Friday, December 1, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

I broke your mind and left you stranded. I didn’t give into the shit you demanded. I got it twisted, tied it up. Filled my fucking misery cup. "Let it spill," you said, and smiled. I wrapped myself in sweet denial. I stood on the mountaintop feeling free, while industry feasted on the last real tree. 

Fishing for robot fish ain’t fun. They never jump. They barely run. They taste like metal, hurt to crunch. There’s no real fruit in that banana bunch. 

I had a woman, I remember well. Now I cuddle with the clones they sell. They don’t hold me tight, won’t hear me cry. They just sit and stare. I wonder why?

Ain’t they seen carbon-based before? Weren’t they invented just for this chore?

I fixed your mind with gum and paste. I took your good faith, bathed in waste. I let the politicians play, blood in their teeth at the end of the day. I blamed it on God, and you believed. The corporate shareholders were relieved. They toasted and laughed at declining health. Said, “As long as it won’t affect my wealth.”

So that’s what happened, believe it or not. Truth is cheap, but I gave it a shot. 


  1. JD:

    It will come when you least expect it. One day, you’ll be brushing your teeth and it will strike like lightning. Maybe you’ll clutch your chest. Maybe you’ll collapse. Maybe blood will pour from your eyes like ebola.

    You can’t run from death. You can try, but there is no hiding. Death will find you.

    There is only one guarantee when you’re born. You might be rich, you might be poor. You might be happy. Maybe sad. But you WILL die. Someday. Like I said, you probably won’t see it coming.

    It could be tomorrow. It could come at the end of this sentence. It could be that this piece of flash fiction never reaches completion. It could be that I already died and this is what heaven is like.

    But I hope not.

    You can’t trade your death with anyone else's, and it has nothing to do with virtue. Nothing to do with luck. There is no planning that can protect you. When the reaper calls, you have to answer. No choice.

    I like to think that death has a sense of humor, but I won’t find out until it happens. Could be tomorrow. Could be 60 years from now.

    I’ll sing a song to death and maybe she will come calling. Maybe my voice will echo back to me like I’m in a cave. Maybe I will sink into darkness, and that is all that death is. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m not afraid.

    Everything ends eventually. Everything except death.

  2. The great leveller... everyone is equal in the end... kind of.

    Love the poetry in the first story and the rhythm. Robot fish made me think of AI and the way it's taking over creative stuff like design, etc, lacking heart. Great end line. Great opening line too.

    1. Love it. The rhyme, the images, the robot fish, the "fixed your mind with gum and paste."

  3. Shifting

    Beyond today, out of tomorrow,
    kind ruminations, a pagent sings,
    discrete buds of purple light reinvited,
    here, where the crocodiles glide.

    Shapes flit and shapes glit,
    and the moon turns a-sideways
    upon the rise and fall, a graduation
    of silver, an envelope reopening.

    Here, naked feet sink and slide,
    in and out, deep into the travelling sand,
    hiding and revealing in constant rhythm,
    this even flow watched by the yawning dawn.

    1. This is so visceral - I can feel that slithering. Nice.

  4. The echo

    Stars echo, glitteration, speaking of night,
    scant decorations of light, a distant pose.

    All heaviness slinks, a sea breeze in curve,
    cerulean salt pleasures seep into the abyss.

    On the horizon an echo of being shimmers,
    the ebb of a fresh page being turned.

    A solitary yacht cuts this hazy line,
    glides left to right, breaking waves,

    imagines time on pause for a second,
    lost on an island shore, sand grit shifted.

    Within this move the endless is as it ever was,
    the being of everything on rhythmic revolve.

    1. Love it. Especially "the ebb of a fresh page being turned."

  5. 1.
    The door to Lola’s apartment flew open before Harold could knock, as if she knew he was standing outside. Just as the sight of her tear-streaked makeup and undone hair registered in his mind, she threw her arms around him and said into his chest, “Oh, Harold! I was worried sick! I didn’t know where they took you, and when I finally found out the cops wouldn’t let me in and I had your pants and—oh, my goodness.” She pulled back, straightened his shirt front, took his hand. “Come in. Sit down. Lemme get you some coffee.”

    He felt a little woozy. Maybe from being up all night. Maybe from not fully understanding what Lola just said. But he sank into her plush sofa and put his head in his hands. Moments later she was back with a steaming cup. She sat beside him. He wrapped both hands around the cup like it could save his life. After a long gulp, the gears in his head clicked back into place, and he said the words he’d been thinking about, the words he’d feared saying, ever since the Feds cuffed him and hauled him away.

    “Tell me straight, Lola. Did you put them on to me?”

    “You think I—”

    Her face looked close to crumpling and he couldn’t look at her in case it melted his resolve. “You let them in! You opened that door and let the Feds in here and didn’t say one single solitary word like maybe I was innocent and what the hell they were doing?”

    “What the hell they were—hey were gonna bust my door down! And I didn’t say nothing because—well, what was I supposed to say? They had guns, Harold. I seen those movies. The girl screams they got the wrong guy and they shoot her. You wanted them to shoot me? You wanted me to bleed to death all over my living room floor?”

    The image chilled him. “Lola. Baby. No. Of course not, but—”

    “I wouldn’t never turn you in.” Her voice was softer now, with a little catch in her throat, and it broke something inside him. “How could you think I’d do a rotten thing like that?”

    “I don’t know. It all happened so fast, and—”

    “I didn’t rat you out, Harold. Maybe one of those Bensonhurst guys tipped them off, or maybe you just—”

    She stopped talking then. Something changed about her face. Something about her face right then hit his gut wrong. He could have punched her. He’d never hit a woman, even if she deserved it, but just then…he gripped the coffee cup, let his voice go quiet like he’d heard his Pop do when he got down to the nut of a disagreement. “Maybe—maybe I just what, Lola?”

    Her cheeks flushed a deep pink. “Well.”

    “Tell me. Tell me what I just what. Thinking you didn’t rat me out would be a lot easier to believe if you told me the God’s honest truth right now.”

    “Well…I mean”—her smile quivered, a soft hand fell on his thigh and his muscles tightened beneath the touch then she removed it—“come on, baby. You haven’t been in charge all that long. Maybe you…missed something.”

    “You think I fucked up? You think that?” His voice got louder.

    “It’s nothing to get mad about, nothing to be ashamed of. It’s being human. Everybody messes up, sometimes. Especially when you’re new at something. I wouldn’t hold that against nobody. Humans ain’t perfect, that’s what makes them humans, that’s what makes them—well, lovable.”

    He gave her the side-eye. “You’re sayin’ right now you love me? You’re actually saying that right now.”


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