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...


  1. It came from across the valley. The sound of the horses split the blue sky just like y’all say that feller did with the some red sea. Which you know is bullshit, because there ain’t no such thing as a red sea. That’s one of those lies they use to catch retards and rednecks. And I don’t want to hear about it. Sure, there are places I don’t know about. Sure, there are different ways of looking at the same thing. But water’s blue. It don’t take a whole lot of brains to know that.

    Anyway, what’s important is the horses. Dumb piece of bible-thumping city trash like you? I bet you don’t know what one horse sounds like. They’re big animals. And there were hundreds of them. Hell, the dust cloud turned the whole sky brown. Wasn’t nothing blue then. Nor red. Unless you can paint fear on a man – take the colors from inside his head. I’ll tell you straight. I was scared out of my goddamned mind.

    See, we couldn’t figure it. It was like a flock of parrots or some shit. It didn’t fit. I mean, a few horses, that would make sense. Could have been someone from one of the ranches across the valley. Could have been anything. But a stampede? There was no reasoning it. And there ain’t nothing worse than stampeding animals. They get crazy, and they don’t care what they trample. Horses aren’t like people. They get all wrapped up in the noise and the smell of sweat and the thundering sound of it…hell, maybe they are like people.

    It’s enough to make you wonder if they enjoy it or if they’re flat scared shitless. All I can tell you is you don’t have the right to talk to me about fear. You don’t know nothing about fire and brimstone. And you don’t know anger until you’ve picked a small body from the bushes. Limp. Dim. Dead gone. Head split and brains oozin’ out. You hold your baby like I did and try to find a place where you can put that anger. Who am I supposed to hate?

    You can’t hate horses.

    I’m done talking to you. I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t aim to waste any more time with ya. Take your book and your papers. Get off my land. And don’t never come back here telling me about God.

    I know all about Him. And his stampeding ways.

    1. You are so good at listening to the voices... this feels real and authentic... and it tears my heart out. My favorite line, besides the last one, is this: "Unless you can paint fear on a man – take the colors from inside his head."

    2. I love the voice in this one, and I had copied the same line as Leland! "Unless you can paint fear on a man – take the colors from inside his head." Nice.

    3. Stampeding ways...
      Such a visceral piece, grabs you around the throat and doesn't let go. So well done, Dan.

  2. The sun was resting right at the top of the willow tree, orange and big. It looked nice. I put my arm around her and pointed at it. Smiled. I couldn’t think of anything to say, so I didn’t. I just kept my arm there and tried to decide if she smelled like vanilla or cherry. Or both. Probably both. 

    It was a miracle is what it was. Girls like her didn’t talk to boys like me, let alone stand there with an arm on them smelling nice. I kept waiting for her to push me, certain that Billy James was behind me on his hands and knees. But he wasn’t. And she was smiling, kind of leaning into me.

    I’d seen movies, so I wasn’t totally dumb. I knew what I had to do. I turned her toward me by the shoulders. I smiled my best smile. And then I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. And she giggled. And I guess I looked torn up by the whole thing because she hugged me quick.

    “Joey! We’re not even out of middle school.”

    And I smiled even wider.

    “We will be someday.”

    And that’s how it happened. Going on fifty years now. I’m not going to lie to you and say it was all easy. It wasn’t even all fun. But I do know it started right. And there will never be anything that gets me like the smell of vanilla and cherries.

    1. That's just plain out beautiful.

    2. flat out beautiful. What the heck is plain out? It's flat out beautiful.

    3. So sweetly pure and innocent. I'm teary.

  3. "I can't believe you forgot—”

    "Darling, we've been over this—”

    “—the bloody coffee. We have the Lamborghini of espresso machines, but no coffee."

    "There's instant if we—”

    "Blasphemy! If you'd let me bring Rosa, this never would have happened."

    "The covenants are quite clear. Only two adults per condominium."

    "Rules? Who will enforce these rules? In case you hadn't noticed, there are no courts out there..."

    "We'll have to rely on basic human decency."

    "That's a much of that do you suppose we have left after..."

    "I suppose we'll find out. Darling, what are you doing?"

    "If there are no courts..."

    "Darling, put the knife down. Let me make you a cup of..."

    And so it came to pass that the first death in the luxurious Rump Fallout Shelter Tower came not from radiation, but from knife wounds. There were no charges filed.

  4. The grass is wet with dew, but he sits down anyway. The sky is gray, as it was that day twelve years ago. His eyes are closed, a futile effort to prevent the gathering of tears. When he opens them, the first rays of the sun have broken free of the horizon. He sits in a field of diamonds. Diamonds and marble. The simple white markers are lined up in rows and columns just as the men and women beneath them once lined up in formation.

    He closes his eyes again. For a moment he sees Marcus, with his blue eyes, with his half smile, in his desert uniform. So real that he expects to smell his sweat, too, but there is only the scent of the grass, freshly cut for Memorial Day.

    The wind caresses his neck, the sound of thousands of small flags whipping in the wind. He is afraid to open his eyes again, afraid to lose the image of Marcus, afraid its clarity will fade. But he knows better.

    Somewhere over that hill is a small amphitheater, where there will be politicians speaking of sacrifice, of courage, and of other things that politicians know the words for but do not understand. He does not want to hear them.

    Now the sun joins the wind in touching his skin, and he pretends it is Marcus touching him. He is good at pretending.

    A robin sings from a tree behind him. If he were superstitious, he would take it as a sign. But it is not God giving him a message. It is a bird. A living creature in this place of monuments to death, to souls stolen from those who loved. No, not stolen. Offered on altars of hope and desperation.

    When he hears a trumpet in the distance, his eyes open again, blurred with tears. He places the rose atop the stone, the rose he had clutched so tightly one of its thorns had pricked his finger.

    He stands, and bows, and kisses the top of the stone. He salutes, and holds the salute in silence.

    He pivots and walks away, as the last note of Taps falls on the graves of the fallen, and he does not see the drop of blood from the rose land on the snow-white marble, and he does not hear the mourning dove.

    A gentle rain begins as he leaves Arlington, and heaven's tears dilute his own.

    1. Ah, man. I used to live in Arlington, so I was right there. This is a heart breaker. I am struck by how well the present tense works here. Immediacy and strength. And I LOVE this: "If he were superstitious, he would take it as a sign. But it is not God giving him a message. It is a bird. A living creature in this place of monuments to death, to souls stolen from those who loved."

    2. Beautifully penned, a wonderful tribute. I'll add to what Dan said..."...not stolen. Offered on altars of hope and desperation."

      And Dan, small world! I was born in Clarendon, off of Route 50, North Barton Street. I could see the Monument from my front porch, hear the Carillon every day. Walk to Lady Bird Island and the Iwo Jima Statue. Did you ever eat at Mario's Pizza House! Oh the memories.

  5. Wednesday, May 24 ~ The Last Day

    1. 6:00 AM ~ Wake, shower, shave, kiss Pat goodbye, start commute.

    2. Stop at Starbuck’s for Grande Pike Place. Tell barista Alyssa this will be last time I stop by at 7:30 in foreseeable future. Leave $10 tip.

    3. Park in Lot C for last time. Try not bouncing like 5th grader too much as you show ID to guard for last time.

    4. Pack up the office ~ one box only. Say goodbye to friends

    5. Hand in parking permit and ID.

    6. Officially retired ~ Check rearview mirror and enjoy the view shrinking.

    7. Turn up car stereo to 10 ~ Play “Road Mix”

    8. Laugh at commuters cursing on way home.

    9. Daydream about what I should have said to He Who Shall Not Be Named boss on way out but didn’t.
    Note to self: Fuck him. He’s there for another ten years, if he’s not murdered first. Hah!

    10. Instead of gloating, watch out for cops south of Twin Bridges (Now’s no time for first ticket in 30 years).

    11. Don’t miss Exit 9 making plans for future.

    12. Park car, empty last two week’s Starbuck’s cups from floor behind front seat.

    13. Leave box containing 30-year career in garage next to bags of manure, peat moss and other decomposing materials.

    14. Take Pat out to dinner to celebrate freedom.

    15. Go to bed and dream of all the things you can finally do now that you’re not anchored to The Job.

    Thursday, May 25 ~ First Day of Retirement

    1. 6:00 AM ~ Wake, shower, shave. Run to Starbuck’s for Venti Pike Place. Leave $1.00 tip.

    2. Sit in kitchen, stare at Pat doing housework. Offer to help. Get sent out of room.

    3. Take banishment to backyard and wonder about your Plain Language Project and what HWSNBN’s doing about it without you.

    4. Resist urge to call work.

    5. Wonder when feeling of stepping off cliff, blindfolded, without a net ends.

    6. Ask Pat again if there's anything you can do for her.

    7. Go to Starbuck's and see what afternoon crowd looks like. (Too many old guys. Can't relate to Off Track Betting crowd. Remember to bring iPad next time to look artsy.)

    8. ? ? ?

    9. ! ! !

    10. ....

    1. Brilliant... a story told by daytimer... and FREEDOM!

    2. This is great. The list is a really effective technique. Somehow it makes it more personal (which seems counter-intuitive!). Smart play.

    3. Oh, I love this. FREEDOM...and then...sigh.

    4. Love the form of this. And the "be careful what you wish for" moral.

  6. Part 1

    It was late July and the rainy season had come to Arizona. Anyone with any sense had taken what shelter the mountains and deserts could provide. And so Flan Emory tied up beneath the porch overhang outside a saloon in a cluster of buildings someone with a wry sense of humor had named Agua Bendita, Holy Water.

    Shaking off his hat and slicker on the porch, he looked through the swinging doors and saw only the bartender inside. He was a thin man with a handlebar mustache so grand it looked like it wore him instead of the other way around. Emory took a deep breath and pushed through the swinging doors into the golden lamplight and the aroma of tobacco smoke and beer-soaked timber floor.

    The bartender glanced up from a book lying flat on the bar top, eying his new customer with a mixture of nonchalance and mild surprise, for only a fool would be caught out in the monsoon-swept desert that extended forty miles in all directions around Agua Bendita.

    “Evenin’,” Emory said, chasing the weariness from his face with a crooked grin. “Ain’t a fit night out there for man nor…”

    “A beast would have sense to find shelter hours ago, bub. You ain’t no beast. Luckily we don’t serve no beasts, nor Indians, here. So what can I get you?” the bartender said, pushing his book aside.

    “I do believe I would like a beer, You got anything to eat in this establishment, Mister…?

    “Quinn, just Quinn,” the bartender said as he began pulling a draught into a hazy mug.

    “I’ll be damned,” Emory said, “It’s as quiet as a church here.”

    Quinn shot him a dark look and nodded his head to a corner table in the otherwise empty room.

    “Mind your language, friend. There’s a special lady present,” he hissed and slid the now amber filled mug toward Emory on its dripping snowy foam. It slid a few feet past Emory, who had turned to see what was so special about an idle whore in an empty saloon.

    But in the corner table he did not find a fallen dove, but a bird of a different color—black.

    “Her name’s Sister Mary Elizabeth. Says she’s one of them Sisters of St. Joseph out of Tucson. Told me she’s heading to start a mission school with them Sand Pimas south of the Gila,” Quinn said, puffing out his moustache.

    “Damn, she’s walkin’ all the way?” Emory said.

    “Naw, she has a mule and a donkey tethered out back. She’s just another traveler like you who had to come out of that blessed damn rain. Oh, ‘scuse me, Sister.”

    “No offense taken, Mr. Quinn. I know I should expect to hear some coarse language in an establishment such as yours where men gather to…be men,” Sister Mary Elizabeth said.

    “Well, I should know better, ma’am. As you can see, I am a man of letters,” Quinn said, lifting the threadbare covers of his copy of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

    “It’s so heartening to see a man so devoted to the written word out here, Mr. Quinn,” she said and dropped her attention to her hands and the rosary on her lap she was praying to bead-by-bead.

    “Nice lady. Come in here about four hours ago. All she wants is a glass of water. I’d make her a pot of tea if I had any, Mister…? Sorry, didn’t catch your name, bub,” Quinn said, turning back to Emory.
    “Didn’t give it. Don’t matter much. I’m headed out of here as soon as this deluge lets up some,” Quinn said. He walked to the doorway, tucked behind one side of the jamb, and peeked at the sky as lightning flashed and illuminated a stable, mercantile and two small houses across the muddy river of what passed for the street in Agua Bendita. He then took off his drooping wet hat and snuck a quick look upend down the street when the lightning flashed again.

  7. Part 2

    “You looking for someone, bub?” Quinn asked.

    “No, who else but we poor souls would be out on a night like tonight?” Emory said. Almost instinctively, he rested his right hand on the butt of the Peacemaker belted to his hip.

    “Would you join me, young man? I do believe Mr. Quinn is quite as tired of seeing me sit here praying as I am of listening to the rain drumming on the metal roof above us,” the sister said.

    Emory crossed the room and pulled out a chair from under the round table. He spun it so its back was in front of him and sat straddling the seat as he smiled at the little nun in her white wimple and black dress and veil.

    “Thank you for the company, young man. I can appreciate the need to leave here as soon as possible,” she said.

    “Yes’m, I’d hope to be a hell of a—oh, pardon me, ma’am—heck of a lot further west by now, but this storm is putting me in mind of taking a boat and lining up critters two at time and float there.”

    “Where is there, Mister…”

    “Flan, ma’am. You can call me Flan like my mama did,” Emory said.

    “And where did you come from, Flan?”

    “Oh, Texas, New Mexico, the Territories. I been around, ma’am. It’s the nature of my work”

    “Mine too, I guess you could say,” Sister Elizabeth said with a deep laugh.

    "Oh my, you have a tear in your shirt. Let me mend that for you. And is that blood? Are you injured? I just can't stand the sight of blood," Sister Elizabeth said, placing her hand over her mouth.

    "It's all right, ma'am. Really. I'll be getting a new shirt when I get where I'm going," Emory said.

    "No, Flan, I insist. I have my sewing notions right here in my bag," she said while ducking down to reach into a small carpet bag next to her chair.

    As her head came up, Emory already had his pistol in his hand and shot the nun in the forehead from point-blank. She pitched back in her chair and fell face-up, her white wimple bearing a .45 caliber dot of red.

    "What the hell have you done?" Quinn shouted from behind Emory, instinctively pulling out the sawed off shotgun he kept under the bar.

    Emory spun and aimed his re-cocked Colt at the bartender.

    "Easy there, Quinn. Put down that scattergun and come over here and I'll show you," Emory said. "Slowly and with both hands showin'."

    "All right, mister. Keep calm, I'm coming. Whatever you say. You've got the gun," Quinn said. The bartender gingerly stepped to the table where he just witnessed the cold-blooded murder of a woman of God.

    "Come closer, Quinn. Look at the notion she pulled out of her bag," Emory said. The bartender looked down at the nun's limp body, her eyes open under the now-bloody wimple, and saw a .32 caliber Colt Lightning dangling by its trigger guard from her right index finger.

    Quinn let out a low whistle and said, "What in the hell?"

    Emory pulled aside the table and tore the bloody veil and wimple off, which caused Quinn to gasp again.

    “She, she’s bald,” he said.

    “No, Quinn, HE’s bald. Sister Elizabeth here looks to be Little Billy Travis, a tiny back shooting desert rat I hear works for Luka Mendez down in El Paso. Mendez’s son, Manolito and I had a bit of a scrape a couple of weeks ago. I walked away with a knife slash, he didn’t. I heard the old man wanted vengeance, so I lit out of El Paso pretty quick like. Should have gone north, I guess,” Emory said.

    “How’d you know? I had no idea,” Quinn said.

    “Two things. The first was when Sister Elizabeth here said she got all queasy at the sight of blood. Those Sisters of St. Joseph run a hospital in Tucson. Doubt a nurse would get so ill as Billy here acted over a little blood on my shirt..”

    “Really? What else?”

    “When he leaned over to fetch his piece, this here nun get-up slipped down his neck and I saw something no nun I ever heard of had.”

    “What was that, bub?” Quinn said.

    “An Adam’s Apple...bub."

    1. you got me... I never saw that coming! well told, sir, well told.

    2. Agreed. You know I love western pieces and you do them so well. And I did not see the dead "nun" coming. You really do have the parlance nailed SO well.

  8. They came for the wine and cheese; they came because she’d begged them. Since the first day Caitlin had picked up a paintbrush, she’d anticipated this day: her first solo show, the opening reception a splash of bright, elegant people gesturing grandly with their plastic wine glasses and claiming the pieces they simply could not live without. Claiming them with red adhesive dots: sold. But as the last of her so-called friends trickled out, the only red she saw was the state of her finances. How much she’d laid out for this show—the framing, the refreshments, even the damn red dots—most of it borrowed, and how much she’d never get back. She might as well have some wine, since she’d already paid for it; nothing worked as well to drown out the voices in her head and the pity in his eyes, if he were still around to have seen this. As she filled a glass to the brim, she thought about Daniel, and wondered if this was why he’d been so adamant about never exhibiting his own work. It was one thing to be paid to paint something, and quite another to bleed your soul onto a canvas, stand by and watch as people pass with barely a nod. You are entertainment. An amusement to fill the awkward space before the dinner reservations, before curtain time. Like window-shopping for shoes.

    The gallery manager drifted over, manicured fingers tapping slowly on the white tablecloth, and gave her a condescending little smile. It was an I-told-you-so smile. If her mother had not raised her to be polite and grateful, she might have thrown her wine in his face, but she only tightened her fingers around the plastic stem.

    He could have just said nothing. Saying nothing would have gone down better than the excuses he did offer—that maybe she’d priced herself too high for a new artist, and we’re going through a soft market, and it’s a Friday night when so many other, more well-attended events were already scheduled.

    Politely she cut him off, mumbling “Thank you for the chance.” She really should be grateful. He didn’t have to make room for her. There were a lot of artists in the city. He’d only done it on the strength of Daniel’s reputation. A student of his must be worthy of a solo show.

    Or not.

    She returned to the apartment in upper Manhattan she shared with four other women. Still a little woozy from the wine and the shame, she plopped down on the edge of her bed and stared at her most prized possession: the painting he’d left her. It might have been the wine talking, or the humiliation, or the bone-deep fatigue, but idly she wondered what it might be worth.

    The voice in her head felt as real as a slap to the face: No. You can’t. You can’t ever. Aside from the memories, it was all she had of him, the only physical, tangible proof that he’d ever existed. She believed in things like life after death, like ghosts, like guardian angels. That he still lived in the brushstrokes, in the nerve endings of her face where he’d almost, almost touched her.

    There had to be another way. She called the gallery owner and told his voice mail that it was okay to lower her prices, to whatever he thought they were worth. She could almost see Daniel smiling at her, saying that’s what he’d do. “Besides,” he’d say, “You can always paint more.”

    1. THIS IS SO GOOD! Rings so true. Man, I like the way you write, Boris.

    2. Sometimes, when I read your words, I forget I'm reading fiction...I catch myself thinking, "I didn't know she painted..." or "why hasn't she mentioned Daniel before..." That's amazing to bring these characters so much life...and so skillfully that you make it look easy.

    3. A lovely piece. "She believed in things like life after death, like ghosts, like guardian angels. That he still lived in the brushstrokes, in the nerve endings of her face where he’d almost, almost touched her." Beautiful.

  9. It is my custom, the first time I visit a city, to awaken before dawn and to walk to the city center. From there, I watch the city rise from its sleep. There are those, of course, who awakened long before me and who are already at work: the fishmongers, the garbage men, the newspaper boys, all the ones with jobs that really matter, the ones who do the hard work of keeping a civilization civil.

    Their lives, however, are not the sort of lives that sell books. They are too normal, too decent, too kind. No, I am here to watch the self-important ones, the coddled ones, the ones who believe they own the world. Their lives are the stuff of dramas, of mystery, of deceit.

    It was in this way I witnessed a murder in the streets just up from Pike Street Market in Seattle in the 1980s.

    I was sipping my cappuccino in a small cafe, from a heavy cup decorated with the yellows and blues found natively in Sicily and recently transplanted to the coffee scene in Washington. The abomination of paper cups for excellent coffee mystified me. As I savored the dark aromas and taste, I looked through the window at the main floor of a new building of condominiums. It had all the charm that concrete and glass and a lack of imagination could offer. A businessman ran out of the doors, hand raised, as if he might hail a taxi in this part of town that had narrow streets. He frowned when none of the yellow vehicles were conjured by magic that might have worked well in Manhattan. His disgust only grew as he stood at the curb and one of the omnipresent, ever hopeful ladies of the evening approached him. His hands gesticulated wildly, and he was screaming at her, or appeared to. The view through the window was like a silent movie, the grays of a Pacific Northwest morning standing in for black and white. I awaited the placard that would reveal their conversation. Instead I saw him pull a gun from his pocket and shoot to kill the unfortunate woman.
    Black and white transformed to color, and there was red all over. Blood, and moments later the blue and red lights of a police car. I watched, and saw the police deferentially approach him, his own gun stashed somewhere, and theirs not in evidence. He smiled. They smiled back. He shrugged his shoulders. He reached for his wallet and handed them something. Perhaps a business card. Perhaps some other kind of paper. I could not see.

    One officer returned to the patrol car and turned the flashing lights off. The man shook hands with them, and walked away. The ambulance came moments later, without siren or strobes, and hauled the body away.

    I sipped at my coffee, cold now, and turned to the barista.

    "Would you have another?"

    "Yes, please."

    Neither of us mentioned the now-concluded drama across the street. And when I looked again, there was a maintenance man spraying the sidewalk with a hose, washing it before blood stained the concrete.

    The coffee was good in this cafe. I noted its address in my notebook and began to write my mystery. The city never failed to give me inspiration.

    1. Wow. I was riveted. Love the thread of the coffee through it, the images of the cold concrete and the "normal, decent" people who make the infrastructure work.


  10. Red, orange and golden tendrils snaked skywards as the pyre burned. A fiery mass in the sweltering twilight. The pop and crackle startled, as did the acrid smell of burning flesh. Ash drifted in spiraling thermals as the charred remains collapsed inward. The heap would be entirely too warm for a time and so they waited in the dark, the sun long since descended. Embers still lit the clearing with an eerie, almost romantic lacy glow if one could dismiss the source.

    He'd been specific. No cremation. No coffin and so they held vigil with parched throats and burning eyes as the last of him finally grew cold and they could approach. They turned what remained into the earth, a rich humus, his lasting fertile legacy. No cold grave. Each day would bring warmth and sunlight.

    1. So real I can feel the heat of that fire and its coals... nicely done!

  11. A temporary resting place at best as he bent and carelessly tossed a few handfuls over her. No need for more than a symbolic shrouding. He'd dug her final earthly spot the night before. Had known their time together was at an end. She'd begun to see too much, hear too much and he could tell by the tension in her body whenever he neared her that she was suspicious now.

    That just wouldn't do and so he'd walked out while she slept and dug a new hole, in between the red maple and the lilac bush. Fitting, as that was her favorite spot in the backyard. From there she could hear the small waterfall they'd built together at the far end of the koi pond. She often used the bench to sit and read while he wrote tales that raised the hackles of his readers.

    Did they suspect his stories to have more truth than fiction in them? He laughed at the thought. The hands that autographed their books were stained deeply. He just knew how to scrub up well.

    He stood over her torso for another moment, imagining how lovely the garden would green up with this new fertilizer. But enough of that. He needed to get her settled. After that, he'd decide what to do with her head.

    1. Well THAT was chilling! ::making note to not hang out with Tamara in her backyard::

  12. His cries a dulcet memory,
    Won't fade away with time.
    I moan in recollection,
    As I hear him read the rhyme.

    My verses told a story.
    To his heart I penned the tale.
    The words were poured out bravely,
    But would ultimately fail.

    Now trapped in time I'm held here,
    As I conjure up his face.
    And hear his husky moans,
    When I remember love's embrace.

    Why does a broken, beatless heart,
    Continue to feel pain?
    Each time I close my eyes I hear,
    That bitterest refrain.

    ~Tamara McLanahan

  13. Distance

    Somewhere in the sands I catch an echo
    Of where you walked in the yesterday
    Kicking up dust in the arch of memory
    Only to vanish in the buttercup misted dawn

    No more sound in the disintegrating sun
    A flash upon the roar of a wave of ebbing fate
    I spread my fingers through the chill of it
    Summoning something long forgotten anew.

    1. sigh... I'm so glad you're back to sharing your poetry... this was lovely, and bittersweet.

  14. Linger

    You know the glass reveals your smile
    Try as you will to hide it away
    I can see it even in this dark
    When the sea breaks and splits the light in two.

    If I kiss the curve will you stay?
    If I turn and walk away will you follow?

    These days are meant for learning
    Awakening thoughts in me I’d forgotten
    Lost in a drift upon a breath of yesterday
    These things I touch to find them gone
    And yet your smile remains
    Calling me to remember and forget the rest.

  15. Walking

    He practised the art of forgetting in the time of stillness
    Where the widest lines seemed to promise desolation
    If he stayed long enough, tried hard enough, in his
    Unfathomable desire to escape into an echo of bliss

    He sees himself sometimes, a fleeting glimpse of sometimes,
    When nothing is and the playing brings only emptiness -
    This loitering in a life drifting into days of commonplace
    Against a background song reminiscing in a broken key.

    Here the dusted wind blows in on the second-handed chord,
    Cleft in his fist is the starstruck face that the moon left behind
    On a January night when the sea turned black against an iced earth,
    His footsteps cursed in the art of sleepwalking through his life

    This is desolation’s severed promise of a blood-red emptiness,
    The heart scooped out and wrung so dry beneath a faithless sun,
    Leaving the spider-web loneness of something so real it hurt
    Lost in the years left behind, scattered like dandelions blown.

    1. Ahhh... so beautiful, and I am particularly in love with the third stanza... the double entendre of "second-handed chord" is perfect.

  16. Thank you! I started at 11pm so bit late & hit the sack at midnight. Was listening to Whiskey Myers & I think it put me in a romantic mood lol!

  17. A resonant silence filled the house. He wasn't accustomed to being there alone and for a moment he felt out of place, as though he was intruding on somebody else's home. Annette was always here, even when he wasn't, and for him to be here now was unthinkable.

    He missed her.

    Today was the first day of a new life. A life he'd not chosen. If he'd had the choice he would have opted for anything but this, he thought.

    Their bed was still unmade, he'd noticed. Then he'd corrected himself: His bed. It would all be up to him now, even the duty of keeping it warm. It was too large for him, he knew, the area to the right of his space on the mattress empty now as it had been last night. He'd tried to extend himself into it but it'd been as though he was encroaching onto her place, thinking he was trying to tell her he was over her now, when he knew he never would be. He'd slept in the chair instead, watching over the place they'd dreamed together, knowing it was better this way, knowing he'd feel more at ease here, knowing there was no empty place to reach out into only to discover she was gone.

    And every time he did that it was like the first.

    1. You've caught that empty moment with honesty and detail... it's a universal feeling, I think.... and you draw us into it well.


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