Yellow Mama Archives II

Daniel G. Snethen

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
Flynn, James
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Glass, Donald
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.
Price, Liberty
Proctor, M. E.
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.
Stanley, Barbara
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Taylor, Richard Allen
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



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.

In Search of Ghosts

by Daniel G. Snethen

Near midnight,

in search of ghosts,

I visited the memorial

For the unnamed Katrina victims.


I felt no cold clamminess

nor any bodily aches and pains.


I saw nothing,

I sensed nothing,

I felt nothing,

out of the ordinary.


But when I visited

Ground Zero,

during the dead of day,

I smelled the stench of death.

Seven Hanging Trees

by Daniel G. Snethen

Seven giant gray snags

stood stoically erect

in the Mississippi woods

beside the 1867 Coombs cabin.


Under the shadow of darkness,

I witnessed eleven

hooded silhouettes

eerily dangling

from ancient tree limbs.


The morning dawn

almost convinced me

I was mistaken—almost.

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.

My Addie

by Daniel G. Snethen


Her casket was natural wood and beautiful. My twin sister was carefully loaded into the back of a U-Haul truck, nestled behind what meager belongings she still owned.  Anything of any real value had already been lifted by faux-friends, grifters. Her vehicle trailed behind on a dolly.  They told me, the grifters that is, that I couldn’t take Dawn’s car out of the state of Ohio…said it was in probate and that it would be illegal. Acted shocked when they heard I was going to transport her to South Dakota myself and were astonished to find that all it took was a $5 permit to legally take a body across state lines. What I didn’t tell them is that in the small print of the U-Haul contract was a disclaimer forbidding the transport of a corpse. They didn’t believe me when I said I’d be gone by morning. I left the quaint little town of Lebanon, Ohio during the dead of the night shortly after 2:00, but not before first reporting a missing handgun from my sister’s belongings. Daddy Grifter, an oily Pentecostal and his bipolar daughter questioned how I could know my sister owned a handgun. Dawn told me she did. I found the holster and the ammo in her belongings, but no firearm. The police said, she could have loaned it to someone. But I know better and so does Jesus and no doubt, you do too.

The magnitude of this ordeal was unexpected. My son-in-law procured a round trip flight for me with points. I expected a quick trip, albeit a sad one… knowing the inevitable…but still I held hope and I knew Dawn would not expire before I arrived. And I knew this, because Dawn was Dawn, and because she loved me. And well, I loved her too.

Saturday, January 22, 2022 along I-74 near exit 102 exactly 283 miles from Council Bluffs, where my daughter lived, an inside dual had a blowout and there, Dawn and I were stranded on the shoulder of the interstate at 4:32 in the late afternoon waiting for a tire exchange which had to be contracted through U-Haul.

For nearly three hours I waited, barely noticing the traffic passing by, as I contemplated what would happen if we had to unload the U-Haul before changing the tire. What would happen when Dawn was discovered, openly sequestered beneath cover of the U-Haul, and then I realized that Dawn and I had somehow unwittingly become interred into the grotesquery of a William Falkner Southern Gothic novel. Dawn was my Addie and she was paying me back for all the pranks I’d pulled over her the past 56 years.

When I first arrived at the airport in Ohio, I was picked up by a preacher-man, the husband of Dawn’s self-proclaimed best friend. The bipolar one had been beside Dawn the entire time. Had rehydrated Dawn and was carefully monitoring everything. I questioned why they had not taken her to the hospital immediately upon first discovering her failing condition. But they assured me, they knew what they were doing and as a family unit had gone through the same process several times already of successfully battling Covid. Still, I did not understand, and when Dawn’s oxygen level fell dangerously low and they finally called the ambulance, I just trusted they were doing their best…but now I know the truth…they were creatures of the lowest kind—grifters and Pentecostals.

My first inkling of their diabolical nature was when I found out that Dawn’s best friend was filing for medical power-of-attorney over Dawn while I was still in midflight. The entire ordeal was surreal, entirely unfathomable and yet I know it was true. Dawn was there and I was too and I believe I may have noticed Rod lurking in the shadows.


It took less than seven minutes to completely change two tires and be heading on down the road. No unloading of the U-Haul, no opening of the door, just nearly three hours of antagonizing anxiety, followed by a quick exchange of tires and nothing more.

As I approached Council Bluffs, Iowa, in great need of rest, I wondered why my two older sisters had never informed me of Dawn’s earlier bankruptcy. Of how her best friend used her. Ran up over $10,000 of credit card debt with the promise of paying her back. Of how there had been an earlier falling out because they grifted her after using her as a free babysitter, enticing Dawn to sell her home and move from Sioux Falls to Lebanon, promising to pay her for taking care of Grandma and then accusing Dawn of abuse and dismissing her with no job or place to stay.

Why didn’t my older sisters tell me this? If they had, perhaps I would have been prepared upon arrival to Ohio. Instead, I walked into a buzzsaw.

I arrived in Council Bluffs, Iowa at 6:30 Sunday morning, slept for six hours and headed for Winner, SD at 12:55 in the afternoon. I was tired, but I was focused. The funeral home and my brother were waiting for me in Winner. They needed the body that evening in order to have a burial on Monday. My mind was focused on many things, one of which was why? Why did Dawn reconcile with the Ohio grifters…but the answer was obvious…Dawn was lonely and Dawn loved unconditionally. There was nothing fake about her Christianity and she exemplified the commandment of loving thy neighbor. She truly believed in forgiving seventy times seven times the sins of man…hadn’t her Lord and Savior done the same for her?

The needle approached empty as I neared Tyndall, SD. A large buck materialized as a phantom from the blackness of a South Dakota night, running head-on into the side of the U-Haul. I did not stop, kept driving toward Tyndall, wondering how much damage was caused, thanking God that the deer had not run into Dawn’s car. Oddly, I noticed no discernible damage while filling the tank of the U-Haul truck.

We arrived safely to Winner, South Dakota at 8:15 Sunday evening. Dawn made us sweat beneath her casket as I and my Parkinson’s afflicted brother, my wife and my daughter and some poor laborer from the Funeral Home struggled to extract her casket from the U-Haul truck. Dawn must have been enjoying the carnival ride she endured during our final journey together. I’m sure she was laughing at the hell I was enduring but I know too she was happy that I was saving her from the demons who tried to keep her ensnared in a grifted Ohio hell.

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