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     Marshmallows & Despair
     by David Ossman

David Ossman, one of the four creators of The Firesign Theatre, three-time Grammy nominees, known as “The Beatles of Comedy,” has been publishing poetry in books, anthologies and magazines since his teen years.  
Most of the poems in Marshmallows & Despair were first heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, the Firesign’s gold-medal-winning XM Satellite program, Fools In Space, and the web’s Radio Free Oz.  

An internationally-celebrated radio writer-director, best known for The War of the Worlds 50th Anniversary Production, Ossman has also produced major programs with John Cage, Ray Bradbury and Norman Corwin.  As “George Tirebiter,” he ran a national comedy campaign for U.S. Vice-President in 1976, is the voice of “Cornelius” in Pixar’s A Bug’s Life, and has adapted Agatha Christie’s BBC Murders, Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus and an e. e. cummings cabaret for stage.  

Ossman was born Dec. 6, 1936 in Santa Monica, California, graduated from Columbia University, and has lived on Whidbey Island, Washington, with his wife and partner, Judith Walcutt, for thirty years.  They have two sons, Orson, a filmmaker, and Preston, a musician. He is currently finishing a second memoir, Fighting Clowns.

Marshmallows & Despair
by David Ossman

David Ossman's shocking, awesome, poetic coverage of 21st Century War and Politics, tales of neo-noir nights in strange places, poems of aging, dying, and seeking refuge. 

This definitive collection celebrates Ossman’s 79th birthday and features a captivating cast that includes Beat St. Jack, Banana Clip Republicans, Funny Skydivers, as well as an Elegy to Rock Snot. 

You’ll be sold on Presidential Butts In Butter, exposed to Heisenberg at Holmes Harbor, visit the House of Garden Gnomes, and celebrate the Tulku’s Birthday.  

Enjoy a healthy dose of Ossman's Firesign humor matched with his own outrage, anguish and hope.

ISBN  978-0-9903565-7-8
96 pages
5.5"x8.5" perfect bound, paper

To purchase this book in paperback click HERE.

     Order Your Autographed Copy Here!

Your autographed copy of David Ossman's compelling new poetry collection, MARSHMALLOWS & DESPAIR awaits!

Each book is signed, numbered, and limited to a single edition of only 100 books.


United States Delivery: $25.00 USD each

International Delivery: $40.00 USD each

To purchase a signed and numbered edition click HERE.

     Book Excerpt


Black Hawk Cellphone Nightmare

You can read while you chat while you vedge while you phone
while you eat ‘cause you can from a can on the can in your van
on the lam from Black Hawks overhead in your head.

Get a grip, it’s your trip, you can game while you smile
while you colon close parentheses smile,
watch DVDs in your BVDs
24/7 on line takeout in a 7-11 neon heaven
you’re right at home where the Smiling Slushy Guy
who helps on the fly,
takes out each Black Hawk that’s landin’ in your head.

Listen in, your phone is ringin’ Dragnet, it’s ringin’ Star Wars,
it’s ringin’ 8 Mile, listen Sk8erBoi, it’s downloadin’
your stock market investment portfolio Happy Funds Account
while you freekin’ vedge! While you duck the sneaky feelin’
you’re a gamer loser gamer over under heavy fire from the
Black Hawks still circlin’ in your head.

Hey, you can still sing karaoke with some Okie if you wanna
from Okefenokee to Old Smokey
on the little color screen
big as the book of matches you don’t carry
‘cause you’re not smokin’ like you used to, no sir,
you’re drinkin’ water from Jakarta
and jokin’ on the phone to Joan, you know it’s Joan
‘cause there’s her picture, bright as a two-billion-year-old galaxy
clear as midnight on the Tigris
there on the little screen
on the foldable phone
that rings and rings like a man in a music-box
and rings all night like a sax singin’ in a subway
where you dream you’re joggin’ in your Vicky underwear
under where the Black Hawks keep stalkin’ the last pockets
of resistance
in the wireless wonderworld of your post-war pomme-de-terre.


Reading David Ossman is like finding yourself caught up in a whirlwind of whimsy and dark augury. Imagine you're trying to run through a dust devil, arms flailing and hair flying and Ossman's poems are like looking up through the funnel and seeing the sun.  David Ossman is an acute observer who makes flesh the Walpole dictum: "The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think."

Bart Baxter  Poet, Pilot, World Traveller & Master of Ceremonies

"We all knew there was a poetry in the madness of Firesign Theater, but there’s also an inspired madness in the poetry of Firesign’s David Ossman. Marshmallows & Despair reveals the heart that has always been at the center of Ossman’s work, changing the way one thinks about his comedy, and all comedy for that matter. With a light touch and delirious passion, Ossman takes us on a journey that is both personal and universal. Transcendent."

Douglas Rushkoff  author of Present Shock.   

"A compelling diary of the first years of the century, these genial and biting poems remind us of the uniquely literary dimension of Ossman's old group, Firesign Theatre, and can be read alongside the broadcasts and albums of their great late period."

Jeremy Braddock  Cornell University, Modernist Studies Book Prize winner.  

"Funny, deeply layered, and subversive."

John Goodman  Unforgettable film, television, stage, and voice actor