Red Riding Hood's CabaretA dancing girl with fiery hair,Red Riding Hood's Cabaret2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Twirling smoke around her finger
Dances in darkness for a sea of howling wolves
Unclothed, her emptiness is put on stage
To burn in the spotlight
As claws scratch at the floor
She plucks a hot cigarette from one of the fingers
Puts it to her lips and takes a warm sultry drag
"Look, but don't touch" she mutters,
Stepping just close enough for a claw to rip into her thigh
And she whispers into the snarling crowd
"What more do you want?"
as her hips and crimson lips rock smoothly and tempt softly
And while her legs move, her eyes dance and smile,
Unsolvable mazes of golden brown for irises.
A subtle wink gives wolves the night of their lives.
Sequins stun, glitter falls,
and the cabaret is full to burst of testosterone
Roaring with the stench of festering whiskey
But all eyes are on the girl, with a hood of scarlet hair
Tempting wolves with whispers and lies
Of a night alone with fire
Nowadays. Side Ways.thisNowadays. Side Ways.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
there is more paper here than clothing
my iron is broken
the water leaks onto pages
with their own ink
it boils when it spills
my shirts are ironed dry
they and I
crave the water
the paper is indifferent
A Note on DrowningI am writing this letter for myself. If you have found this letter, please give it to me. If you find that I lack the will to read, if my mind is gone, if my hands are bloodied, tell me at least, that the song is near its end. If I am dead [indistinguishable]A Note on Drowning3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
[Written in the margin: IF I AM DEAD THROW ME TO THE SEA]
In laying out the bones of my terrors, a solution may be found.
I’ll start before the beginning, when Mother took me for walks on the beach and told stories. Together we missed my father, who sailed the sea. These are my earliest memories, but I remember things had always been this way. We walked together, and I counted my many steps and Mother’s few. When I stretched my legs, I could make it so my path went over only her footprints.
The sand was soft where she had stepped. Elsewhere was gritty, and unclean.
I was young for all of Mother’s stories. Here I will write the relevant one as best I remember.
“A sailor was on a ship. This ship was far of
how to move mountainsthe mountains came down to listenhow to move mountains2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
or was it
that I went up to tell them
of these winter snows
that hit early spring
as if they couldn't
those mountains, shake it off
themselves. ink on my quill is
a thought not yet written.
a simple stick in snow could
write the same questions
and the answer too, along with
the snow's fading presence.
Think"So. You started exhibiting abilities…?"Think2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Um… three years ago? Yeah, three years, and it was May I think. Fourteenth or maybe sixteenth, I don't remember exactly – I just remember that it was my last semester. Yeah, three years ago, May."
"Fourteenth or sixteenth?"
"Yeah, one or the other. I remember that because I has these huge goddamn exams, you know, one was on fourteenth and other on sixteenth and it was during one of them I heard it for the first time. Can't remember which one though, just remember being a nervous wreck. I studied of course, I mean, hello, you know? But test's a test."
"Right. It started during an exam then? In a large crowd."
"Well, large enough. I didn't go to a big school – hell you should know, you probably have my files and everything. Don't you? I mean, don't people like you have files on everything, even someone like me? Or should that be especially someone like me…"
"How large was the crowd?"
"I don't know. Twenty f
One of those NightsThe morning sunOne of those Nights2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
beams through the front windshield
like an intruder:
brash and unwelcome, forcing you to wake.
Whiskey eyed, smelling like an ashtray,
parked at the back end
of some ghetto ass neighborhood
wondering what the hell you did the night before.
It's like trying to remember words
you haven’t written yet.
One thing is for certain:
a little bit of rope goes a long way,
but a lot of rope
will hang you.
lemonwe walk down the streetslemon3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of a city named after the last thousand years.
a breeze floats by
and for a moment your hair lifts off your shoulder.
the way it doesn't touch you,
i want to touch you.
there are traces of lemon in your light,
a vague sense of mint on your fingertips.
the way honey tastes
drifts inside your shirt.
entering the city
walking calmly while the light falls
is like listening to your voice,
like waiting at the bell by the river
for a clamoring to do justice
to the patterns on the water.
the way the bells never end
i want to brush my hand against yours.
the way you drop lemon into your water
i want to live.
just wave goodbye dearest,just wave goodbye3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
today i was
i tried to
could only get
as far as sand before the
cratered moon pulled me back again.
StillHe was waking or he was falling asleep, neither, both at once. This was a dream. This was the only thing he had ever known. It made no difference, he trailed his own body like ripples after a rock, smoothing and breaking and smoothing again.Still3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
His feet moved tirelessly, without thought. No longer human, only the Walk was real. For minutes, or for months; time was fluid and distant. Walk.
He broke and a low mountain pulled him forward. Smoothed. Broke into flatlands, into shallow water. Into the evening, into the weak dawn.
Smoothed, back into the soft yellow lights behind his eyes. Walk.
He was not alone. This thought came from his bones, the heavy vibrations that shook them. It was something known, not something learned. It was like becoming aware of his own breath.
After a moment, without any real intent, his head raised. The yellow lights flickered. He could see three trees surrounding him. No, three hills. No. Three monstrous beasts. No. Three brothers.
He was waking after
the science of sleep.i don't sleep anymore. or at least i don't think i do. it's one of those things i stopped keeping track of like the number of words that make my mother cry (cancer, lists). if i'm being honest, i stopped sleeping (maybe) around the time i started thinking in a series of parentheses.the science of sleep.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
because i don't sleep, my arteries demand too much air (oxygen, clean) from the space outside my window. i make my room my heart, cold. it fills with a wind only bricks can breathe, an ice only soil is willing to withstand. i am winter's soul.
the world becomes a different place when you stop noticing sound (mute, black and white film) and start noticing every movement your bones, your muscles and the acid in your organs make. you start twisting your spine to imitate the birds spreading through the branches like cancer and you force your fingers to bend in unnatural angles to stop the shaking. but aren't we all just mocking birds (mockingbirds)?
when you stop sleeping, your body becomes the experiment and y
Georgie's CrumbsThe scars lie in zigzags across my throat. I don't remember the knife that made them, and they're not the point of this story; Annie is, and I'm mentioning them because she never asked about them. I loved her for that. Instead, when she found that I always played extras at the drama club because there were days when I couldn't speak in anything but a whisper, she taught me how to mime. I spent hours practicing in their dusty living room, swaying to the clatter of Georgie's nails on the piano keys. Georgie plays piano like Annie rides horses.Georgie's Crumbs2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I still find the memory of her down by the old dirt road, where he put Georgie's piano. I turn my head and catch the scent of the wind, the way the air felt when she smiled, the way the dirt tasted when I stumbled off the horse and she caught my hand and brought me up beside her, drew me up to the sky.
I sometimes wonder what she'd have done if I'd been on the ground that day. I drew up Rook before the corner because I wasn't bold like Annie, didn'
Tea BrownIt was all about finding those edges where the shore metTea Brown2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
took a trip at first, a little dip to test the water, tea-brown and murky
but swimming was easy and keeping one hand on land
was like trying to climb a mountain of sand
and the tide, a rip, took us out to sea
It was all about keeping your head above the water
because you'd never see the monsters underneath in that lightless place
but they could only get you when you got tired or
when it got too hard to escape that place
deep-space diving got dangerous
It was all about coming up for air to fill your lungs
and trying to keep the hair out of your eyes even though you couldn't see
it felt safer, like running at night, faster and silent
but the only way was down and deep
with all the added weight
It was about remembering what floating was like back when you could always
put your feet down and walk out when you were done swimming
or when the water got too cold or when you just needed
to get someplace dry but now every direction is
The art of blacking outHow I wish I could say strangersThe art of blacking out3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
crept inward, night by night,
stealing my medication and
rearranging my furniture.
But I know it's not true.
There are holes inside
my head. Oxidation.
No one unlocks this door
but me. I am just
Blackbird's FeatherBlackbirdBlackbird's Feather3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
sweeping across the snow
left me a feather
and away he goes
and away he goes
drifting up on the air
but I seem to be stuck here
melting in the cold
cannot rip my eyes from the sky
cannot get my fists to unfold
the words have frozen to our tongues
that's what happens to winter love
so you think this feather is enough to make a wing
so you try to free me from it,
but your claws only sting.
i walk away
come to regret every footfall
but I can't keep you down
because you're up
and I'm frozen to the ground
laying pale in the snow
he can soar no more
you didn't have to do that
have to fall on your own sword
cut your wings apart
to get me back home.
and as I see you freeze
I know now what it is I believe
that someone could give up everything
come down to the winter
do you know the secret, Bird?
learn to live with the cold
though you turn blue
the heart beats hot inside of you
I know it
FirefighterI'd always known what I was going to be when I grew up. Not everyone has that kind of clarity at such a young age, but I did. I was going to be a firefighter. I knew it the very first time I watched Fireman Sam - he was my hero.Firefighter2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I couldn't understand why people laughed at me when I told them of my ambitions. Even my father, who'd always been supportive of me before, patted me patronisingly on the head when I told him. "Yes, yes, and your brother wants to be a ballerina," he chuckled.
I didn't understand that. Ricky certainly did not want to be a ballerina. He wanted to be a masked vigilante. I knew because I'd overheard him talking to his friends the other day, but I didn't say that. There were certain things that you just didn't do, and correcting my father was one of them - I'd learnt that the hard way.
Ricky didn't approve of my ambitions either. I told him that he was the one being unrealistic for wanting to be a masked vigilante which wasn't even a real job; he just
Time Traveller's EngagementExactly ten years from tomorrow, we'll be married here. My wife doesn't know that, of course. In a certain sense, neither do I.Time Traveller's Engagement5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It's a beautiful spot, now. Now meaning today, when the sunlight is still pure, and the sky is still blue. The ivy still climbs in green snakes up the side of her father's chateau, the pennants of the House of Renard are snapping gaily over the towers.
I hear a lilting laugh that even now sends my heart into my throat. Euryale Renard. She is only a girl today, no older than my little sister is in the days I left behind. Even at twelve, my Ury's curls catch the sun like molten amber, with a flower basket flung wide as she runs. Behind her tumble the Twins, her best friends, their giggles almost as musical as my Ury's, their golden hair belying the poison in their hearts. I remember the snarl on Cassandra's lips as she spilled out her wine glass on the floor after Ury's father toasted our engagement. I remember wiping Chloe's spit from my eye on the same
Imitating NatureThe morning sun streamed through a series of large plate glass windows lining the library's east wall, its rays warming the room's wooden paneling and illuminating the cavernous space. Tall bookshelves stuffed with literature from across the world towered over polished oak reading tables, each furnished with a plain, green-shaded banker's lamp. On the far side, a massive painting gracing the west wall depicted the solemn face of Saint Patrick, whose protective presence could be felt watching over the library's sole visitor.Imitating Nature3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
All was perfectly quiet, save for a tap, tap, tapping that echoed in the otherwise silent room. Seated at a desk near the door, glued to the screen of his laptop, Eoghan quietly tapped his pen against the notepad in his lap as his eyes scanned through the different news reports.
Another roadside bomb outside of Kandahar, three dead, all soldiers. God frowns upon careless mistakes gentlemen. You should have noticed the dead dog along the side of the road.
paper hearts. Theres a crevice in the wall where she hides her little baby girl, all plastic smiles and mechanical giggles. She cuddles it like it has a soul and speaks to it like it has a name. Its soft rubber skin has been covered with paper hearts and marker stars, and its little plastic ears have been filled with whispers of adoration and love. Its wiry blonde hair has been crossed into braids, twisted up above its head, and she has pulled a dress onto its synthetic body with the brightest little smile. She reminds it that its beautiful, even though it cant hear. She fastens it tight into the beaten pink stroller and skips behind it as it rolls across the pavement, dancing in the sun like there is no tomorrow and yesterday is only a dream.paper hearts.7 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
And maybe she's only six years old, but she knows how babies are made. Not the ones you buy in the store, the ones you have to tear out of the cru
the letter that never arrivedas if grief had never hollowed out my heart,the letter that never arrived2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
caverns echoing with the memory of a laugh,
as if despair had never stolen my voice
until love whispered in my ear
and I knew what mattered,
of knowing: there are things
you will decide to protect yourself from,
you must never relive,
and some you must live
and live again,
no matter the cost
autopsyher spine was cracked down the middle,autopsy2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
her skin unraveled at the seams.
bloated lungs and an emaciated heart filled her no longer moving chest.
her eyes were still open
and her hands stretching for the last thing she ever saw,
though she'd never reached it.
no one knew the exact cause of death,
except the shadow of a boy who avoided her funeral
like it was a plague.
like she was the plague.
the running manWhen I see you, all I see is after. Gravel upturned by that beige Chevy. Pavement sun-baked and time-worn, like most Mississippi roads. You love the highways. You drive by, sunglasses and Miller Lite caps on a string, without noticing I'm headed in the opposite direction. I don't have time to regard the dust cloud because there's a cop idling nearby.the running man3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
You've always been headed in the opposite direction.
When I was fifteen I didn't understand. Couldn't have. You can't read another language until you learn the right words, wrap your brain around the meaning of those foreign sounds and inflections. I couldn't read you because I didn't want to. It was easier to be angry and ignorant. It's always easier.
Five years later - five years of investigation, of difficult questions and even more difficult answers - I know you better than I ever thought I could. It wasn't any effort on your part, of course. Not your style. For you, existence defines itself - you have no reason to justify your
Tumbler‘Twere’nt long ago, when I started tumbling. Hot dry winds rose around me and the base of my stalk went snap and I began to roll. Finally free of my roots, ready to roam the deserts and plains. Catch a glimpse of the tall orange buttes in the northern plains, as they had been described to me by other holy rollers.Tumbler2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Maybe even catch a view of people. Heard lotsa stories ‘bout them people, even though I saw one on a horse when I were but a sprout. People were always in’eresting, usin’ us for shootin’ practice, something to kick, something innocuous and ubiquitous to say, “Yeah. You’re alone out here. Just you, the sun, and the tumbleweed.”
Starting tumbling, started seein’ some strange things. There ain’t hardly no trees ‘round here, but there’s lots of wood, rectangular like, half formed into boxes. I heard that people had something to do with it, wanting the sparkles from the ground my detached roots once sun
Bucketsi.Buckets3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
before I'm 30
I want to die
to be buried
even with the decorations
& bodily equations
laid out over my skin
like tapestries of
to have "Edge" read
by a woman who leapt
over the edge of sanity
but held out her hand
to help me across the
to leave my body
to the science of
& all the crows that
followed me from
home to home,
never asking why.
before I'm 30
I want to not die
to lick the condensation
from the window
of my life
& see the world clearly
for the first time,
to be reborn
to hear a song
that tastes better than
& all the time I've spent
milling around inside
from winter to winter,
checking for ghosts
to taste the sugar
of the promised
& feel every inch
of my past slipping
into a darker hole
than I've ever
to truly live.
JackMy grandmother fell in love with my grandfather when his skin was still yellow with malaria.Jack3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
At twenty-four, he had just returned from war, his pockets heavy as his heart, weighed down with souvenir scars and unspent bullets. Gaping trenches hung beneath each of his dark eyes like open, sore wounds, or sorer memories. At nineteen, she had not known the taste of oranges. The first time she held one, she bit straight into the pasty skin, expecting sweetness and coming up with shell-fragments.
In the pictures, my grandmother, radiant in her gray wedding dress, stands before my grandfather. Those trenches are still there, still yawning beneath each eye like caskets, but they are beginning to fold under, to fill themselves in. Standing together, they are joined by out-stretched hands, his free fingers reaching up to hold her cheek in his palm, the pale skin there blushing the softest pink: a single petal, unfolding, held erect in his hewn hands. In the pictures, it is there in the space lef