Friday, March 1, 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 have one cliché to play. I'm tapped out. My pain tubes are empty. All my fake people called in sick - the plot is thinner than usual. It's non-existent.

I spent the last two days wondering if I was finally going to break as a human being. I was kind of nervous. Things got hectic there for a while.

My brain is tossing smelly fish; why are you giving me attitude? Just try and remember we're on the same team here.

My ears are ringing like someone threw bells down a fucking staircase. There are chips knocked out of the stone.

There are all kinds of noises. There is the slap of warm meat and a high keening sound of despair.

There is magic in the air.

Just let it happen, man. Let the words fall like corrupted snowflakes. Affect a haughty attitude and stand in the shadows - no one is going to tie the wool over your eyes.

But now, it's time to move on. Trade my truths for silly lies. Buck up, boy, the carnival ain't ever leaving town.

#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. Despair and angst well told. The image of the bell and the staircase will be with me all day. May the words pouring forth purify the day.

    1. Is it too cliche to say, "I feel your pain..."? Seriously, I love the corrupted snowflakes line. We've all gotta do what we can to get by these days.

    2. Plus, the sheer despair of "the carnival ain't ever leaving town." Brother, you're killing it with the despair, which makes me worry a lot. Maybe the magic in the air will be something to cling to. Love ya, bro.

    3. I was there at the openings lines...especially these "All my fake people called in sick - the plot is thinner than usual."

  2. He wears a cross around his neck. Not on a chain, but on a thin strip of leather. It’s not gold, not silver, not even brass. Two old horseshoe nails, the kind that are square, welded together.

    I never noticed it until one hot August day when we were baling hay. I persuaded him to take his shirt off. To help him cool down, I said.

    But I lied. I wanted to see him half naked. Truth be told, i wanted to see him all naked, but one step at a time, I figured.
    “You happy now?” he asked as he put his shirt in the cab of the old Ford pickup truck.

    “Hey, don’t want you dying of heatstroke,” I said.

    “Uh huh,” he said. And then he flashed that smile, the one where only one side of his mouth goes up.

    I tried to look him in the eye, but my own eyes had figured out their target. His chest. Muscular. Covered in dark hair, except for his nipples.

    “Nice crucifix,” I said. “Never seen one like it before.” And then I did look him in the eye.

    “Thanks. It was my granddaddy’s. And strictly speaking, it’s not a crucifix. It doesn’t have the body of Christ on it.”

    “I never figured you for the religious type,” I stuttered. Shit, I wanted to ogle his body and I’d led us right into a sermon.

    “Don’t you ever wonder if this is all there is?” He waved his hand all around us.

    And all I saw were his biceps. “What, this hayfield?”

    His laughter was pure, and I joined him in it.

    “Naw, I mean, isn’t there more to living than just work and eating and drinking?”

    I almost added “fucking” to his list, but caught myself. “Yeah” was all I said.

    “This cross reminds me of that. Reminds me that strong as I might think I am on any day, I’m stronger when I’m part of something bigger than just me.”

    “Like a congregation?”

    He leaned against the truck. “Not just that. Family, too. Friends. Maybe one day, a husband.”

    I swallowed. Did he just say that? I looked down at his well-worn boots, then at his torn jeans, then at his naked chest, and finally into his cool blue eyes. The smile was gone now. Like he was waiting for me to react.

    I swallowed again. “I get that,” I said.

    The smile burst forth again, and he let out a sigh of relief. “I was afraid to say that last part out loud.”

    Still looking into his eyes, I said, “And I was afraid you wouldn’t.”

    He tilted his head and let his eyes wander down to my chest. “You oughta take your shirt off, too. Can’t have you dyin’ of heatstroke either.”

    And I did, and we didn’t get much hay baled that afternoon.
    Twenty-five years ago, this summer, and he still wears that cross, and now I wear one just like it. And I still stare at his naked chest.

    1. This is great, Leland. Nice twist against type, and the ending was just right.

    2. The thing about these stories you tell is that their sheer sexiness completely transcends any particular identification. I mean, I'm an old straight white woman and it's still hot!

  3. Oh Dan, you just tapped into my brain and innards with, "All my fake people called in sick - the plot is thinner than usual. It's non-existent." That piece is a litany, a rosary, a novena for the spent human who writes and the spent writer who is just plain human.

  4. Like You-Named Stars

    The pillow to my back’s giving a push
    toward this keyboard that won’t give an inch.
    That’s how it’s been for this long lonely while
    when the only you I see is up where
    the stories come, through the dark to my bed.
    That’s not in any dream, but in that time
    between awake and not, since sleep won’t come
    in the sense that I awaken like new.
    I don’t really sleep, not because of you,
    but because my sore old heart’s not in it,
    just like your heart’s not lying here near mine.
    So I toss and knot blankets, turn pillows
    into lovers and foes. Doesn’t matter
    since they’re not really human, though I am.
    I’m so human, I miss something never mine,
    which is why imagination became
    my dear new friend and worst old enemy.
    But that’s how I see you, through darkened rooms
    like centrally heated tombs, where I share
    a bed with ghosts of the not dead yet lost.
    And they steal the covers and push me off
    the edge, toward this keyboard upon which
    I crash, opening the wound that you see
    right here, amid all these, my other scars,
    the ones hung on night air, like you-named stars.

    1. Beautiful and desolate... and I'm glad for your being pushed ot the keyboard. "Centrally heated tombs" is an image that is powerful.

  5. Have you found them?

    Don’t worry, most people can’t on the first try.

    They’re there, all right, but only reveal themselves to those ready to believe, to accept, to embrace.

    Close your eyes and open your mind. Clear away the prejudices, fears and preconceptions. Suspend your skepticism. Relax and let all your senses — even those you don’t fully perceive or comprehend, and may not even believe in — do their jobs.

    Now search again, in the lush undergrowth, behind the massive trunks of old-growth trees, through green drapes of hanging moss, near the babbling brook, in the shaded canopy above and bright sky beyond. Look. Listen. Feel.

    So... Have you found them yet?

    I have.

    1. Ah, I like this... whether we are searching for wee folk for for butterflies, or whatever else, this takes us to them. Thank you.

  6. Cheating here because I already wrote this earlier in the week. But it's definitely two-minute flash, and why not share it with my compañeros here? It was occasioned by my sadness that the world lost the peerless Mark Hollis last week. Here is the piece of music I'm responding to.

    You stumble out of the house on a morning after, and your head is thick with pain, and the light of early spring is too bright like slivers of mirror, but you stagger into a meadow, and as sick as you feel you also know this is something precious, to be alive in this light, after an early rainfall, the countless shades of green like miracles, branches without motion in the aftermath of a soaking, the sun like diamonds hanging pendulous, falling from the tips of leaves, and your heart sways in your chest with the rhythm of youth and sends merry laughter at your hungover state, songbirds in the treetops, daisies in the riotous fields, the fragrant grass spangled with tiny mirrorballs, a loitering skein like a breath extant, and you like a penitent, ecstatic and wretched as you think about heading for the ocean, craving its roil of life yet fearing its recurrent fusillade, and at that moment a lingering cloud darkens the sun, and you think about how the world will be when you are no longer a part of it, and your heart is unmoored for a moment, only a moment, but a moment that never leaves you all the rest of your rapt and outcast days.

  7. Today, I spent two hundred dollars
    And I spent it just on me
    Didn’t give it to the gas man
    Or AT&T
    Didn’t give it to the landlord
    Or for some Convenience fee
    I spent it on my own sweet self
    I spent it just on me.
    I bought some pretty, pretty things
    That they don’t make no more
    I bought some new spring colors
    I never saw before.
    Didn’t downsize, one-size, throw a thing away
    Didn’t hang on to my hard earned money
    Or save it for some rainy day.
    I spent two hundred dollars, just on me
    Cause I’m tired of the message
    I should be glad to have a job
    And live in poverty.
    There’s plenty enough to go around
    There’s plenty enough to share
    There’s beauty and riches
    And bitches like me
    Sending the message: There’s enough to share.
    Didn’t pay my insurance
    Didn’t sock it away
    I took what I made and spent it on me
    And everybody else
    Can wait for a day.

    1. Love the rhyme AND the reason. Wonderful!

  8. In his lucid moments he spoke of Angelina. He described her hair as being a shining black river which flowed over her shoulders down to her waist.
    His frail body seemed withered and small between the crisp sheets of the hospital bed. His pale rheumy eyes stared at the ceiling occasionally darting from side to side as he spoke to an image only he could see. “Her eyes hold all the secrets of the universe, like swirling galaxies with the power to mesmerize” he rasped. He revealed intimate details of their lovemaking and uttered pet names he had used for her body.
    His family who were gathered around his bed shifted uneasily in their seats unable to look at their mother who sat rigidly by her husband’s bed holding his bony hand. She never took her gaze from Emilo’s face and not a flicker of emotion betrayed how she felt about his dying revelations.
    He drifted in and out of consciousness which was punctuated by his declarations of love for Angelina. Now and then he’d cry out and a look of terror would distort his features startling his children though his wife remained calm.
    As evening drew in and the shadows lengthened Emilio’s breathing became more laboured. A deathly rattling sound made every breath seem like it may be his last. He raised his thin arms up and gasped with difficulty, “Angelina, my love. I’m coming to you now. Wait for me my darling.” His hands grasped and twisted the sheets as cried out, “Wait! Don’t leave me, my darling, please….”
    His wife bent over him and she held his gaze. She placed her hand to his sunken cheek and spoke his name. “Emilio.” Confusion gave way to recognition in his eyes and a single tear escaped onto his wife’s hand. “Angelina,” he whispered, “You came back for me,” he said. Angelina smiled at her husband unable to stem the flow of tears any longer. She bowed her head and as she did so her grey hair cascaded over her shoulder like a snow colourer river on a winter’s day. “Yes my darling and you came back for me.”

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