The Man in the Coffee ShopThe man who works at the coffee shop looks like you. I noticed this some time ago and have since frequented the place. He recognizes me now. He smiles at me when I come in. His smile even looks like yours. He doesn't say hey though- you always said hey.
I still work at the library even though you're not there.
Sometimes I look over to your desk and expect to see you typing at your computer, but someone else is there now. It's not you.
Sometimes someone will come in who looks like you. Maybe he will have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice. It's never been you.
Sometimes I drive myself crazy. I pull at my hai
Grandfather's BirdGrandfather had a pet bird. Just a small, yellow and white parakeet; he named it Georgie, after Grandmother. Every morning, he would wake up at 6 o'clock, make a pot of coffee, grab the newspaper, and feed the small bird a small pile of birdseed. And he would gently carry the birdcage, and place it on the table and talk to her as he drank his coffee and read the newspaper.Grandfather's Bird2 years ago in Scraps More Like This
"Gas prices are up again Georgie, geez, remember when we could pay 20¢ to fill up our car?"
And sometimes the bird almost chirped in response. Years and years went by, and Grandfather grew older, and he could no longer carry the bird off the shelf, but he would still
The Architect's DaughterGrowing up, the drafting table was a strange contraption lording over the basement and over the crown of her then small head. As she slowly came to understand the table's function, it came to teach her that A) work and home are inseparable, and B) the world is flat. Skyscrapers collapse into thin piles of layered printer paper and torn, pen-marked transparency sheets. Mountains and forests reduce to stacked shapes. Fathers compile into cramped calendars.The Architect's Daughter2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Now the early lessons are thoroughly embedded. Art and architecture are inseparable in her mind. The easel is her own table, similar to a draughtsman's and yet completely different in
Lie to meI smile and I'm all teeth underneath,Lie to me3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
white bones beneath bulbous lips,
careless quips and sinking ships
when something slips.
Hair of the cat that scratched you-
it's never new but always true.
I watched it stew until it grew
into something different.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder
what does the blind man see when he holds her
and tells her his heart smolders
for her face?
Honesty as a policy
is not for me;
I could never see
eye to eye with it.
You can lie to buy my affection.
I will not try to hide my affliction
and you needn't be conflicted
when we can be so happy together.
The Black Bag The problem was simple, really. I was a little too drunk. Me and my buddy Jake though, we found it simple to walk with a stagger and laugh a little too loud, a simple problem. The day was pretty good, pretty drunk.The Black Bag2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The hours passed easy until Max came out of his pawnshop. Max never leaves his pawnshop. He looked so worried and strange I had to squint to be sure it was him. He got us interested, walking toward my buddy and me with trouble written all over his face. Trouble is something a man can relate to from time to time, somehow.
Max walked right up
The Neighbors Strange things began to happen when the Garcias moved into the ramshackle house next door. Or, at least people were implying that they were the cause of all the odd phenomena. I mainly did what I was told and stayed clear of the couple's territory.The Neighbors3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Rural life, as I experienced it, had its advantages and disadvantages. The good part was that we didn't have the luxuries of mobile phones or cable television and this made life more exciting. Children weren't cooped up at home watching DVDs or playing video games; we were always outside, running amok under the sun.
small talkhe doesn't do small talk; never has done in the seven-or-so years i've known him. he's a cut-to-the-chase kind of guy i met in a down-town pub. i'd been drinking he hadn't and he lent me an arm for the three miles home.small talk2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"irresponsible… alone… could have been hurt…” - the only snatches of his tirade i remember now.
we met again, a week later, in that same down-town pub. i bought him a drink - a thank you (soft, of course) - and basked in his approval at my own orange and lemonade. i once swore i’d never change for any man.
we got talking, there in the bar. the hum of the underage youths larki
Feeding The PigeonsThe new pills were in my pocket, probably getting all linty. Or should I say the new-new-new pills: after all, this was the third try at finding a medication I'm not allergic to. After throwing my guts up on two different meds, I'm not about to swallow another one, only to find it's coming back up too.Feeding The Pigeons2 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Why do I even have medication? It's not like I'm in horrible pain when I don't take it.
My arms are stuck straight out, and they waver as I try to balance on one metal track. If my foot touches the ground, it's "burned" by lava. Lava is pretty good incentive not to touch the middle of the train tracks: even if in real life, its not lava. It
Coffee-Stained Letter Dear Stranger,Coffee-Stained Letter2 years ago in Letters More Like This
You don't know me. And I don't know you. Maybe it's better that way. But then again, maybe we would be happier if we did know each other.
Right now, I'm sitting at my desk, with the sunlight streaming in the window, writing this letter for you. Hopefully I'll finish it by tonight, so that tomorrow I can take it to the coffee shop on the corner and drop it on the floor, or in your lap, or maybe in the lap of the person next to you so they can give it to you...because they don't seem like the type to read it, so they'll obviously just pass it on.
I like music - except terrible rap. And I love the written word more than most,
Alice of Sky and Earth [Cheshire treasure shepherd, nest, sir, chest. of.Alice of Sky and Earth2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I am only as real
as the teeth that spread themselves into a smile,
the eyes that wait to see the air ripple.
I fear people who call things simple.
I kneel at the hearth
and dirty my knees in the sienna-brown earth
VaingloryI watched Daedalus cradle his ivory child,Vainglory2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
melted, winged bronze crowned in seaweed:
he released his reckless child,
threw him to the winds in hopeless abandon
watched as the sea ruined him.
Decadent in ripped seashells,
he escapes into obscurity,
exalts the lamented to the point of notoriety -
Tell him I saw his face again
...in Picasso in art in war in despair,
he hid his face, a disgraced Eros
(still winged, still winged,
these wings bind flesh from stone,
from sea-besieged rock)
but still so naked in his shame.
"So desolate, o desolate,
O, so desolate, Daedalus?"
croons the wicked wind,
and the crooked man's back hunches
A Brief History of TimeI.A Brief History of Time2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
We live again
and must learn the names we have been given.
And oh, the caged bird carries the wind in her lungs.
She is a body of calm thunder.
I am born
with the sweet clay of Virginia in my eyes,
the bones of old Ireland in my flesh.
I am myself incarnate.
Opening a new mouth I
catches the birds in flight.
Oh, that man carries the wind in his lungs,
in his lungs and under his wings.
Our drums are our thighs,
the soles of our feet against the earth,
the thick pounding rivers that rush through our veins.
Motherfather Time sits
Ink VoiceWhile the other children spilled into the playground, Ren stayed inside. She sat in her beanbag and leafed through a book. Ren loved stories as much as she hated talking. This late into the year, she had read and reread every child-battered book on the shelf several times. And she loved them all.Ink Voice2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
They smelled like . . . magic.
Stories were doors and Ren used them to fall into other worlds.
Except, not really. She only pretended to do so, and it was hard to pretend when grownups decide to interrupt her quiet reading.
"Which book are you reading today, Ren?" Miss Payper asked.
Don't say a word.
Ren did not look up at her teacher. She cont
Sasha GrimTime hiccupped while Sasha was nursing a cup of coffee in the lunchroom of the office complex where she worked. It was a brief flicker but she knew what it meant all the same. She'd been gazing idly in Gary Piedmont's direction -- Gary with his perennial tan and cobra-like grace -- when suddenly in his place was a bloodied and burnt apparition with bugs caught in its smile.Sasha Grim3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She watched, wide-eyed, fingers tightening spasmodically around the cup of coffee she held as the thing walked across the room in Gary's well-tailored suit and sat down. Then she blinked and the ghastly image was gone.
Sasha took a deep
What Do You Think of Death?She stared at me. "I don't think of it."What Do You Think of Death?2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Not at all?"
Her eyes crinkled, thin eyebrows meeting in casual thought. "Well, sometimes."
"But not often?" I needed to know.
"No. Not often. Why?" Now her eyes grew wide, eyebrows arching in provoked curiosity.
"It's not important." But, having said the words, I found that strangely, terribly, it was.
"No. I suppose not." And her eyes closed.
I couldn't take it. "But it is!"
"What is?" Annoyance had crept into her tone, her sleepy pupils turning hard.
"Death! The et
The Epic SceneThe epic scene: I, a super hero, stanced in front of my arch-enemy, a super villain whose only intention is to make me suffer.The Epic Scene2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I, a lone hero in his white suit stained with blood of battles and triumphs over evil am staring a black dilemma in the face with every solution hidden from me.
He stares at me, his arms stretched out, like he's going to catch me if I should fall forward. His eyes are red, and glowing, and are trying to penetrate my concentration. We stand still, waiting for someone to move.
Our eyes don't budge from each other.
My true love shivers behind me, frightened,
I lead a quiet rebellion.When I was five years old, I wanted to be a taxicab driver in the streets of New York City. I dreamt of meeting people from all walks of life, and learning about them as we explored the urban jungle together, if only for a few minutes. Even as a small child, I knew I wanted to help others find their way in the world. Most people spend their entire adolescence figuring out what they want to do with their life, so I wore my decision like a politician's campaign button, and told my dream to anyone who would listen.I lead a quiet rebellion.2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
A few days later, my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Instead of a doctor, or a lawyer, or even a fireman, I tol
ErsatzHe has danger painted on his lipsErsatz2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and a terrifying truth hidden under his bed.
And I'm the only one who knows
he got a tattoo for his thirteenth birthday
that makes his skin look like it's
girls say he's the hottest boy in ninth grade.
He's burning up.
But he doesn't care for them
because he's secretly in love with Sam
[who, obviously, doesn't have a clue].
No one does.
But how long can you keep your secrets, pseudo-boy,
before you lose yourself?
He takes a look around him
and destroys as many people as he can
so he won't be hurt
CalamityI keep expectationsCalamity2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in my back jean pocket
and i tuck disappointment
into the folds of my shirts
they stay with me always
while confidence makes friends
with the dust bunnies under my bed
I store empty promises
under the weight of my spine
crushed by back bone shoulder blades
turned from fragile bones to wings that will never fly
and there is always anger
hidden beneath my fingernails
flooding my lungs until I can no longer breathe
while pleasure and pride
become the lost love child
of closets and old shoe boxes
frustration sleeps in my veins
accumulating like blood clots
incompetence makes itself at home
in the spaces bet
WashedButterfly woman:Washed2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
gorged on sorrow
lies herself down
in a cover of bubbles
and closes her eyes.
creeps up her skin
and wraps her. Enveloped,
she prays. Her lips
twitch like antennae
She exhales slowly,Amen.
She is clean.
Delirium Sings a Song for MeYesterday I was a little girlDelirium Sings a Song for Me2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with blueberry stains on my fingers.
But todayI am
a Baba Yaga in the woods,
standing tall on knobbly chicken legs,
making stews of children's hearts.
Beware the magic-weavers in the dark.
But I must be a siren, too
with salt on my lips and flowers in my hair,
but with eyes black, black as crows.
Beware our sing-songs, little one.
Surely I am a cello.
Play me like an instrument
my body is no longer me.
Strip me down to my bare bones and tell me,
what am I?
I have a face but no substance beneath.
That drumming you hear in my naked ribcage
can only be the sea.
ActuallyHeard that you were flying awayActually2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to a corner of the world
where the apartments were filled
with ghosts of people
who pretended they were dead
because they got more than what they wanted
and they were tired of people
who pretended they were alive,
but before you go,
I wanted to,
heard that you were allergic to words
and that numbers were more your thing
and I wondered
if you ever considered
the other things that could be your thing,
that time could be more
than asymptotes and facebook statuses,
and I wondered
if you could be more,
well, more than that,
because I just,
I wanted to,
let you know that I
Untitled Anna and I met at our big tree in the center of the field every afternoon that summer. I always got there before she did, and leaned against the wide oak trunk with my hands stuffed into my pockets. I went through a phase that summer, sporting skinny jeans a size too small wherever I went. I think Anna was the only one who ever noticed how uncomfortable I was in them. She just smiled a little whenever I squirmed to adjust them.Untitled2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The only things she ever wore were a tank-top and gym shorts. I guess she was just comfortable that way. She never wore shoes, either she liked the way her bare feet shushed through the grass.
Her Necklace Now It began as a very small thing.Her Necklace Now2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Junior and his dad disagreed on an item made in their silversmithing shop.
That shop was kept away from the family's houses, set up in an old outbuilding because of noise.
Silversmithing was always too noisy for the dozen homes on the family's half-section of wood and meadow land.
The lapidary equipment alone made a terrible sound.
Allie, Junior's wife, used that equipment to smooth rough turquoise and coral into stones ready for silverwork. She used a spinning grinder of damp and charcoal gray stone for her main work. When Allie put a stone against that, it sounded just