-CNN 7/23/2010

With the Death Star in foreclosure,
and the Storm Troopers laid off,
he had begun to doubt his
unwavering faith
that the Force would be with him.

Not even his old pal Jabba
was willing to grant him a loan
to pay his child’s support anymore,
citing too high a credit risk
in an unstable galactic economy.

The bank surveillance camera showed
a nervous cyborg dressed in camouflage,
one mechanical hand pointing
a lightsaber at the scared young teller;
but it was the heavy breathing
that had ultimately
tipped off authorities.

And as he fled the scene that morning,
Darth Vader felt a tinge of nostalgia
for the good old days,
when he could warp speed himself
out of anything,
or choke a man unconscious
if he really needed to escape.

He despised the life of the petty criminal,
preferring to smash rebel alliances
and seize their assets,
play all those Jedi mind-tricks
that had once earned him a reputation
as CEO of the dark side,

before the bailouts
and calls for reform came,
when the growth of the Empire
had still seemed inevitable,
a long time ago,
in a galaxy far, far away.

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CLINT MARGRAVE is the author of Salute the Wreckage (2016) and The Early Death of Men (2012), both published by NYQ Books. His stories and poems have also appeared in The New York Quarterly, Rattle, Cimarron Review, Word Riot, 3AM, Bartleby Snopes, decomP, Ambit (UK), as well as in the recent LA Fiction Anthology: Southland Stories by Southland Writers by Red Hen Press. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

6 responses to “Darth Vader Holds Up a New York Bank”

  1. Irene Zion says:


    This is wonderful!
    Poems don’t usually make me laugh and then make me think things that aren’t funny.
    Excellent work.

  2. Black Dog says:

    Very entertaining, Clint. I think I may be a kindred spirit- you’re poetic sensibilities are dangerously similar to mine. Here’s a quicky…

    James Bond (in drag)

    The key to our prosperity is in a deposit box
    Thank god I wore my bobby socks
    You see they’re really the kiss of death
    Emitting a gas that kills in a single breath

    I can hold my breath for a very long time
    I practice it while I’m waiting in line
    To use the crowded women’s latrines
    And if that weren’t enough I have to squat when I’m peeing.

    I got laser beam nipples
    And a switchblade dildo
    If the batteries run out
    I use Tai-Kwan-Do

    Got lipstick of death
    Mascara of doom
    Men pay attention
    When I enter the room

    I jump out of planes
    To feel the wind up my skirt
    It takes me two hours
    To get ready for work

    I seduce who I want
    To get the info I need
    I’m a women at heart
    But I never bleed

  3. Clint Margrave says:

    Thank you both!

  4. dwoz says:

    …if I told them once, I told them a thousand times…”Sith Lord first, THEN puppet show!”

  5. Marianne says:

    I love your work!

  6. Clint Margrave says:

    Thanks, M! The feeling is mutual!

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