This was performed last night with fellow local writer Deb Jannerson, whose own book Rabbit Rabbit, was just recently released. Check her out! Just not in the way this guy did.

by Zach Bartlett


Poets don’t need frilled shirts and giant quills,
I now sit with my laptop shining bright.
I only hope the typed-up verse instills
desire to go home with me tonight.
Such women flock this bar that I may woo
them with my rather dull poetic chops.
Show them blank verse confessionals I do,
then watch their little freshmen panties drop.
Don’t mind that I’ve a graduate degree,
and they attend the same school where I teach.
Oh, it’s a leggy blonde one that I see —
She’ll fawn once I start quoting “Dover Beach!”
If my Apple’s not enough to convince,
I’ll make a Greek mythology reference.

Read More »

Right There, Jeeves

Another multiple-choice misadventure! I can’t figure out a way to make these interactive on the blog, so I’ll just post the route the audience at Esoterotica decided to take, though there were two fully separate paths to take through the story.
I’m not sure whether P.G. Wodehouse would roll in his grave or merely smile and wink if he found out about this.

Right There, Jeeves: A Multiple Choice Misadventure
by Zach Bartlett

It’s the roaring 20s. You’re an English upperclass twit by the name of Bertie Wooster and, oh man, it’s about time you got around to sleeping with that butler of yours.

You’d thought that going to the agency and asking for a “gentleman’s personal gentleman” was straightforward enough. How were you supposed to know that term was an actual not-sex-related occupation at that point in time? Anyways, being British and all, you were far too polite to try and correct the agency on the matter and had just settled into having a normal platonic valet for the last year. You figured maybe it would just take some hint-dropping, though you’re not a subtle man.

He’s saved you from enough ill-advised engagements to various women in the last year that you’d think he’d HAVE to have figured your inclinations out. (And I don’t know how much of a social faux-pas being gay was in England at this time so you can’t just out and tell him. How convenient for the plot!)

Presently, two of you are in your quarters at Blandings Castle, getting ready for the banquet the Earl of Blandings is throwing to celebrate his beloved Berkshire sow ranking second in the annual Shropshire Agricultural Show.

You’ve read enough bodice-ripping romance novels to know that heated arguments can sometimes progress to elaborately-described make-out scenes, and you’ve orchestrated one you know will rile Jeeves. As you stand at the mirror affixing your collar, you remove an oversized purple and orange houndstooth bowtie from your pocket, slip it around your neck and begin to tie.

There’s a single quiet cough from behind you, and you can tell from his reflection that frost has begun to form on the butler’s upper slopes.

“Do you have something you’d like to say, Jeeves?”

“Sir. I should advise you that tie may not be the best aesthetic compliment to your more conservative dinner jacket.”

Oh, he tries so hard to stay polite when you’re acting a fool just because that’s what he’s paid to do — it’s fucking adorable.

To give in to his charms and put on a black tie, turn to page 2.

To resist, in hopes of a heated argument that stiffens more than his upper lip, turn to page 3.

Read More »

The XXX Files

Esoterotica’s fandom-themed show opened with this duet I co-wrote with the producer.
If any of you want to conduct your own investigation, you can find plenty of suspicious objects at:

Mulder: Scully, I think we have enough evidence to reopen the Saint Claude case.

Scully: Wasn’t that the one about the conspicuously stress-free women?

Mulder: Someone claiming to be a witness has finally come forward with photographic evidence of the mysterious object that was reportedly present at each of the incident sites.

(Mulder shows the audience a blurry photo:

MakeThisBlurrier )
Read More »

You Can’t Fire Me, I Hit It & Quit It

This was written on short notice for Esoterotica’s NSFW-themed show, so it went a little…base, let’s say…with its humor. But I never liked cream sauces anyway.

Nocturnal Admissions: You Can’t Fire Me, I Hit It & Quit It
By Zach Bartlett

I would have known that Warren was a chef, even if most of his stories didn’t involve coke at some point, because he always wore those houndstooth-patterned pants. He scheduled his appointments right after his shifts so that he’d be sure to have a good hour of coked-up lucidity before he had to pass out for the morning. Mostly we deal with his job-related stress, but last night was the first time we dealt with some relationship trouble.

“I need to find a new gig, that’s what’s pissing me off,” he began.

“I thought things were going well? You work with your dealer.”
Read More »