Feelings with no namesi.
The feeling you get the day after sending a letter, and you know there is no possible way that the recipient has received your message yet, let alone formulated time to write a reply, but you still get just a little hopeful when you hear the mailman drive by and rush out to the postbox a little too quickly and are disappointed by the pile of free coupons, bills, charity flyers, and a late Christmas card from Grandma Moses.
The noise of a faraway car driving late at night, or perhaps early in the morning, in that sleepy place somewhere between consciousness and dreaming where everything is warm and vaguely fuzzy. The remote sound of tires on asphalt speaks to a sense of curiosity – where are they going? Why so early? – but the blankets are so heavy, your eyes are so heavy, and before you can wonder anymore, the car is long gone and you are long gone, carving out a hollow place to rest in just a few hours more.
A sudden awareness that occurs during funerals that y
Lighthouses and Rockets1. Lights OutLighthouses and Rockets1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He lived in an abandoned lighthouse. Always said he'd get it fixed up, be a light for lost souls, but he never did. He always ended up spending his income on coats and shoes for the homeless.
We buried him at sea last week. It was a cold, grey service, but our feet were warm.
I drove from San Francisco to New York, Seattle to El Paso, down every back road and blue highway, all the late night diners and greasy
spoon truck stops, checked into every hotel, motel, bed and breakfast inn, and campsite. Then the neighborhood library closed down and no map could lead me back home again.
3. Pink and Yellow
His first word was yellow and his life was infused with sunshine. Sun in the windows, in the wheat fields of his home, sun in his paintbrush; sun in the smile of his wife and the laugh of his daughter whose first word was pink and whose hair was the most brilliant shade of yellow.
Everyone can be compared to a light source. My fathe
SurrogateI stopped using his full titleSurrogate1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
because it started sounding too formal,
and it’s hard to be standoffish with someone
who swaps albums and memories so generously,
who loves German chocolate but hates the smell of oranges,
who knows me by my boneless,
drowsy form on the couch and by my words.
And maybe one day he’ll ask
me to drop the title altogether and call him Brad,
but I won’t.
Because it sounds too much like dad,
and I’m afraid of slipping up.
Tramps like usYou can’t take me far enough away.Tramps like us1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I can’t stop thinking about leaving. I can’t stop trying to pull my feet up by the roots, trying to rip up the radicles I’ve been setting down since birth. I can’t breathe in these small towns, suffocating with friendly smiles, church bells, and the last fumes of exhaust from the bus transit hub, but these whitewall tires are flat. Those long drives with your feet on the dashboard always end in damp motels with thin blankets and half-hearted kisses.
We’re following the birds because they know where they’re going – they’re going somewhere warm. They’re going somewhere happier. They’re going somewhere because they don’t have any choice, because instinct won’t let them be still, because what’s the fucking point of wings if they don’t fly?
There’s poetry in parallel lines and perpendicular horizons lying across the highway like an asymptote. When there’s
Things I'll tell you when you're older.The monstersThings I'll tell you when you're older.1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
don't fit under beds
ReciprocationThere was always one person that organized a Secret Santa every year, usually a girl, and usually an overachieving type that wanted an excuse to plan a full-on Christmas party. He didn’t mind them planning it on their own time, but had to limit parties to nibbling cookies while he continued teaching. There was just too much to do in a year to stop, even for the holidays. Especially for the holidays if he were honest. Christmas tidings came at the worst time for a professor; during finals.Reciprocation1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He never participated in the gift exchanges, though he sometimes advised his students in theirs when approached. It wasn’t that he was disinterested; it was the possibility of being accused of playing favorites. You did have your favorite students of course – the ones that did the work, who participated, that really wanted to be there – but you still treated them all fairly.
But someone must have put his name in anyway, because class was over and there was a package on his desk
we are all waiting to be found.August 17, 2012we are all waiting to be found.1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
I met a girl five years ago on a train to Paris and she told me she was running away. I asked her why, and she said she didn't know why—just that she had lots of things in her life that would justify her escape.
She held a cup of coffee in her left hand and periodically, she'd inhale the steady steam and sigh. I think she caught me staring at her once when her nostrils were on the plastic lid, so she explained that the smell of caffeine kept her heartstrings alive.
Her eyes were forever open, as if she never stopped to blink because she was afraid she'd miss something, and the sun sat on her eyelashes like birds on a wire because she told me she didn't know how to cry.
She had a habit of dropping things, and the third time she stooped below the table to pick something up, she screamed and hit her turquoise beret against the desk and spilled the sugar out of my tea. She apologized like a little kid, with her bottom lip sticking out ever so slightly, and said
Stories of feelings with no names - Revision i.Stories of feelings with no names - Revision11 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
The feeling you get the day after sending a letter, and you know there is no possible way that the recipient has received your message, let alone formulated time to write a reply. You still get just a little hopeful when you hear the mailman drive by. You rush out to the postbox a little too quickly and are disappointed by the pile of free coupons, bills, charity flyers, and a late Christmas card from your late Grandma Moses.
You lost your voice one day. You woke up to a hollow echo in the base your throat and knew you’d lost something special before you’d ever had a chance to say anything worthwhile. You checked under the bed and tried the lost and found, but couldn’t even ask if anyone had heard it lately.
A sudden awareness that occurs during funerals that you are going to die. You are dying right now – your cells are shedding like snakeskin and your hair is turning silver and every moment is one less than
beaut(if)ulYou exist in thebeaut(if)ul1 year ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
space where beautiful is a
Escape VelocityF = G(m1m2)/r2Escape Velocity1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Black – true black – is the absence of light. Darkness is defined by what it is not, by the lack of something else. When we say a black hole, we truly mean that; black. Blacker than black. An absence of not only light, but of time, distance, anything.
The night was scary when I was little. I hated the dark, but couldn’t bear to sleep so long as the light was on, any light, burning on the other side of my eyelids. I used to have nightmares about dark things in dark corners, shadowy figures with shadowy fingers trailing along my spine. I always woke up cold and fumbling frantically for the lamp, but the aura of light just made the shadows deeper and I turned it off quickly.
Black holes are dead stars. Graves. Tombs that bury light, bury it so deep, swallow entire suns, planets, galaxies. Dead stars take all the light with them like rich men spending fortunes on alabaster monuments and marble headstones.
There are four unmarked graves
GreyI like the color grey;Grey1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
it's not black and it's not white,
but sometimes it's a little blue.
StrikingIt was warm.Striking1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Not hot like she had been expecting a soft, gentle warmth that saturated her every extremity down to her fingertips. Like stoking the fire of a small heater, one bundle of sticks at a time. She was nestled snugly under the pale blue sheets watching sleepily as the man beside her dozed on. His grey hair looked more frazzled than normal and it was strange to her to see him so relaxed. The sharp intelligence in his blue eyes had always been striking and they were now closed to her.
Dinner conversation had been polite, ranging all over from Shakespeare to the latest blockbuster film; the two were completely absorbed in their own world for the night while the din of the crowd rose and fell around them.
She stretched her neck and shoulder blades with a soft groan, sparing a brief glance at his watch lying askew on the nearby intable. Nearly 2:15 in the afternoon. She returned her arm back to her side and burrowed back into the blankets with a puff of a sigh.
SuperimposeHe doesn't look like a gymnast. He's all button down shirts and frazzled grey hair framing wire spectacles, a picture perfect professorial archetype down to the very tips of his frayed shoelaces. But he was a gymnast once, or so he tells us, and I believe him because he smiles like he knows something while he's chatting before class.Superimpose2 years ago in Sketches More Like This
It's strange to see that image superimposed over the current one the distinguished professor in pressed khaki slacks and a jacket, worn brown loafers exuding a faintly courteous manner (you can always tell them by their shoes), and a ring on the fourth finger of his left hand versus the athletic kid who went to college for a semester and grew nine inches too tall to keep doing what he loved so he took up a tennis racquet instead. Gymnasts don't wear suit jackets; no steel mill worker has such manicured nails. But the images are all there, flickering just under the surface and bubbling up again when he's recounting stories about his days in Pi
voicelessi.voiceless1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I lost my voice one day. I woke up to a hollow echo in the base my throat and knew I’d lost something special before I’d ever had a chance to say anything worthwhile. I checked under the bed and tried the lost and found, but couldn’t even ask if anyone had heard it lately.
I found my voice one day. I took long walks with silent friends, made travel plans and came home tired but fulfilled. I pulled a pen from the junk drawer, or sat down at a keyboard, or bought a journal on a whim and found it curled up around my fingers, sleeping, rusty, but alive.
Hardback TextbooksIn retrospect, Gender Studies wasn't the best class for a non-confrontational student. But it was too late to drop now; there was no way she'd get her deposit back. She pretended to study her textbook very hard, trying to filter out the class discussion going on around her. Why did the professor have to use discussion circles?Hardback Textbooks1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"I'm just saying, if a chick is, you know, wearing fishnets and a halter top, mini-skirt halfway up her knee, slinking around all skanky, you can't really blame a guy. She obviously wants it - if she looks like she wants it "
The book snapped shut. That was enough. She gripped the textbook in one hand and threw it with all the strength she could muster at the obnoxious misogynist sitting directly across from her.
Her aim was good right in the nose, and hard enough to knock him out of the chair. He grappled about on the ground, trying to hold his now bleeding nose and push himself off the ground at the same time.
"WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT FOR?!"
CopenhagenLet’s meet again in an alternate universeCopenhagen9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
where your eyes are brown and I dyed my hair black
because I hated being a natural blue.
I’ll teach you to play guitar
and you’ll show me how to fly,
scholars caught in an intellectual love affair,
a tandem bike going nowhere.
I’ll know you by the gentleness
of your fingertips and you’ll need
no identifier but the slant of my handwriting,
because, world to world, some things don’t change.
55 Word Stories - Part One1. Roulette55 Word Stories - Part One2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Logic dictated that he had to die eventually. By bullet or bullet train, he didn't care. And end was an end.
He's heard of this condition before Quantum Immortality. One multiverse incarnate that would live forever. Him. It was just his luck that he would be saddled with eternity.
He sighed and reloaded the gun.
2. The Chase
There is no scientific name for the delay between lightning and thunder. The light flashes across the empty fields of gold followed by the crash of sound racing to keep up, to catch its always faster partner. The thunder never quite reaches its elusive lover.
I guess what I'm trying to say is come back.
Roy G. Biv hated his name. He was not, nor had he ever been, a colorful man. His gray eyes were the same shade as the gray suit he wore to hide the gray hair that fell out and stuck to his jacket.
The gray clouds gathered overhead as he pulled out a gray umbrella.
for all intensive purposesi am accused of beingfor all intensive purposes1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
a category five--
but i will not excuse the way my skin aches.
i want storms.
i remember the way Katrina screamed &
if you press your ear to my chest you will hear the same.
the moan turning into a pitch, the pitch
screaming until the throat is too raw to be
more than a whimper.
the way it stops
silently racked until it bursts forth once more.
i will not apologize for being demolition.
scars exist on every woman
too powerful to contain herself.
Conversations with Doci.Conversations with Doc1 year ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
"The question is, why fifty-five? What made you decide to write fifty-five word stories?"
"That's supposed to be the minimum amount for flash fiction. Fifty-five to a thousand."
"Where did you learn that?"
". . . that isn't good enough. That won't make a good story when I'm writing your biography. Find a better reason."
"If it makes you feel any better, I've been listening to Backstreets a lot. Like, a truly ridiculous amount."
"Really? You didn't like any other song?"
"Well, I already knew about half of them."
"What do you think you liked about that one?"
"I just like the cadence of it. And the piano riff. I like piano riffs."
"See, I knew the guy really well, and I wish I had the story he told me. But anyway, he broke into the fucking Records to steal the files he needed. I know because he told me about it. I'd like to write that one, but I'm afraid his wife will get mad at me."
"What, she never knew about it?"
"Well, he's dead, what's he
MessagesThe thought of your fingers turning these pagesMessages11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
makes me feel close to you;
like we share a secret delivered by
the author from one reader to another.
This spy network of exchanges,
author to reader,
you to me,
puts a spring in my pulse
and makes me turn the pages a little bit faster,
looking for the thumbprint
that marks the message you left for me.
Mourning“It’s not like that; there’s nothing wrong with mourning your wife. Everyone deals with it in their own way. But now – sometimes. . . It’s just that sometimes you get this look on your face that’s less I wish she were here, and more I wish I were with her, and that scares me a little bit.”Mourning1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
confessionalthey say sad girls change their hair colorconfessional1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
and forgive their monsters.
i change my morals
and become one.
Conversations with Doc - Part Fouri.Conversations with Doc - Part Four8 months ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
"Just be your usual lovely, kind, smart, wonderful self, and you'll be fine. Leave Bitch Lauren at home tomorrow. Pat the Snarky one on the head and tell her to be good while you’re gone."
“I can’t leave her with you for a few hours?”
“NOOOO, no way!”
“You’re neat, aren’t you? I mean, not compulsively, but you’re organized.”
“I try to be. I go to The Container Store just to look around.”
“Now that’s a line for a story. I’m stealing that line.”
“I won’t time you. I only do that to people that have consistently abused my patience.”
“See what I have to deal with every day? Snipe A and Snipe B right here.
“Just look at all the silver in your hair. I take credit for at least some of those. I bet I made that one right there turn silver.”
"Good luck, Doc."
"Luck? Skill! Intensity! World domination."
my body is a funeral servicethis morning i emptied your ashes into the sky, hoping to watch them sift through my fingers like an eagle taking flight. but the wind carried them backwards and my face became an ashtray for memories. you came back to me, like you always do, like a kiss or a reoccurring dream that i can never forget. i became cloaked in black grain, the remnants of your body. your cremated smile was caught somewhere between the stinging in my eyes and the ash on my jacket.my body is a funeral service2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
in that moment my body became a funeral service. my lips preached your names to the trees. i forgot what it was like to feel anything but hymns pressing down on my back like the heat of the sun. i smelled of incense and bones burning in a fire people are paid to create. it was more than i could bear. for weeks, i obsessed on how someone could lift a motionless shell of a body into an inferno, watch people die a second time and accept their paycheck at the end of the day.
i wanted to step into that crematorium and pluck pulses like f
He doesn't write poetry anymore.He doesn’t write poetry anymore,He doesn't write poetry anymore.10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
even if he still collects it, reads it, saves it, treasures
faded verses from his wife the way connoisseurs
savor vinyl over metallic rainbows on disc.
I don’t mind not knowing, but I can’t stand not asking.
The record needle hits the groove wrong;
he stumbles over words that aren’t there,
rummaging for an answer he doesn’t really have.
He doesn’t write poetry anymore
and his confusion is strangely endearing.
But there’s a lyricism to his words that I love,
poetic lines inserted between the daily grind
of character names and who said what;
voiceless boys in white and draymen carting the dead to saltwater lakes,
elegiac undertones that haunt historians and forlorn painters.
He doesn’t write poetry anymore –
except when he does.