Friday, January 11, 2019

2 Minutes. Go!

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.

I don't want to do it. You can't make me do it. 

Thirteen months in Houston? Man, you blew it. You stepped right when you should have stepped wrong and landed up in a logical fallacy. See? Imagine a room full of monkeys masturbating furiously, their furry hands ablur. That's the kind of beautiful shit you can actualize if you own a ton of monkeys! Word.

Who wants to buy a monkey?

I want a cheeseburger that reproduces. I want consistent bowel movements like sonatas in the hands of a master stick-waver. 

I am a few decks short of a skate shop, but I don't mind - you want some, then YOU cop. I'm gonna sit here straight drip-whispering. Until the darkness turns to shivering. Before the floodlights spill out over your picket-glazed irises. Big as tires, Sis.

You can shove the whole damn world in there. 

If my brain just subsists of snippets and widgets, does it matter that one robot lets one robot forget? Am I a slave to my lavish debt? All wet. I want to take a magic pill that makes me forget. 

So, I can unclench my jaw.

So, I can sleep.

So, I can dream. 

Or at least stop hearing the same thing over and over and over and...

#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...#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. Echoes of a creative, yet frustrated mind. I'll be carrying around the picture of the reproducing cheeseburger today, and wonder if it's asexual, or if the monkeys have something to do with it...

    1. It's hilarious, whether it's the w*nking monkeys or the bowel movements like sonatas! I almost spluttered my coffee

  2. The old house sighs in the wind. A hundred years of standing alone on the Kansas prairie will do that to you.

    The man within the house, sighs too. Fifty years of living with a woman and then eleven years without her will do that to you, too.

    He remembers meeting her. He was a soda jerk at the drugstore. She came in every Friday, after school. Ordered exactly the same thing. Always. Hot fudge sundae, with nuts and a cherry. The way she lifted the cherry and popped it into her mouth nearly gave him a heart attack, every damned time. She knew it, too. She looked at him as she held it in her mouth, and she smiled, with dimples.

    He’d almost found the gumption to ask her out one Friday, but the tornado sirens went off, and the jukebox was silenced by the power failing.

    He grabbed her by the hand, and led the way to safety in the cellar beneath the drugstore. By the time the all-clear sounded, she’d kissed him, and he’d asked her to the movies the next night.

    They held hands all through the movie. His hand was sweaty; hers was cool. At the end of summer, he asked her to marry her. Her father didn’t approve, so they eloped.

    They went to the movies every Saturday night, until the Hippodrome closed in town. After that, they watched movies at home. They dressed up like they were going out. She made popcorn, and he brought out a box of Red Vine licorice. And they held hands.

    When they found the cancer, it was too late. They were watching a movie in her hospital room when she died, still holding his hand.

    The wind blows like hell, all these years later, but he cannot curse it. It was a tornado that brought her into his life. He hopes for rain this night, the night he dies, if only to hide the tears, tears that no one would see; no one but him, the ghost of her, and God.

    1. I love this. Particularly the first two parags that read really assured and measured. I could even take the 2nd parag and happily make it the ending, after the line about the tornado. I love the tornado line so much that I want to finish the story on it, leaving it open, leaving it hopeful. The image of the cherry is really strong and has secondary connotations. And the movies and you can almost smell the popcorn :)

    2. Agreed. Also, this is a cool example of tapping into tropes/archtypes - The images are already there, so you just need to tap the reader with them.

    3. This is so beautiful. Love the imagery, the sensory details.

  3. He had horrible timing and flat feet. He was born six months after his parents were married and weighed nine pounds. He got married during World War II, at home, even as his brothers served.

    In between, he fathered children who came of age just as each new war began.

    You wish he had told you stories, the stories of his youth, or if he told them, you wish you had listened more carefully.

    You wish you understood why he couldn’t cry, even as he buried a son.

    You wish you had told him your own stories, that you weren’t afraid of his judgement and his wrath.
    But he didn’t, and you didn’t, and it’s all beyond redemption now.

    He died on Christmas Day. With flat feet. With untold and unheard stories. With the worst timing in the world.

    1. This makes me think of my grandfather, who died when I was 11, and my other grandfather, who I only remember meeting twice, who died when I was 17 or 18. It makes you think of all the things you wish you could have asked. But we don't ask the important things as children. It's very poignant.

    2. Yup, agree with V. Both the stories today just ache. And give us the opportunity to reflect on life's fragility.

    3. You're gonna break my heart today, Leland. We are all so fragile.

  4. This wasn’t how I pictured it. Not how I pictured it at all.

    The walls are white, the floor is black, and the ceiling is either blue or there is no ceiling at all.

    And I am alone. I expected there would be someone, maybe several someones to greet me.

    The silence is surreal. It’s like being in a perfect isolation chamber, but if it were that, I should be able to hear my heart, right?

    I pace. I touch the walls. Perfectly flat. And clean. Not a speck of dust. Neither hot nor cold. Body temperature, I decide. I pace some more. I kneel down and touch the floor. Smooth, too. No seams. And no dust there either. I pace until I should be exhausted, but I am not. I count the number of steps from wall to wall. Six paces—twelve feet—by six paces. I stretch my arms high above me and I cannot touch the top of the walls. I estimate they are half again as tall as I am. Nine feet, then.
    The air is still. And there are no discernible scents. Not even my own.

    This is not what I imagined. Not what I was promised.

    The light does not change. It is constant. So the ceiling must be a ceiling. If it were open, there should be shadows, shadows that changed with the passing of the sun.

    But there are no doors. How did I get in here? Perhaps it was open above the walls.

    I begin counting. An attempt to keep track of time. A thousand one, a thousand two, and I make it to ten thousand one before I surrender.

    I close my eyes, but sleep does not come. I try to remember what I was doing right before I found myself here. Sleeping, I think. I remember turning out the lights. I remember the feel of the down comforter and my cool pillow. The cat curled up at my feet, disgruntled by my disturbing her sleep.
    But I don’t remember the cat’s name.

    And to my horror, I realize I do not know my own name.

    Surely I had a name.

    And then I smell something. Bubblegum. The smell of bubblegum. And the light changes, darkens, just a little. And there is a voice I hear, deep and slow.

    “Oh look, Mommy. A new one!”

    “Don’t break it, dear.”

    And a hand as long as I am tall reaches into the room and picks me up. A giant’s hand.

    “Are you sure you want this one, dear? There are so many to choose from.”

    I am dropped back into the room. The box?

    And the light brightens again, and the voice is more distant, “I think I like this one better! It has prettier hair.”

    And I do not know if this is heaven or hell or if I have lost my mind, but I am alone again. And there is silence.

    1. Dude! You know dolls creep me the fuck out! Quit appropriating my nightmares! ;)

    2. and it's open to interpretation what it is, which I like a lot. Eerie.

  5. Lepidoptera

    He watches her every move, every
    Little thing she does, however trivial;
    He peruses her, like she is a magazine
    Fallen wide open, pages flickering,
    Waiting on a shelf for his eyes alone.

    But he’s never spoken to her,
    Never lingered in the same room,
    Never asked her a simple question.

    But then it would spoil the game.
    He doesn’t want her to become too real.

    She doesn’t know him, yet she feels it,
    This constant pressure, like water dripping,
    An endless commentary of radio silence.

    It makes her feel sullied, overheard, as if
    Every conversation is now his, to study,
    To disrespect, to judge, to ridicule.

    He reads her life as though it was his own.
    She is the insect, his captive, his prey,
    Stretched out like a butterfly, pinned.

    And she prays for him to stop.

    1. Man, this is good. Makes me anxious. The language is wonderful. I especially like:

      But then it would spoil the game.
      He doesn’t want her to become too real.

    2. Wow... this is spooky and wonderful. And if you've ever been stalked, you know the feelings are exactly this.

  6. Blood trial

    Stone her.

    Don’t bury the bones,
    Leave them for the crows.

    She said this,
    But we don’t need to ask her.

    She did this,
    But we don’t need to ask her.

    She thinks this,
    But we don’t need to ask her.

    She broke our rules,
    Say the mob,
    Prosecutor, judge and jury,
    So we can break her.

    We have the right,
    And we don’t need a green light.

    Trial by mob,
    Make it look like a mugging.
    Stone the leper.
    Let’s televise,
    Can we monetise it?

    Don’t bury the bones,
    Leave them for the crows.

    1. Those last two lines! This is a cool piece and the simple structure works really well, especially with the echoed lines.

    2. This one, too, is very real, especially in the times we live in. And the crows and bones hearken back to Greek tragedies... so spare, and yet so full. Well done!

  7. Self

    This part of the self is the one that breathes too easy,
    Green as the grass inviting the reminiscence of rain,
    Softening the dirt enough for the sparrow to find its worm.
    And so it begins, this ring, this O, forever circling us.

    Waking birds will jest and dive, and mate and sing,
    While the things we count will never be numbers.
    The arch is but a monument to our fond travails
    And only the lark will rise early enough to sound it.

    But I digress, and along this path walk with me.
    These days are long, collected in puddles, mud-splattered
    Pages blowing across an ever-misted lake drawn,
    Offering you an emptied canvas, a fresh beginning.

    But know the distancing will turn around only too soon,
    For the tides grow impatient and darkness has its eyes.

    1. Oooh. Love this one. Such rich language. And I always like birds. ;) So cool that you wrote three such distinctly different styles. I like em all. Many styles, many styles ...

    2. Bravo... a non-rhyming sonnet. "Waking birds will jest and dive" is perfect. I liked the whole thing, but that phrase is absolutely perfect.

    3. Thanks, guys. I love birds too. They crop up a lot in my poems. Especially blackbirds. Maybe I like this one the best cos it's the most cheerful.

  8. The thing about Jimmy was he seemed normal. Just your average baseball-loving American jock – just enough chewing tobacco to piss his girl off. Not enough to make her leave. He liked to talk about their sex life. No one called him on it. I did, in my mind. He said: “I wait as long as I can to pee before we fuck so I can last longer.”


    Jimmy was alright at first, man. "Smoke as much as you want. Won’t bother me!"

    (He didn’t know how much I wanted to smoke, to be fair. It was a lot.)

    We got along all right, that’s what I’m saying. And then it all went to shit one night when Jimmy was too drunk to be talking and making sense at the same time. Jimmy said something you should never, ever say to anyone. Man, I smacked the shit out of Jimmy.

    You would have, too. Trust me.

    He tried to make it right later – as Spring revived the land and his mind settled. Tried to explain it or laugh it off. I don’t remember. I remember forgiving him, but we both knew that was the end right there.

    Some things you don’t ever fucking say.

    Sure, he was wasted and not good at it. Sure, I was wasted in a practiced, savvy way that included half a dozen mind-altering substances. I think that might have saved him. If I had been sober, I might have fucking killed him.

    There are some things you don’t accuse people of.

    Jimmy learned. It wasn’t good for anything though. Somewhere he’s walking around, hoping to hell he doesn’t ever run into me again because I know the worst thing he ever said. He said it to me.

    It’s been a long time. Yellow hair drifted away like dust off a hay bale. I am twice the age that I was then. I will never forget. Do I forgive? Of course, that shit was nonsense.

    But fuck you, Jimmy, still.

    You said it.

    1. The anger is palpable, even without our knowing what he said. I feel the same anger. Nicely done. Oh, and "Yellow hair drifted away like dust off a hay bale." Wow.

    2. Yeah, I like the hay bale too. I like the line 'I know the worst thing he ever said' - it has this step-back command to it and arrogance - I mean it might not be the worst! And some things you should never say - I like this a lot.

  9. That’s it, I’m leaving. The road is spread before me, wide up close and narrowing ahead, and I move into its sex trap scope like an ingenue. The last time it rained here can be measured in years, and the dry old asphalt is cracking and clumped and dusted with skeins of sand. Like a virgin, I step forward again, into the cracks, along the narrowing arid lines of perspective.

    No one else lives or moves here. The brutal sun itself is cataracted. No winds breathe.

    However crumbled, like ancient cheese, I love the yellow lines that remain. Tell myself that walking on them will break the long-gone backs of so many of my kin. I miss them. I miss childhood rhymes. I miss the rampant trees of then. I miss succulence. I miss so many things.

    This town consists of scattered homes, squat as toads though drier and more dead, a dimmed red light askew and hanging like a shriveled albino grape and optic nerve, corpses strewn like bone dry jackstraws beyond. Nothing for me here. Nothing for anyone here, including God and all her wide-eyed antic crew.

    I focus on chewing my own hangnails, tearing with my loosened teeth my raw torn cuticles. The consumed flesh of my fingers recedes like long-ebbed tides from a dying bay. My nails are black, my scalp alive with things that compel urgency.

    Maddened, I lope.

    Feet raw and wrapped in bloody cloth. I won’t even look at my feet unwrapped; that way lies surrender.

    Movement on my left, amid the dying scrub, the blue-grey sage, the skeletal mesquite.


    She’s following my halting steps and glancing right. I glance right back.

    “I’m proud to share with you this part of our fruitless odyssey, my slat-ribbed sister.”

    She looks away, but stays with me, snout sleek as a pocket blade, bleak eyes shimmering.

    Ten years ago we might have contravened some fabricated line in a mound of imported sand. She didn’t care then, and she doesn’t care now. Her offspring gone through violence, she shadows me in this inferno desert, loping between parched stumps, if only because we are the only things alive we both can sense.

    Forlorn. The feminine a last unlikely hope. Yet still a hope.

    1. Love it. The haunting, lonely, desolate landscape. The snout sleek as a pocket blade.

    2. I love The Road and this has a similar kind of loneliness and dryness to it, grey and grim. Strong image of the lone man and the lone beast, following each other. And makes me wonder if the coyote will one day kill him.

  10. Part 1

    James beamed a too-bright smile at Miri as they walked through Miami International to their separate connecting flights home. “That was fun,” he said.

    “It was.” But already she felt the distance between them. The long silences. The web stretching thin and translucent. She was glad they had a human amount of time to get a coffee before he took off to Chicago, and she to New York. This is silly, she thought. Their parents were neighbors; they’d been the best of friends since preschool. Surely, they’d see each other again, around the holidays at least. God save a Maxwell boy who doesn’t come home to see Mom at Christmas.

    “I think,” he paused, “we need to do this every year. Just find some tropical paradise where we can sleep late, drink out of coconuts, play on the beach—no phones or self-pity allowed.”

    “We should.”

    “You don’t sound so enthusiastic,” he said. “Maybe we should have stayed longer.”

    “No, I meant it, I…”

    He touched her arm. She stopped. He turned to her. “Ree. What’s wrong?”

    She let down her shoulders, and they stepped out of the corridor into an almost-empty waiting area. A floor-to-ceiling picture window looked out onto a pastel-painted jet being refueled.

    She didn’t really know what to say. Up until the plane took off from their tropical paradise, the trip had been wonderful. A bottomless ice-cream bowl of guilty pleasures—room service, raiding the minibar, getting massages on the beach. It felt they were getting away with something. The idea had come late one night after they’d gotten into his mother’s eggnog, while both of them were fresh off broken relationships and watching some stupid TV show fraught with newlyweds cavorting in heart-shaped hot tubs. “Let’s have an anti-honeymoon,” he’d said. “Why do couples get to have all the fun?”

    The idea still appealed in the sober light of morning, and she let him make the arrangements. He had a friend who was a whiz at navigating travel sites for cheap luxury, and booked them not only into a tropical paradise they could never have afforded otherwise, but into the honeymoon suite. Just for a goof. James offered to take the couch, gallantly, even though they both ended up passing out each night in the king-size bed anyway. Because that’s where the TV was. That’s where they were when they inevitably ended up talking until all hours, like they did when she visited him in Chicago, like they did when they were both living at home.

    Now a different kind of sober reality was needling at her. They could play newlyweds all they wanted, but aside from those few weeks in high school where she’d admired him in his football uniform—she was only human, after all—they weren’t romantic, and never would be. But she had to admit to herself that she’d liked the concept of it. That was one of the few things she’d enjoyed about her brief and ultimately disastrous marriage. Being a “we” instead of an “I.”

    And that wasn’t fair to either of them.

    “I liked pretending being married to you,” she said.

    “Back atcha. You’re my favorite fake wife ever.”

    Miri grinned. She couldn’t help it. A memory came to her then of the two of them playing house in the orchard when they were kids. She’d tidy up the fallen leaves from a shady spot between two trees; he’d find her the ripest peach and present it to her like the finest of gifts.

    “You’re sort of looking at me like you want a fake divorce.” His sweet smile fell. “Are we okay?”

    “Yeah.” She swiped a hand across her eyes, put the memories back in their closets. “We’re fine.”

    He hooked a thumb over his shoulder. “Because we could always get a coffee and talk about fake couples counseling.”

    “I think”—she cleared her throat—“I’d like that.”

    1. Ah, because she wants it to be real. or that's how I'm reading it. The dialogue sounds real and flows easy. You get to know them and their thoughts, and it feels true.

  11. Part 2

    Expensive airport coffees purchased, they returned to the empty gate. “There is something I have to tell you, though,” he said.

    She gave a dramatic huff. “I knew it. There’s someone else, isn’t there.”

    The expression that flashed across his face was one she’d seen before. This was no longer a fake conversation about their fake union. “Jamie. Why didn’t you tell me?”

    He shrugged a shoulder. “I didn’t want to mess up our vacation.”

    “Jamie.” But she knew he was right. If he’d told her he had a new girlfriend, maybe the last few days wouldn’t have been as fun. Maybe Miri would fret that she’d be jealous. Maybe Miri wouldn’t have gone at all. She’d had static from some men—including her ex—who felt threatened that Miri’s best friend was a handsome, charming guy. Miri didn’t exactly put herself in James’s league, but maybe his new person didn’t like the idea of her. “How long have you been together? Is it serious?”

    “Maybe…six weeks? And maybe it could be.”

    “So, did you tell her where you were going?”

    “It’s not really at that point yet.” His pause made her think he wanted it to be.

    “You’ve got to tell her. About us, I mean.”

    “Yes.” His too-bright smile returned. “I’ll tell her about my fake honeymoon with my fake wife.”
    “I didn’t mean—”

    “Ree. Of course I’ll tell her about you. When the time is right. I tell all the women who get to level two that you’re a big part of my life, and that you always will be, and if they don’t like it, they can turn around and keep walking.”

    She grinned. “Well. Now I really do want to fake-reconcile with you. I guess counseling really does work.”

    “And all it cost was one of these…really bad coffees.”

    The loudspeaker crackled with the announcement of his flight to Chicago.

    He let out a long breath. “See you Easter weekend?”

    “Wouldn’t miss it,” she said.

    They hugged, and she watched him walk away. The boy she’d played house with, the boy she’d climbed trees with, the man who was still her friend. The distance didn’t feel as tenuous as it had before. By the time her own flight was called, she was already dreaming up ideas for their next fake honeymoon trip.

  12. Mmm, he didn't tell the new girlfriend... ouch... this story could go in many directions. :)


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