Racket in the Attic


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racket in the attic


uncle bobo

uncle bobo

is an odd fellow

some people call

him a hobo

he wears a hat

that looks like

it was sat upon

he dresses kinda sloppy

in corduroy pants

and a wrinkled tweed jacket

and sometimes a tan overcoat

with a hundred pockets inside

that carry all manner of things

like melted chocolates

and twisted black and red licorice

a wooden whistle

magic jumping beans

a pomegranate

a shark tooth and

a pet cricket

the jalopy

he drives an old jalopy

it’s sunset orange

and it’s round

like an armadillo

and has a snout on it

like an aardvark

on the dash board

are dead lady bugs

he collected

in an antique cup

“they bring good luck”

he says

and there are

dragon fly wings

and an assortment of bones

from unknown sources

and sea shells from

fairy tale island

and postcards

of betty boop

taped where uncle bobo

can see them

 while he drives

and a hoola hoop

hawaii girl who dances

when the jalopy bounces

and a nun that you wind up

and she marches

and spits sparks

and there are tons of

ostrich and peacock feathers

that blow everywhere

when the windows

are down

and there is

a harmonica strapped

to the steering wheel

and he plays songs

depending on the

curves in the road

and under the brake

there is a drum pedal

that my dad

helped him put it in

and whenever he stops

or slows down

it hits a cymbol

there is a rubber

honking horn

by his rear view mirror

and a set of chimes

dangling below it

and a tambourine

tossed like a donut

around the gear shift

and when he switches gears

it rattles and shakes

and on the

passenger side

hanging from the visor

is a triangle bell

and a spoon

so friends can play

to any of the

jalopy tunes

that uncle bobo makes

as he drives along


the magic stump

uncle bobo takes me

to the magic stump

and he says

“magic is everywhere

you just gotta find it”

and he puts me

on top of it

and tells me to

make three wishes

and it won’t be long

till i get them

“how can you get things

if you don’t wish for them?!”

he asks me

i wished to meet zob

who lives in uncle bobo’s attic

and bella boop who

is zob’s girlfriend and

lives on a shipwrecked ship

near fairy island

and i wished for a kazoo

so i could play with

uncle bobo’s hobo friends

in their jug band

in the attic or

by the railway tracks

or just play along

when we go for a ride

in the jalopy

pick a pocket

and then uncle bobo

opens his overcoat

and says

 “pick a pocket”

and i point

and he hands me

whatever is in it

i got a magic lava rock

from an erupting volcano

a big jagged tooth

from a dinosaur

and a key to

a king’s castle

a glass eye from

an albino tiger that

went blind and died

a vertebrae from

a giant jungle snake

a green fluffy feather

from a dodo bird

and a beautiful

beetle brooch

that was still alive

and uncle bobo put it

on my white shirt

and it crawled all over

and shone like a peacock

or a mallard duck

“transient jewelry”

he said

when the beetle

flew away

“enjoy things

while they visit

but let them leave

when they need to

. . . and be kind

to all creatures

cause they have feelings

like you and i do”

and then one day

i picked a pocket

and inside it was

a rainbow colored kazoo



dragons + angels

he tells

stories galore

of his hobo friends

who are really

angels and trolls

dragons and gargoyles

and they live

by the railroad tracks

and play “jug music”

and blue grass

and the blues

and drink magic potion

from mason jars

 “an elixir”

uncle bobo calls it

and they raise

their glasses and

toast to happiness

and sunsets

and they cook hot dogs

and eat beans from cans

and roast marshmallows

on stix for dessert

one of the dragons

secretly starts the fire

with a blow of his breath

and he hides his tail

and his scales

under his old rumpled suit

and big ole sloppy pants

held up with

a skipping rope

and the leprechauns

hide their curly toes

in weird shaped shoes

and the angels

hide their halos

beneath furry caps

and their wings underneath

wool sweaters with holes

and oversized coats

that are missing

their elbows

“there are angels


and dragons among us”’

uncle bobo said

“but they want to be discreet

and keep their magic secret

so they disguise themselves

and dress like human beings

like you and me

but not like zob

and that is why he

stays in the attic

but zob can camouflage

so he can go out

in the daytime too”

the junkyard boys

sometimes uncle bobo

asks his hobo friends over

to make some

racket in the attic

he calls them

his jug band and

the “junkyard boys”

i have met a few of them

at bon bons restauraunt

where we go for

smashed potatoes

sometimes  in the morning

i met al the neandrathal

he is big like an ogre

and he is a drummer

and billy who plays the banjo

and max the chatterbox

he sings and talks too much

and wolfgang who

plays washtub bass and

used to be in the circus

and leo the liar

whose pants are on fire

and jughead who eats too much

and makes sounds by

blowing into a jug

and doctor zeus

who talks like a poem

and dances like

he has ants

in his pants

miss kitty

i like to dress up

like cat woman a fairy

a jester or an elf

i have found

great clothes

in uncle bobo’s attic

and in aunt aurora’s

tickle trunk

in her school bus house

parked in the woods

along gumboot road

and uncle bobo

buys me special stuff

from antique shops

and in the basement

of churches like

my red polka dot raincoat

and the umbrella

that matches

i have a green

velvet elf outfit

with an elf hat to match

and pointy jester shoes

with bells on the toes

and a crinkly purple

ballerina skirt

and a purple feather boa

and a black cat

woman cloak with a

hood and sharp ears

and a black mask

a leopard dotted jumpsuit

and a cape to match

and a blonde curly wig

in the shape of

a beach ball

and wooden clogs

for parades

i usually wear

my leopard dotted cape

my star or heart

shaped sunglasses

and a mix mash of

whatever costumes

i fancy that day

plus i wear my magic

purple rubber boots

that uncle bobo

helped me make

by gluing on rhinestones

and medallions

and special things

that my dad gave me

and i never

go anywhere

without my magic wand

though sometimes i hide it

in my purple furry

alligator bag

with all the treasures

from uncle bobo

including my new

rainbow colored kazoo

i have a pair of

purple wings too

that i wear

for special things

like going to the zoo

or the amusing park

or to the circus

or to a parade

sometimes i wear

my purple ballerina skirt

with my purple wings

plus my purple

feather boa

my mom use to call me

“the purple people eater”

but i really don’t eat people

i just like purple

i also have a

sparkling angel halo

that i wear to the

iggledy piggledy parade

and mom used to say

“but you ain’t

no angel”

my name is kate

but uncle bobo

and his pals

call me miss kitty

and i am seven

i play with uncle bobo often

especially since my mommy

went to heaven

i have no brothers

or sisters

i live with my dad

on the farm

he is an




uncle bobo tells me

many tales about zob

“he is a creature

of fine distinction”

says uncle bobo

“he is part dragon

part sea horse

and naturally

part gargoyle”

“he swims and flies

and he can bounce

till the cows come home”

uncle bobo claims

“he knows how to breathe fire

but prefers not to

because of the incident”

he lives in the “lair”

which is the attic

in uncle bobo’s shack

also called the flophouse

and ramshackle castle

“zob likes it there”

uncle bobo says

“he likes the tunnels

and the secret passages

and there are

lots of costumes

and hiding spots

and games like twister

tic tac toe

and chinese checkers

that he plays with visitors

in the attic”

i know  zob

likes to color and paint

and write stories

on rainy days

and he comes out

on blue moons

to go for a glide

on his dragon bike

or some bouncing

off the top of the roof

so once in a blue moon

you mite see him

flying high in the sky

or bouncing in the moonlight

other times he comes out

but he camouflages

so you can’t see him

it is like he

is invisible

“he is quite

a friendly fellow

though he looks

a bit grouchy”

uncle bobo tells me

“but then he is

part gargoyle

which explains it

he must protect and defend

his kingdom the attic

and all creatures in it

but his heart

is like a cloud

where angels lay their heads

when they need a rest

white and soft

like a feather pillow

his heart isn’t gold

but perhaps it’s silver”

uncle bobo

has seen him

tough as snails

like when someone tried

to step on one

of the attic spiders

like a soldier

defending a king’s honor

he saved his friend

and prevented a day’s

worth of rain

and zob can

weep like a willow

like when he sneezed

and his girlfriend’s eyelashes

caught on fire by accident

from his uncontrollable

dragon breath

since then

he brushes and flosses

till his teeth look like chiclets

and he tries to keep

his temper in check

to prevent any more mishaps

and he plays

the bagpipes sometimes

to relieve dragon stress


bella boop

“his girlfriend’s name is

bella boop”

says uncle bobo

“she is a lovely creature

of fine distraction”

“her dad was a dragon

her mom a mermaid

she has wings and a tail

her grandpa was a gargoyle

her nana a unicorn

so she has one horn

in the middle of her head

and a gargoyle temperament”

he tells me

she has big wide eyes

and long eyelashes

like betty boop

hence the last name

and her hair is

burgundy lately

and down to her shoulders

and she has bangs

but not always

and zob calls her

missy boop

for her nic name

she practices magic

and taught zob some tricks

like how to fly through walls

without hurting his head

she also writes comics

and zob cartoons them

by painting pictures

to match her words

she plays accordion

xylophone and banjo

depending on her mood

and she lives in

a shipwrecked ship

that is half in

and half out

of the ocean

near the island

of fairies

and she sings

with the mermaids

which sounds ghostly

over the ocean

and sometimes

the angels join in chorus

like a choir

and the music

reaches heaven

lighthouses and viking

and pirate ships

she often comes

to the attic

to visit zob

and make comic books

write songs and

play music

with him

she likes bluegrass music

and brings her banjo

and accordion along

she taught zob

how to yodel

and play percussion

with spoons and a slinky

their favorite song is

“frogs went a courting”

she wrote a love song for zob

called “meet me at

the blue moon cafe”

which is where they met and

 when the incident happened

and as soon as she

hits the banjo’s d-string

their creature friends

within earshot

come out to play and sing

some fly through

the attic window

others climb the

rickety old ladder

leaning against the outside of

the ramshackle castle

and they crawl in

there are instruments

everywhere in the lair

an old church organ

bells, chimes and bongos

a rickety old piano

a harmonica

and half an angel’s harp

sometimes bella’s xylophone

banjo and accordion

and of course zob’s bagpipes

plus a tambourine, trumpet

a tuba and a trombone

an old washtub bass

a fiddle, some cymbols

and other gadgets and gizmos

to bang on and blow

strum and hit

everyone that comes

must join in

and make a wonderful

racket in the attic

blue moon

i had been to

the lair before

but never met zob

or bella boop

but uncle bobo says

“don’t despair”

and that “patience

is a virtue”

sometimes i hear

music in the attic and

i have seen zob’s paintings

scattered on the floor

i have even seen

his self-portrait

on an old wooden easel

and a manual by zob called

“the art of

delicate dragon breath”

and i have also

spotted cartoon books

made by him

and bella boop

but one day

inside the ramshackle castle

while visiting uncle bobo

i hear a sound

a note on a banjo

“oh . . . oh . . .

that sounds like the d-string”

said uncle bobo

“you know what that means?!”

my heart beat so fast

i thought

 i was a drummer

“there’s going to be

some racket in the attic”

he whispered

i could hear sounds

. . . footsteps

i could hear instruments

being picked up

he put his fingers to his lips

and waved  me to follow

we climbed up the ladder

through the trap door

and snuck quietly

into the attic

i cud hear

bells and chimes and

the old church organ

being wound

and some notes

on the xylophone

as my heart

beat like a bongo

as we got closer and closer

till we entered the lair

racket in the attic

i saw glimpses of

dragon scales and tails

and angel wings

as some of the musicians

took off their old

sweaters and overcoats

and others loosened

their skipping ropes

i saw al the neandrathal

with drum sticks

in his hands

and max the chatterbox

standing on a soap box

and i saw billy

picking up a banjo

and i spot doctor zeus

and leo the liar

and jug head

and more of

uncle bobo’s pals

and friends of

zob and bella boop’s

i am sure too

and they set up

their instruments

like they were part of

an orchestra

then we heard

noises on the roof

“shhhh, listen . . .”

said uncle bobo

and we all got quiet

and then we could hear

bagpipes outside

“that’s zob playing

for bella boop”

it sounded like

a beautiful love tune

and then the bagpipes stopped

and i heard a bounce

. . . then two

as i remember

that i forgot

that tonite

is a blue moon

so they were

going for a glide

and i’d have to

meet them later

or some other time

al the neanderthal

started drumming on a pail

wolfgang picked up

the hockey stick

attached to the washtub

by srtings and

started plucking them

and jug head was blowing

into a big glass jug

and  chaterbox max

was still on the box

and he started singing

“frog went a courting”

for zob and bella boop

but he kept

changing the words

but it was still

the same tune

and doctor zeus

started dancing

like a lunatic

“zob went a courting

and he did bounce uh-huh

zob went a courting

and he did bounce

off the roof

into the midnite sky

uh huh

he met missy boop

down at the

shipwrecked ship


and they flew off

into the blue moon dusk


he looked missy boop

rite in her eyes

and said bella boop

wont u be my bride
uh huh uh huh uh huh

missy boop did bat her eyes


missy boop said

will you marry me too

across the roof

as the blue moon shone

uh-huh . . .”

and the room lit up

from the glow of

halos of angels

as the other musicians

took off their hats

and tukes and joined in

and their halo glow

shone onto

big wide dragon grins

and the leprechauns

prickly faces

and the trolls

furry pointy ears

“he played a love tune

for missy boop uh-huh”

the dragon breathe

warmed up the room

as they blew through

trumpets and trombones

and part of a big red tuba

the leprechauns

were dancing on

the old church organ

hitting notes with

their curly toes

and a troll was jumping and

shaking with tambourines

tied to his knees

and another one was

doing somersaults

off the piano

the angels hit

bells and chimes

with drumsticks

and silver spoons

and one played

half a harp that hung

from the ceiling

and i played the kazoo

and marched with cymbols

around the room

and pluncked notes

on bella’s xylophone

and we all took turns

on each instrument

like musical chairs

drumming on everything

that was in our path

and blowing in anything

that created a

sound or a squeak

we sang and we danced

and we banged things

and we made a

racket in the attic

for zob and bella boop

while they bounced

around the blue moon

and we decided to keep going

like there was no tomorrow

we decided to keep

singing and playing

till the gargoyle dragons

came home


Kat at Lennox 2

More fairy-tales to come …




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