Friday, June 23, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.



The Barlow knife was stuck about shoulder high in the hot bark of the old tree. Shoulder high to a nine year old isn’t that high, I guess. But there it was. I was half delirious from fishing and Florida sun – the kind that sticks to your skin. Of course, knife-loving boy that I was, my first thought was to pocket the thing. Then, knife-loving boy that I was, I thought, “dang, someone might be coming back lookin’ for that.” 

I had, myself, left a knife in a tree by a stream a year before. Even though I knew it was dumb while I was doing it. Even though my Grandpa had told me - always in the hand or the pocket. And someone took my knife. I know, ‘cause I went back the next day at first light. It was gone. 

And it had hurt me.

Then, I looked at it closer. Saw the muck where the steel met the wood. That knife had been there a while. I shook the sticky drops of sun off my face, put my rod down. This? This was a conundrum. Wasn’t nobody coming back for that old Barlow knife. But. 

But, hell, how long had it been there? There was something almost sacred about it. I knew it was filled with the memory of fishing trips and campfires and that it still held the memory of the hand that had held it. Who was I to take the Barlow from the Pine? No Arthur, I. Just a knife-loving boy who loved stories and saw a bunch of them in the patina of that old steel. The way the scales were rubbed smooth in parts. The scratch marks on the blade that told me someone had sharpened it on a wheel. 

Just like my Grandpa did with his work knives. 

I don’t remember how long I stared at that knife. And I’ll allow that time has probably prettied up the patina on the memory, but I do know that it was enough to stop a fish-loving boy from fishing. At least for a day.

Straight flummoxed. Ethics and all. I was a morally precocious boy, born feeling guilty.

I went home and sharpened my knives. The right way. Not out of any disrespect. Just because it gave me more time to think. And I had a whetstone the size of a pink eraser. 

I didn’t have a grinding wheel. 

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, June 16, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.


Everybody come on down; the cat man is singing. It ain’t a question of the words, but the heart and soul he’s bringing. Pull up a patch of grass, and pass that fucker my way next. Put your fucking phone away. There’ll be other times to text.

How many chances you gonna get to sit in the grass with your friends while the cat man plays?
Tweak the crystal chandelier pain. Come inside son, you’ll die of rain. Die of rain? Won’t I just get wet? 
You’re an adult now; don’t get upset. 

What the fuck will it do to the suede? Your tears aren’t helping, though they’re custom made…
Stare at the sun until you see spots? I see spots everywhere. There’s that spot over there – under that tree. You can’t see because of how low the willow branches hang. Come on over, hear, and spark that thang.

The cat man’s getting inside you now. He lives in your diaphragm. He controls your heart. You open to closing? Hell, that’s a start. Close your mind, close your windows, close your soul, soft innuendos – the cat man can do it all. And you’ll see that right before you fall. 

See you next Spring. 

Have a good trip.

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, June 9, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!


Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.


You want a refund for that bum advice you got? You seek redemption in the knick-knack crap you bought. You’re rethinking things and everything looks weak and shimmery on the edges. Like your brain stood up too fast. And part of you is thinking, shit, I’m fucked. While part of you is thinking, how can I make this charming phenomenon last?

You get lost in the spin and noise so you silence it with more new toys. You’re like the preacher’s daughter – always teasing the boys. Except you tease yourself. I’m no doctor, but that’s gotta be bad for your health. Aim for what you want. But pick carefully. 

Everyone wishes for wealth.

You got to try something different, fool. Don’t you see that? I know it’s easy to rationalize. Believe me, I got writer’s eyes. But you lose something every time you stay the course. You die a little every time you accept the second-hand mangled version you could have tapped at the source. If this was the Old West, hell, you’d already be on your horse. 


Of course. 

Of course. 


Quit nodding. It doesn’t mean you’re listening. It doesn’t mean a damn thing. Like your cousin’s Christening. At least everyone got to enjoy a potluck with that one. Son, with you it’s gonna take an intervention. 

So, before I go, I thought I’d mention…

No one cares as much as they say they do. It’s a game, putting the foot on the other shoe. It’s not pretty, but I’m not gonna dress it up for you. You’re lucky if you meet a dozen people in your life worth the price of admission. You don’t have to believe me; it’s true. 

Hell, it’s simple addition.


#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, June 2, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!


Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.

You sit there, Basset Hound eyes, hands twitching like a tweaker with Parkinson’s, and you expect me to say … what? Everything is going to be OK? Can’t you feel it? I know you don’t hear it, but can’t you fucking smell it? I can. It smells like paranoia and cheap cologne. It feels like there’s a toddler in the corner, mewling, “Just leave me alone!” When all you’re trying to do is explain why it’s not safe to play in the street.

You’re gonna get run over, son.

I’m not your enemy, and I don’t aim to be the agent of anyone’s demise. I do not direct nervous breakdowns. You want to break? I get it. But it’s something you kind of have to do on your own. Ain’t nobody going to tell you how to fuck your life up. And maybe, when someone tells you how not to, you should listen.

Look at me when I’m talking to you.

You got that slick-grease guilt sweat coming out of every pore. Shit, it’s making me nervous. So, you gotta choice, I reckon. 

You gonna play in that traffic?


#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, May 26, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.


He ran by me so fast I barely had time to flinch. Big guy, must have been closer to seven feet than six. He ran by and slapped me in the belly, and I took the handoff like I’d done a thousand times, only when I looked down I was holding a gun not a football and the guy who tackled me was wearing polyester and handcuffs not shoulder pads. 

I was up against the wall before I could blink. He was spitting mad. For real. All up in my face with his getting redder and redder. Shouting questions without waiting for the answers. Then, the cruiser. Then, the tiny room. And I’m trying to tell them I don’t know nothing about no gun. Some fool just slapped it to me and ran by. They kept me there all morning. 

Jones was waiting at the park when they finally let me go. He slapped me in the belly again. This time with a bag full of hundreds. I smiled so big I thought my head might bust. 

“You think they bought it?”


“Don’t they always? Now, where to next … I’ve always wanted to hit Miami up…”

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, May 19, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.



Failure

My eyes won’t open. Why won’t my eyes open? I keep telling ‘em. I say, "eyes, open the fuck up." Ain’t nothing getting done if you don’t. But it ain’t like I can’t open my eyes. Not like can’t can’t. You hold a gun to my head, and I’ll get those eyes open. But I won’t see. You can’t make me see, no matter how many ways you try to do it. 

My brain is on fire. I feel the heat. I don’t like any part of it. Like that red-cheeked shame you get when you smile at a girl and she whispers into her friend’s ear, laughing. 

I tried to climb the mountain, Sisyphus got me. The rock got me. I rolled it up, but I never got anywhere with it, so I sharpened this stick. See that point? Like a dagger. Now, you hold it still. I’ll pry my eyes open and you can jab ‘em right out.  We can cook them like marshmallows, watch them drip into the burning resonance of shame. 


#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, May 12, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.

(The last few weeks I've been putting up flash exercises I've done with students. Hence, the prompts. But they were written in roughly three minutes and I didn't edit. Plus, rules schmules.)



Happy

The boy sat on the side of a small trickle of water. You wouldn’t call it a stream, but the boy did. And there were crayfish in there. There was the sound of water. In his imagination, the stream was broad and full of fat trout. In reality, it was a choked-off spring dying in the suburbs, trash floating like so much flotsam and jetsam.

The boy did not see the trash. The boy saw opportunity. 

He started on a Monday afternoon. He grabbed one of those big, black trash bags they have for gardening. Started filling it. It took the better part of a week, but when he was done, the stream was beautiful. The weeds just licked the surface of the water. He swore it even sounded better. And it smelled like moss, like water, like life.

The stream was ignored by everyone except the boy and the county workers who had to clear the drain where the stream passed under the road. The boy did not want anyone at his stream. And that is exactly the way he thought of it. 

He would stand for hours, or lie on the soft ground and think: I have this. And he would smile.

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...