn’t know that our essence

should be inseparable, uncontainable.

That one cannot divide darkness from midnight,

or hold mystery and love in a locked box.


Like time, we transcend all these things.

But she knows not these truths

and I dare not tell for fear of losing her. 



by Daniel G. Snethen


I stare into your eyeless sockets,

remembering how I used to torture thee.

How I’d make you carry me

barefoot through the creeping thorns

infesting the courtyard cobbles.

 How I would beat the hump

on your back with my wooden club

urging you to greater speed.

 You loved me poor Yorick,

and I treated you as less than a dog.

You were the court jester

and I of royal lineage.

Your disregard was my birthright.

 You drug me from my castle room

when a fire raged mere feet from my door.

Dove out through a window

fifteen feet to the frozen ground.

 Cracked your brainless skull

and broke your collar bone,

but cushioned my fall.

 You watched over me,

entertaining me with silly feats

of acrobatic antics

as I lay sequestered away,

quarantined from the rest of humanity.

 Ah Yorick, you were an idiot

to have loved me so,

 and I, I was the royal buffoon.

Daniel G. Snethen is an educator, naturalist, moviemaker, poet, and short story writer from South Dakota. He teaches on the Pine Ridge Reservation at Little Wound High School in the heart of Indian Country. His best friend is his three-legged dog, Knightly, who is a cancer survivor.

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