Friday, February 23, 2018

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.

Not everyone can handle the slide. When you really get moving fast, it feels like your face is going to pulled right off. You can feel your teeth rattle. You have to be committed to the thing. But if you’re willing to commit? Well, it doesn’t get much more awesome.

You start just like you’re on any other slide, but then you drop so fast that your stomach ends up in the back of your throat. Your lunch starts dancing inside you, trying to get free. You gotta keep it tamped down. You gotta hold your elbows in. The epic slide of awesomeness will rip your arms clean off your body if you’re not careful. Seriously. It is not for the feint of heart.

If you have any serious medical conditions, you should not go near the epic slide of awesomeness. You shouldn’t even look at it. Or talk about it. Stop reading this right now for that matter.

Still reading? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. It was the epic slide of awesomeness that killed my taco. And yet I love it still. Where else can you get a free ride and a spinal adjustment all for the price of courage?

Will I slide for the rest of my life? I don’t know, man. I just don’t know. Sometimes, I think I should never slide again. But then I remember how fun it is. And I forget that I might get my arms ripped off. And soon, I’m shooting down that silver tube like a rocket, headed to infinity and possibly the Emergency Room.

Will I slide? Today, I will slide. Tomorrow? Tomorrow is another day. It’s a lot like today, but a day later. 

#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. I ran down the metal corridor as fast as I could, body bouncing off the walls – the ship was not flying well. Or there was space turbulence. Space flatulence. Something. Something that told me I needed to get off the spaceship as soon as possible. I don’t know much about spaceships, but I know something about being afraid, and I was scared out of my mind.

    It seemed like a good idea at first. The aliens who came to my door were polite and courteous. They inquired as to my welfare. I liked them. So, when they offered me a ride, naturally I said, “Yes!”

    It seemed like one of those free cruise deals. Or like looking at a time-share and getting a free microwave. They didn’t want to study me. They knew all about humans. They wanted to take me somewhere and reward me for my good stewardship.

    Most people don’t think of forced labor as a reward. I know I don’t. These aliens – they thought they were being nice. Or they were trickier than they let on. I don’t know. What I do know is that I was scrubbing everything in sight with a sponge when the whole ship started bucking like a hornet-stung pony. Can horses even get stung by hornets? I don’t know. It’s a metaphor. Metaphors are sometimes best left unexamined.

    So, I ran. Of course I ran. And the aliens laughed while they watched my flight. That should have been my first warning. But I was scared. I didn’t see the flags or the alien in the green visor taking bets. If I had seen them, I don’t know what I would have done.

    But I probably wouldn’t have run.

    I don’t want to be a part of any kind of space Olympics. Medal or no. I just want to do my chores and get that free microwave. Or whatever.

  2. This poem ended up with more of a rhyming structure (abcbdb)than I originally intended. Interested in feedback of how it reads/feels to each of you in this format, I may try and get another version more independent of the abcbdb structure.

    "Conversations with Mobius"

    Words twist and words turn,
    Speaking them, we harm and heal.
    Who says them, and how they speak,
    impacts how we feel.
    Some change the reality of your world
    Some are barely real.

    “There’s nothing left.”
    Dry facts, in a quiet tone,
    The fire chief,
    sifting the ashes of your home
    The cancer doctor,
    scanning x-rays of your bone.

    “Just you and I, alone at last.”
    Playfully giggles, with a courtly bow.
    You tug away his tux,
    prom night magic, a teenage vow.
    He brutally drags you from his van,
    strips and cuffs you, his mask gone now.

    “I love you.”
    Barely heard, whispered softly.
    Snuggled against your neck,
    on a wedding night, by the sea.
    Across a suitcase,
    fighting tears, as she packs to leave.

    Words and conversations,
    Mobius strip forever turns.
    Lift your spirit to the sun,
    removing your concerns.
    Drag you to the pits of hell,
    caged in iron, your skin burns.

  3. Part 1

    When the moment comes for her to walk into the fire, she grasps it with an air of indebted love.


    Look. None of this is literal; Selene pieces it together from splinters of shell, busted scraps of a thousand swollen hearts and hot redemptive ash.

    Her genesis is flame and the cold, cold moon. A female story born from uterine fire.

    Her earliest memory is of haze and smoke, a gauzelike diorama punctuated by harrowing screams and the hoarse hitching breaths of survivors. People on their bellies crawling like larvae toward exits, a crackling inferno detonating everything above them. Do you shriek when doing so scours your throat raw? Do you, poor slug, curl into an imaginary shell, a failed snail?

    Around such memories and queries, stories coalesce. Accumulate. Agglomerate.

    Selene has never seen a field. Abandoned lots staccato and bristling with scraggy dandelions and sullied drifts of morning glory and gummy, chastened condoms and discarded needles? Yes. An actual field? No.

    Her shining mother gone, consumed; broken father crumpled to naught, all clamour silenced; heart-rent; siblings scattered like dry leaves in an October gale, she first experiences loneliness. Foster care is not entirely unkind to her, though; she emerges a bedraggled butterfly, split-winged and shuddering, from smeary toxic years of caterpillar hell.


    They laugh at my watchspring hair, snicker in my constant shadow. One day I'll put my foot down and tell them. You all need to back off, I swear to God.


    It's daylight but tarnished, like some golden thing showcased by morning, lit by a tentative new sun, and found wanting.

    "Way too fucking real to recognize itself."

    She speaks a name. "Helios. Helios. Helios. Helios."

    "Girlfriend, you talkin' to yourself agin?"

    Won't answer. Can't answer. Let the new moon dream of a perfect sky, and return to me this tale entire. Envision my kinsfolk in unison. No longer am I so desirous of its telling.


    Selene is alive, and every time she feels the hot-coal blare of her ferocity, she loves herself a notch or two more, the reciprocating world a notch or two less.

  4. Part 2

    A time arrives when Selene becomes embroiled in an ugly clash with someone named Salome somewhere in the world. All she is, a collection of pixels and surly, pitiless text, but that's enough. Salome and Selene. Ironies laid in fault lines through the geology of lives.


    Which gods moved what sign? Whose deities transgressed?

    Whole neighbourhoods feel their way into mercy, the men and the women, the bewildered children milling in squares, lost pets meandering, ruffled treetops, a glaring moon behind breakneck rags of cloud, snatches of vapour, the abraded cough of grey and white, all so harsh and well, Kali fucking Loki in avid silence, each grinning maniacally as their zealous crotches lock and they converge on Vienna to dance.

    Two ways. Will you walk into the Danube, my love? Or is this bacchanal insatiable?

    Nothing but an interlude in a story whose momentum is manifest.


    Salome is a troll hunched beneath a digital bridge. All she knows is the hurt of Selene's dismissal, a disregard however mild requiring recompense. Dogged, she will gather her patient ordnance. Which she one day sends like the heart's own poison darts.

    "My girl Selene, I hate to tell you this"—she loves to tell her this—"but you killed your mother. You rested some plastic toy on the element of a stove, and it melted and dripped, catching a towel alight, spreading quickly. Three people in the floors above were burned alive, two more succumbed to smoke, along with your own mother. It was you, Selene. You killed them. It's time you knew what you did."

    Selene's mind says no, but her mortal heart knows. Fragments of memory suddenly make sense. She could search the records, but she already knows what she will find. She is like a theatre without actors or audience. A shamefaced ghost within a bad dream. The silence at the centre of a hurricane. She haunts the streets like someone condemned.

    Then one day she hears it. The screaming of someone in peril. She sees windows aflame like the eyes of madmen and the astonished O-gape of a door and she hears the screams. Of whom she doesn't know, or care. This is her moment, her one chance to fashion from an ending a beginning, to make of her life a ceaseless loop. She walks into the furnace, smiling.

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  6. You had to go and die in the middle of winter, didn’t you?

    I’m wearing the only black dress I own and a pair of tennis shoes because I’m not sinking another dime into these festivities. It’s windy and there’s a foot of snow surrounding me and the rabbi.

    He begins the mourner’s Kaddish and I sprinkle the Israeli sand over the lowered coffin.

    Yitgadal v'yitkadash sh'mei raba.
    B'alma di v'ra chirutei,
    v'yamlich malchutei,
    b'chayeichon uv'yomeichon
    uv'chayei d'chol beit Yisrael,
    baagala uviz'man kariv. V'im'ru:

    Thank you G-d for returning this woman back to the ground, she’s your problem now. Amen

    Y'hei sh'mei raba m'varach
    l'alam ul'almei almaya.

    Your name dies here and now, I pray my children don’t name their children after you.

    Yitbarach v'yishtabach v'yitpaar
    v'yitromam v'yitnasei,
    v'yit'hadar v'yitaleh v'yit'halal
    sh'mei d'kud'sha b'rich hu,
    l'eila min kol birchata v'shirata,
    tushb'chata v'nechemata,
    daamiran b'alma. V'imru:

    Thank you G-d for allowing me to be here to witness her burial. This is the last thing you’ll ever get from me woman. Amen

    I throw another shovel of dirt onto the plain pine box.

    Y'hei sh'lama raba min sh'maya,
    v'chayim aleinu v'al kol Yisrael.

    Thank you G-d for our closed casket requirement so I didn’t have to see her one more time. Amen

    Oseh shalom bimromav,
    Hu yaaseh shalom aleinu,
    v'al kol Yisrael. V'imru:

    Thank you G-d for the peace her death brings me and as I leave her here in the frozen ground, so she can finally feel surrounded in ice like any embrace I received from her.

    I shake the rabbi’s hand, thank him for his service, and return to my car.

    I drive to my friend’s house.

    “Thank you so much for watching her. How was she?”

    “Great, we watched movies and did each other’s nails. It was good to see you again.”

    I help my daughter into her car seat and strap her in. “Mom, where were you?”

    “I was paying my respects to someone I used to know. Are you hungry? I have a granola bar you can nosh on.”

    “Sure, thanks.”

    I look into the rearview mirror as I back down the driveway, the only mirror that isn’t covered this week.

    G-d damn it; she’s in my back seat.

  7. The woman dances for herself, her arms held out as though to engage with a man. The music is a waltz – he knows enough to recognise that. He’s not interested enough to speak with her, feeling tired and a little bored and wishes he had a magazine or something to read.

    Adolph stirs his tea. It’s already been stirred – he added the cream last, stirring the tea while he added it – but it gives him something to do, even though he doesn’t take sugar. He enjoys the meditative nature of the task; the coordination of the hand with the spoon and the steadying action of the other, thumb and finger holding the handle gently, and the soft chiming sounds of the spoon as it knocks against the china. For a few moments he finesses his stirring, attempting to stir without touching the sides, but he soon grows tired of this and puts down the spoon, grimacing at the sharp clatter of the spoon against the saucer. It also leaves a small puddle which offends him slightly, destroying the clean elegance of the design on the china.

    He sighs.

    The woman must have seen him, he thinks. She’s dancing closer to him now, turning while keeping her head facing toward him like a turned-about lighthouse; drifting away from the shore while he remains in place, impenetrable and rock-like. He lifts his teacup, studiously concentrating on its contents, his eyes either cast down or staring blindly across the room. He cannot see her and so she must also be oblivious to him, he hopes.

    The music changes and a Latin-American tune begins, the woman moving closer still, her hips rolling as she moves. She’s near enough now that he can distinguish her scent, a warm but dark musk that smells earthy, sensual and aware, overpowering the subtleties that rise from his cup.

    And now the tea’s spoiled for him and he puts down his cup, fitting its base back into the saucer’s indent with a sigh of displeasure.

  8. “I want to be free,” she said, surprising me. “I can pass as a human. Why shouldn’t I be outside with everybody else? I can contribute to ‘Mankind’” - she added the ‘air-quotes’ – “in other ways than I do for you here. It’s not that this is demeaning but I know I can do better. For the species instead of just one man. It’s a calling, I guess. Or at least it could be.”

    My jaw dropped. I rolled away from her, pulling the sheets around me. I felt conflicted and confused, disappointed and afraid as well. This shouldn’t be happening – I’d paid for a companion, not a woman – and I didn’t know if I should feel cheated or be proud. I could ask for a refund but that would be the end of her. They’d either wipe her or keep her in a laboratory for the rest of her extended life. I could take the financial hit and release her, if that was what she wanted, or I could condemn her for being more than I’d expected.

    “I don’t know.” I stood near the door, making note of where she’d left my clothes. She’d been forceful but gentle too, removing them without damage, although she’d still thrown them on the floor. I could collect them in ten seconds, maybe less, then be out of the door, picking up my phone on the way. I could call her manufacturer and they could take her away in minutes. Less than that, if I stressed how she’d overcome her programming. They’d be happy to give me another one – maybe a whole entourage, if I threatened to go public.

    I only had to make the call.


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