Iowa Writes

Big Robbery

I'm pulling off a big robbery with Vincent Price and another guy. We go out a window and into an alley. The cops are there. Our arms are loaded with cash. The cops order everybody to freeze. One guy runs. The cops shoot. Vincent drops his money. Cop grabs my money and Vincent's and takes off. His partner screams and takes off after him. We take off. I'm running, running. I see some kids. I say, "Did you see a guy come through here running?" They say, "Oh yeah we saw a guy. He shoved a buncha money in a milk chute." I say, "You take me and I cut you in." They take me. I say, "Hey, you kids are gonna be rich." One kid says, "Nah, I don't want it, it's a Federal offense." I say, "Hey, what do you think this is? You think you're at home having pasta with the family?" We get the money. I can't believe it. I start grabbing big stacks of bills. I say, "How much do you want?" The talky kid says, "Oh, twenty bucks. I just want to try out some new cigarettes." I can't believe it. "No, no," I say. "Are you nuts? Take some money." "I don't want it," he says. "OK, here, take a hundred dollars." He says, "OK." I start counting it out. More cops show up at the end of the alley. They say, "What's going on?" I say, "Nothing, Officer. I'm the boys' uncle and this is play money for their club. They're just playing."

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Peter Balestrieri is a writer and musician. He has writing in Notre Dame Review, Mandorla, and Deluxe Rubber Chicken. His visual poetry appears in local and international exhibitions. As a musician, he's toured and recorded extensively, most notably with the rock group Violent Femmes. He lives in Iowa City.

This page was first displayed
on August 02, 2006

Find us on Facebook