Friday, September 20, 2019

2 Minutes. Go!

I know there's extra kool aid, but I'm not thirsty. I know there's ways to placate the rage, but I don't have a television. I know that fucking a supermodel will make me feel better until I come, but I am a premature ejaculator. I know the president is a fucking crook, but some folks really like him.

I know we've come a long way, but I ain't black or trans. I know the system's broken, but I'm a simple man.

I can think of only simple solutions, and I'm not there yet.

I know that you didn't mean to do it, but you did it. You weaseled your mask through the forest, and all you got was scratches. Bleed. I don't give a fuck. I didn't lead you there.

I know you got diplomas and lots of other reasons you think you're better than me. Hell, your Moms would agree. But I'm into three dimensional people, personally. But maybe that's too much to ask of you; your eyes are tired from rolling.

I'm tired of political reflux. Keeps me up at night. Makes my brain tweak out on guilt prophecies. So, we'll keep it simple. Fuck yourself. Fuck me. Fuck climate change. I'm down with driving this hunk of bullshit right into fire.


  1. I feel your rage, but I respect your wisdom. Keep on going, keep on preaching the truth. Above all, keep on writing.

    1. Love this! Fuck corruption, fuck destruction, fuck everyone who is fucking up other people/the world/the universe. Love it. Premature ejaculation line killed me laughing!

  2. She was slow, plodding through a downtown she knew when she was a girl.

    He was fast, noticing only the important things. Who looked like they had a wallet that needed lifting, a purse that needed grabbing.

    She looked at the old buildings, wondered which would fall next to the wrecking ball. That building used to be a department store. She’d done Christmas shopping there. Bought her mourning clothes there, too, when her father died.

    He was consistently aware of every person within a twenty-foot radius. Who was looking down at the ground, who was texting on their phones, who would notice, who would be fast enough to pursue him.

    She was weary, not from the day’s outing, but of a life that changed faster than she could keep up with.

    He was hungry and that hunger fueled his senses. He saw her, walking up to a bench. Saw her big old purse, too.

    She needed to sit down, just for a minute. Get her bearings. Figure out which bus would take her home.

    He readied his knife. Should be easy to cut the strap on her purse and make a break for it. Might get lucky. She looked old enough that she would carry cash instead of cards.

    She groaned as she sat down. Moved her purse to her lap.

    He missed the strap with his knife, the knife he’d sharpened that morning. And there was blood.

    She didn’t scream. She just looked down at all the blood on her blue suit and her white silk blouse. Red, white, and blue. Good colors, she thought as the blood ran.

    He kept walking, didn’t look back. Never look back after failing. Wasn’t that what his father said? Just keep going.

    It was the city, and no one noticed her till a bus stopped. But the bus wasn’t going to take her home.

    He kept walking. Looking for opportunity. Looking for money. Listening, watching.

    It was the last episode of Seinfeld that night. And he laughed.

    1. The last line threw me a little, but the rest broke my heart. Is the Seinfeld a return to pseudo-normalcy?

    2. My intent was to show that sociopaths think that their lives are "normal." So after killing someone, he sat down and watched TV.

    3. Yep. That's what I thought. I think maybe not specifying the show would help because I felt that I was missing a deeper connection?

    4. That sounds like a good idea. Thanks

  3. Can you hear them? Out there, I mean. Chanting. They’re gonna kill me, Father. And there ain’t gonna be no trial.

    Father, I’m not even Catholic, but I’d like to confess to a couple of things. I stole some things. Not big things. Food, mostly, when I was a boy. Candy, too. And I lied about it to my mother. But Daddy was gone. The war. And my sister and mother and me, well, we had to eat, didn’t we?

    I tried to work, but I was just a boy. A skinny, no account boy. But I had good ears, and I learned the sound that sages make when the gears and such fall into place. And so I finally found a job. I could crack a safe, and that got me a job.

    I never got involved with killing. Just helped Jesse get the safes open, then I’d go outside. Sometimes he’d kill ‘em, sometimes not. But he always fired his gun so I couldn’t tell.

    Except I could. I could hear it in their voices, begging not to be killed. Pleading that they had kids at home. That they’d never testify against him.

    Then Jesse got caught. Left me hanging. So to speak, though it’ll likely be true enough later tonight. He was the brains, and I didn’t know what to do.

    And that’s why I came to Colorado. Figured out I might be able to do something honest out here. But I couldn’t. And that’s when I learned to play cards. Poker, mostly. Lost most of the money I’d made with Jesse while I learned but eventually, I caught on. Figured out to tell when folks was bluffing, when they was tellin’ the truth.

    And I may have learned to cheat. I kinda thought of it as magic tricks, but sometimes that magic found its way to the table.

    None of that’s worth killing me, right?

    They’re getting louder. Closer. We may not have much time left, Father.

    So here’s the last of it, the worst of it, what they’re gonna string me up for.

    I fell in love, Father. With a cowboy, I thought. Sweet nights on the plains of Colorado, under a moon that didn’t care that two outlaws shared a bedroll.

    Then, one morning, I heard a pistol shot. Tanner killed himself. Guess he couldn’t handle kissing, loving another man.

    I didn’t know he was a deputy, till I found his badge. When I was digging his grave. Didn’t know he was married neither. Not till I rode into town with his horse, and his wife asked why I had the horse.

    They think I killed him, Father. They found his grave and dug it up. Sheriff found his pistol on me, too. What was I supposed to do, bury it with him?

    I can see they’re here now. The torches are right out there.

    Pray for me, Father, and don’t tell ‘em I loved him. That’s just between him and me and the moon.

    1. Wow. I absolutely love this one. The voice is dead on, and the confessional is pure and true. This is a wonderful piece of flash.

  4. January walked away again. She had friends, but she preferred to remain aloof, passing though her lives without a ripple. The man she’d just seen buried had been a lapse, a mistake she’d wandered into, their relationship thriving despite her neglect.

    She wished she could be colder, more inhumane.

    She’d done this before: three times, in fact. She’d vowed ‘never again’ the last time and she’d do it again, tearing up her dance card and throwing the pieces away. But her life was a habit she couldn’t give up. There was no way out for her, it seemed.

    Loneliness was the cruellest of companions, but it was the one she sought.

    “Ma’am?” The gentleman with the umbrella stepped closer, shielding them both from the weather. The rain hadn’t stopped all day and the footway was wet, water sluicing down it like a millrace. Her feet were cold and she was miserable. She should turn away. She should shake her head and say nothing, denying him an opening into her world.

    “Ma’am?” He continued to walk alongside her, matching her pace. He was a little taller than her, dark haired and with a swarthy skin that made him look tanned. She shouldn’t look his way, she shouldn’t make eye-contact, she shouldn’t say a word to the stranger. That was the way relationships started. Three hundred years was an eternity when death took everyone else.

    People would say she was lucky to live so long.

    But she considered it a curse.

  5. Down, not out

    Get up, fall down, drop out

    People aren’t dropping out for fun,
    It’s cos they don’t know how to be any more

    Cardboard cut-outs scrawl a life’s pain,
    Sound desperation’s mouthpiece of want -
    A small request against a backdrop of have

    Businessmen glide past the invisible ones
    Shuffled into urine-stained doorways,
    Rushing to a deadline conjoined with cash -
    Humanity at a discount, 50% off,
    You won’t find this bargain off the high street

    We’re all walking the edge, this delicate balance,
    Sky-high rents amid competition for space

    They’re hawking pubs and venues for inaffordable homes.
    Miss a rent to swap your room for a cardboard box,
    Setting up shop in everything you own in hope
    That someone will find a drop of empathy and stop

    Get up, fall down, drop out

    People aren’t dropping out for fun,
    It’s cos they don’t know how to be any more

    Do you have something to fall back upon?
    Did you save enough in case the deck falls?
    Did you lock it away safe for that rainy day
    Cos the flood’s coming and you won’t have a say

    We’re all fragile urns beneath our blind arrogance,
    A step away from a slip, a fall, a plunge

    A scrap of a dog barks in a lurid neon alleyway
    And you feel he’s you, lost, cold and alone,
    Looking for shelter, somewhere warm to lay his head

    But the Man is busy counting out his pounds
    And he hasn’t got time for the waif and stray,
    So carry on whining because no one can hear
    While the rents go up and winter crawls in to bury.

    1. Lovely to read your writing again. And along with reminding us to look closely at our lives, you inspire us to try, and to have something to fall back on.

  6. Fire

    He sells bravery on the wing,
    Lights flashing,
    Tyres grinding fertile earth,
    Phoenix rising, red, gold,
    Red wood crackling,
    Strings of yellow firing,
    Tumbling leaves of ash curl.

    It soars on high,
    A giant heaving flame,
    Challenging its audience
    To fight or flight,
    Rousing fear to a crescendo,
    Smashing, cymbals still,
    Redrawing towns in rubble.

  7. Fields

    Pages slashed into pieces of green,
    Verdant patches of guilt stitched,
    Where even the owl lies diagonal,
    Stretching out brown wheat wings,
    Gusts of feathers eroded in crop circles.

    Lines part and reunite in dust.
    Blue skies crease, scowling
    On hidden pathways etched.

    Glass cracks dance as ice people,
    Interspersed by light so bright it blinds
    Where mountains soar in monochrome.

    Everything floats here, losing the innate,
    And even the lines between are evaporating.
    We live in spaces already carved by figurines,
    Sculptures dumb walking pages long torn,
    Reorganised into a mirror of something new.

  8. “We had a mind to party, but not no Donner party.” — Unknown

    I never scrubbed that sound from inside my head. That muted eternal shriek. It weren’t anything, really, just a noise that followed us across the salt flats and then the desert into the Cascades, though we heard it every goddamned revolution, each time the axle turned. We tried to plane the wood at night, slice away them nicks and burrs. Nothing worked. It felt like the admonishment of the land itself, crying, wheedling, greeting, long before it even considered rising and defeating. It hollered its plea in earth time not man time.

    Oh woman, you barely have a voice. You cook and you mend our boots and you lie awake nights wishing the very stars would align, like pragmatists. You urge the world to settlements, you mediate. Within this burning valley, and most places yet, you are the best of us.

    Dry bone shacks and half collected cairns. Sterile cries across such barren miles. These lands are jawbones aching with carious teeth, sung to by ragtag coyote choirs. Ridgetops bristling. Stout moon rising yellow as infection.

    The West, the offhand West, its fragile trickles covert, generous of light though skinflint with drink. No pass unimpeded, no voice left to speak, no dry throat slaked.


    “Our house is on fire,” the air whispers.

    Chafed and stunned to deadpan, I walked for a day or so and only two vehicles passed. What is this?

    The sky is brown umber, the sparsity of trees silhouetted conifers.

    I walk so I can get away from the thing that happened. It was abhorrent. I am only one small girl with a queerly knotted gut in a wheeling galaxy.

    One of the vehicles was a worker bee, some kid on a scooter. He slowed and almost stopped and when I yelled for him to talk to me he got spooked like a deer electric and whined his way past. The other was a pickup with a bed full of women and men. The faces of the women in particular told me stories. The men could barely manage a glance. I turned my back.

    But where did the world go? Did I flinch and miss it? Feels like just yesterday I was listening to Lana sing about the perils of hope and about Kanye and Plath and how we had it all.

    What happened to jasmine and juniper? To the heady riot of spring? To the dance of honeybees and butterflies and the twilight helix gyre of bats? Fireflies and the backdrop trill of cicadas?

    How do we measure from span to everloving span, the unutterable link between worlds?

    The sky is old blood and stinks the same.

    Our house is on fire.

    I’m here at the cool rusted railing of the bridge. No idea what waits unflappable below, but tell me exactly why I shouldn’t climb over.

    1. Powerful writing, my friend, and sad truths. May we find a way to put out the fire.


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