Why a Naked SunFish?
Back Issues

A Decade of Nakedness!
by Rick Brown

When my buddy Dan gave me a website for my 50th birthday, I’m not sure he realized 10 years down the line he would still be webmaster. (You do the math on my current age.) Naked Sunfish is not only still around, it has gotten to be a large community of artists, writers, poets, and culinary connoisseurs. Each and every one of these talented people, and especially Dan and myself, has worked to publish a wonderful electronic magazine simply for the joy of doing it. (Okay – maybe there’s been a free official t-shirt or baseball cap in the deal but still … ) To everyone, and Dan in particular since he provides us all the opportunity, I say a hearty “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

Titled after a band I played guitar for in high school, Naked Sunfish (the web journal) has eclipsed its namesake immensely. From humble beginnings we have become the very first electronic magazine catalogued at Ohio State University Libraries and developed a solid readership base. I appreciate everyone who has contributed. But if I may be so bold, I will say our current lineup is the most diverse and eclectic ensemble in our 10-year history. With those who were here from the beginning, writers Ted Kane and John Bennett, to more recent additions, artists C. Mehrl Bennett, Morris Jackson, and Amy McCrory, poet Dennis Toth, cartoonist Sue Olcott, restaurant reviewer Mark Balson, recipe expert and gourmet cook Jim Eaton, and writers Elisa Phillips and Shawn Gaines, combined with great guest writers and the superb photography of Dan Eley … I believe Naked Sunfish boasts talent rivaling anyone anywhere. Kudos to all!

I also have to mention the privilege of having the opportunity to review performances from Shadowbox Live and Raconteur Theater here in Columbus. I appreciate the respect these theater troupes have given myself and Naked Sunfish, making us not only a serious press presence, but a player in a greater part of the community.

So as Dr. John Bennett would say, “ONWARD!” (I would add “Nakedly!) Here’s a toast to a great past and an even greater future! To a continuing creative community that spawns poetry, beauty, fiction, non-fiction, books, discussion, food, travel … all the good things this life has to offer! Enjoy our 10th Anniversary Issue!!!

In Memory

by Dennis Toth

Old beliefs die hard,
My friend.
The workers paradise
And all
The glorious future
You once invested with
Hopes and dreams.
Mere objects that have
Stumbled into the furnace
(Like that stupid sled
At the movie's end).

During the waning days
You often asked me
To close a window
That wasn't there
While you enjoyed,
In your hospital bed,
A pleasant bus ride
Down Fifth Avenue.

I spared you from
The priest you didn't want
(But only because you
Had to beat the doctor's
Estimate – patience may not
Have been your biggest virtue).

Once the bed was stripped
And empty,
I was left with many things.
Old clothes and socks
And many, many clocks
(None of which were in


The Non Fiction Theater of the Truly Mundane
proudly presents:

Sous Chef

by Rick Brown

Scene: the first floor of an average house in an American Midwestern neighborhood. The kitchen is center stage front, while a dining area is directly behind. Stage right is the living room and stage left is a small backroom with a fireplace. Rick is facing the audience behind a stove and is just finishing his annual Holiday Squash-Chestnut Soup. Sitting to his left, slightly behind him in the doorway between the dining room and kitchen, is Henri, a white Bichon Frise. Henri is watching Rick intently.

Rick (to Henri) – Almost done Bubba Boy!

Henri wags his tale.

Rick – I appreciate your help and support poochie!

Henri continues to stare.

Rick – You know … I don’t ordinarily do this Henri … but would you like to taste my soup? After three hours on my feet, behind a hot stove, I could use a little feedback. And I know your discriminating taste Baby Bubba!

Henri is getting excited.

Rick ladles a very small taste of soup into a cup and places it on the floor next to him.

Rick – let me know what you think … if you like it.

Henri appears a bit nonplussed, but soon slowly saunters over to the cup, sniffs the soup, then devours it. Immediately upon finishing, Henri runs into the living room and wipes his face across the entire length of the couch.


The dog crosses the room and wipes the other side of his face along the length of the loveseat.


The dog then scampers into the dining area, plunging his face into the wall-to-wall carpet.

The dog, seemingly possessed, gets up, charges into the back room and repeats the face wiping on the loveseat.


Suddenly the dog drops to the floor next to the loveseat and lets out a giant sigh.


After about ½ a minute Henri, his face fur with anarchist askew-ness, strolls back into the kitchen to his previous observational spot, sits down and stares intently again at Rick.

Rick – Uh … I’m taking that as a “Yes, I like it”.



Rick – his chef-ness
Henri – his sous chef-ness

The Non Fiction Theater of the Truly Mundane
proudly presents:

New Year’s Eve

by Rick Brown

Scene: The living room of an old farmhouse. An overstuffed couch is stage right and a mismatched overstuffed chair sets stage left. Center stage, but closer to the chair is a television. The 1971 New Year’s Eve Times Square coverage is being shown on the TV. Behind the couch is a staircase leading to the second story. A 20 year old Rick sits watching in the chair while his father (affectionately known as Snook) sits on the couch with his feet on a coffee table directly in front of him.

Rick – Wow. There sure are a lot of people out there in the cold waiting for the New Year!

Snook grunts.

Rick – Must be exciting!

Snook takes his feet off the coffee table, stands and turns left to begin walking up the staircase.

Rick – Dad! What are you DOING? It’s 10 minutes until midnight and you’re going to BED?!!

Snook (putting his foot on the first step, turning to his son, waving his hand dismissively) – Awwwww! The ball comes down. The number lights up. It’s the same goddamned thing every year Ricky!


Rick – his 20-year-old self
Snook – his Snookish self
1972 – The Same Goddamned Thing

Torch Songs
Shadowbox Live Stage 2

Worly Building
The Brewery District
Columbus, Ohio

by Rick Brown

Smoke & Mirrors

Shadowbox Live

Worly Building
The Brewery District
Columbus, Ohio

by Rick Brown

Body Language
Shadowbox Live

Worly Building
The Brewery District
Columbus, Ohio

by Rick Brown

Rick's book, Best Bites is available at:

Morris Jackson

Lindsay Gallery Exhibit

Eye of Grass ~ Foot of Moon
C. Mehrl Bennett


Man with a Drum
by Amy McCrory


by Rick Brown

Hmmm # 37
The trouble
with depending on
volunteers is
you are
depending on

Hmmm # 38
Truth is,
one size
never fits

Hmmm # 39
Once something
is fixed
begins breaking

Hmmm # 40
lacking ambiguity
or doubt,
is dogma
devoid of
the spiritual.

Hmmm # 41
If a driver
is it
“on purpose”?

A Decade Behind the Curtain
by Dan (The Wiz) Eley

10 years of doing anything on the web, especially just for the joy of it, is rare indeed. As Rick mentions in A Decade of Nakedness! across the page, this site was my 50th birthday present to him. At the time, I knew very little about HTML programming and web page design ... but I wanted to learn ... as well as re-connect with my best friends Rick & Yvonne.

I had moved away from Ohio to New York late in 1995, and as often happens ... I started drifting away from friends (remember, this was way before Facebook ... AOL was the big thing...). My trips to Ohio to visit family and friends went from 6-8 times a year to 1-2 times ... and Rick, Yvonne and I talked less and less often.

In 2001, Rick was writing for Crapshoot!, Ted Kane’s e-zine and seemed to be enjoying challenge of writing “for the masses” instead of just for himself. You see, Rick was always a writer. One of the first things I remember about Rick was the big black book he always kept nearby ... his journal. In here, he documented life as he saw it ... and as I grew to know Rick better, I realized there were many volumes. So, I saw offering to provide Rick a platform to publish his writings not only a great birthday gift, but a way that would bring us back together.

If you look back at Issue #1, you will see that we have come a long way. Our web page design is cleaner (actually, there has been 3-4 variations) ... but we have kept certain elements ... logo, colors .. and yes, you can still click on the logo and learn “Why a Naked Sunfish” as well as click on Rick’s name in the upper right corner to see a photo of Rick and me when we were a tad younger! Also, beginning in Issue #2, Ted Kane joined Naked Sunfish writing his column, Pot Luck ... and in issue #5, John Bennett joined with Blank Sight ... both who have never missed an issue since they started contributing.

As I said above, you’ll have a hard time finding a site that has been publishing on the web for 10 years without pop-up ads or somehow making a buck ... but we have ... and it’s been a blast.

Somewhere along the way, Rick and our others writers started to refer to me as “the Wiz” ... a nickname I like but am not sure I deserve. But as in Oz, I will say “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” .. but rather enjoy the writing and art presented between these virtual pages.

And while I won’t be the one to tell Rick “let go fool, let go” ... being a sailor ... I might just say ease off the wind buddy ... and let’s enjoy the ride.

by Sue Olcott

Click Here

Mistuh Wick (Part II)

by Rick Brown

( Mistuh Wick Part I )

We had just gotten married a few weeks earlier. It was a real hustle making ends meet. Yvonne was in her final year of college and I had just graduated a week before our wedding. It seemed as if life was racing 100 miles an hour, yet standing completely still all at once. And to try to make ends meet both of us worked a second job at a Dominos Pizza. Yvonne answered phones. I delivered pizza.

One night late I stood in the doorway of a young couple’s apartment handing over a hot pie. The two weren’t much different than us, except they had two dogs … and she was very pregnant. The pooches were adorable and I commented as much.

“Poodle and Old English Sheepdog mix” the young mother to be informed me.

I thought, “Ouch!” loud enough that I thought they might have heard.

“We’re giving one away if you’re interested.” the man said cautiously, while eying me up and down.

“You know. Because of the baby, we can’t really afford both and we need the space.” the young woman added.

I glanced around the tiny apartment, immediately understanding their plight. And without giving a thought I blurted out, “I’d be glad to give one a home.”

Since the two of us were just getting used to living together, and had never … ever …discussed having a pet, I kept this to myself for the time being. I mean, how could a woman I was willing to marry not like dogs? That’s what I was thinking ... all night long in bed.


The Non Fiction Theater of the Truly Mundane
proudly presents:

Whipping Post!

by Rick Brown

Scene: St. John Arena on the Ohio State University campus. The year is 1973, after the deaths of Allman Brothers guitarist Duane Allman and bassist Berry Oakley. It is the band’s “Brothers and Sisters” tour. Rick and Yvonne sit far from the stage in a lower bowl section of the arena in a sold out concert. 6 or 7 rows of concertgoers are visible to the audience with the concert stage out of sight. The Allman Brothers can be heard playing “Ramblin’ Man”. Most fans are passing around joints. The seating section is filled with marijuana smoke.

Rick – Pretty good seats huh?

Yvonne – I think I’m getting a contact high.

Very Stoned Man (2 rows behind them) – WHIPPING POOOOOOOOSSSSST!!!

Yvonne – Man … that guy has been yelling that forever.

Rick – He’s excited I guess.

The band begins playing “Melissa”.


Rick – Is that guy gonna yell that out every song that isn’t “Whipping Post”?

Yvonne – I’m betting on it.

Soon the band begins playing Elmore James’ “One Way Out”.


Yvonne – Told ya.

Very Stoned Man (with more urgency) – WHIPPING POOOOOOOSSSSST!!!!!!

People in the section are now glaring at the Very Stoned Man.

Rick – this guy is gonna ruin the show for everybody if he doesn’t shut up.

Yvonne – Maybe they’ll play it soon. Have you ever seen so much pot in your life?

Rick – not so far.

The Allman Brothers begin playing the opening strains of “Whipping Post”.
Almost everyone in the arena section turns to look at the Very Stoned Man. He is now smiling broadly … eyes closed tightly. People sigh and settle in for a long, enjoyable jam.

Yvonne – Finally!

The band is heard for about 3 minutes. Gregg Allman begins singing the song’s second verse.



Rick – himself
Yvonne – herself
Concertgoers – themselves
The Allman Brothers – The Allman Brothers
Very Stoned Man – his very stoned self


Issue 1 - January 2002