Black Petals Issue #91, Spring, 2020

The Clown Loved Cherry Lipstick
BP Artists and Illustrators
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
A Hole in the Somewhere-Fiction by Richard Brown
Everything Echoes-Fiction by Todd M. Guerra
Exit to Dove's Tail-Fiction by Ken Goldman
I Dream of Fire-Fiction by Matthew Penwell
Living Doll-Fiction by Carl Hughes
Angelika's Tough Decision-Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Cat-Fiction by Chris Alleyne
The Demon-Fiction by Misty Page
The Run-Fiction by Thomas Runge D'Amore
We Are the Monsters We Seek-Fiction by Karen Heslop
Brother of Mine-Flash Fiction by D. C. Plump
New Terror-Flash Fiction by Denis Alvarez Betancourt
The Flapping Thing-Flash Fiction by Robert Masterson
The Clown Loved Cherry Lipstick-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Ganymede-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Space Probe RH 120-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
The Buffoon-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Just Another Day in My House-Poem by Tom Davidson
Blue Bell Hill Beast-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Plum Island-Poem by Richard Stevenson
The Thing in the Woods-Poem by Loris John Fazio

The Clown Loved Cherry Lipstick


Daniel G. Snethen


Bobo's mother was a circus tramp.

His father was some guy named John.

Bobo started juggling at age seven.

At six he had an orange giraffe tattoo

and routinely rolled his own smokes.


Bobo's mother wore bright red lipstick

and kissed him every morning and night.

Bobo loved his mother and the flavor

of her bright red cherry lipstick very much.


One evening Bobo was waiting for the taste

of cherry lipstick and his mother's wet kiss.

Bobo's mother was a circus whore.

Another John, not Bobo's dad, strangled her

rather than pay her the two bits she earned.


Bobo didn't run away to join the circus

he was already in the circus and the friendly

clowns took the poor orphan in and treated

him well, teaching him clownsmanship.


Bobo the happy clown was a sad clown.

He painted his smile on with cherry lipstick.

He kissed his mother's tattered picture religiously,

every night and every morning,

leaving a cherry flavored smudge.

Bobo never married, never had kids

and never smiled inside. Bobo made

others smile and laugh and feel love

with his painted on crimson smile of

his mother's cherry flavored lipstick.


One morning Bobo woke up,

dressed and kissed his mother's photograph.

There was no cherry flavored smudge.

Bobo had used up his mother's lipstick.

The rest of the clowns found poor Bobo,

his lips cut off, pasted to his mother's lips

and his head blown off by a 12-guage.

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.