Sew RomanticThere was a mad tailor called Gord.Sew Romantic in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Who was by his true love ignored.
When he failed to woo her,
He ran needle and thread through her,
And thus she gave silent accord.
Morning EditionAt six-forty-three, coffee was ready. The machine was new; BLACK & DECKER embossed across the black facade. The machine beeped.Morning Edition in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
In the next room, the bedside radio clicked to life as the clock struck quarter-to-seven. The dial was set to the local NPR affiliate, but only static erupted from the speakers, punctuated here and there with bits from a pre-recorded message.
No cause for alarm...
Just a precaution...
Shelter in place...
State and local officials...
Food and water...
No cause for alarm...
The only light in the room came from the radio dial, the clock on the coffee maker, the flourescent light in the fish tank, and a single window.
The coffee remained undisturbed in the carafe, and started to burn.
The fish were floating.
Curtains blew inward with the morning breeze.
Lost and FoundHe thought he heard crows. He imagined them picking out some poor fucker's eyeballs. If he could catch one, they'd have crow stew, and maybe the body would have something worth picking over. Ammo, or water.Lost and Found in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When he found the noise, it was just a loose telephone cable blowing against the remains of a wire fence. There was no crow. Of course not. They wouldn't have survived. Crows built nests, not bomb shelters.
He missed crows. He missed birds. Hell, he even missed bird shit, because at least that meant something else was crawling around in this trash heap. Something besides him and the others.
"Ramon? Hey Ray!"
"Yeah. You find anything, Smitty?"
"Not a damn thing. Another fuckin' goose chase. The Lootenant's losin' it, man. Tellin' you."
"Broken record, Smitty. He's got rank. He says look for survivors, we look."
"Ray, you dumbfuck! Look around, man! Ain't no chain of command no more. No President, no fuckin' Pentagon, no government, nothing! Shit, we don't even know if there's
22. Lem's DealHe bent down to enter the room between two strands of police tape pulled across the doorway. On the floor were chalk drawings where five bodies had been. Those were the Sweeps, the hunters that Pryor had killed. One was a cop.22. Lem's Deal in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The denim blanket that Lem and Pryor had slept under was gone, probably in the same evidence locker as the hunters' crossbows and raincoats.
Something else was missing. There wasn't a sixth chalk outline, but Lem knew where it should be. He stood in the spot where Pryor left his victim, several dark stains where drops of blood had fallen on the dust-strewn floor. There were no evidence markers. Either the crime-scene people had missed the blood, or were told to ignore it. Lem had long suspected some kind of connection between the Sweeps and the cops, and this little episode had erased his doubt.
Lem dropped to all fours, and touched his tongue to the dried blood. Even a week later, he could still pull the methamphetamine taste from it, the vigor of youth, the alc
19. Lem's WarSame damn dream. Hot as hell. M-16 rifles pock-pocking like fireworks.19. Lem's War in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Gonna get you home, cracker. Gonna get you home. You hear me, Marine? Gonna get you home.
The first week after they'd left Pryor with the bishop, he'd had the dream every day. Then it was every few days, mostly because Lem didn't sleep. Sketch threw him a paper airplane one night as they were getting up. He unfolded it to find a cartoon of himself with giant, bloodshot bug-eyes.
Meanwhile, Melody's sign language was getting better. Lem. Look like shit. Like dead body.
He glared at her.
Go to library? Get some? She thought a minute, squeezing her fists in frustration. Get some air?
He nodded, and collected his bag of books. All of them were overdue.
Thought you forgot about me, Gunny. Corky was unloading the books from Lem's bag. You read 'em all?
Lem shrugged. Stuff came up.
Yeah, it's that busy, jet-setting corporate life you lead. Then, Corky nodded afte
18. Lem's PilgrimageThe city held two cathedrals. One was the soaring Saint Mark's, looming over the dark waters of the central canal with its flying buttresses and gargoyles and fat endowment fund sponsored by old money.18. Lem's Pilgrimage in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
They were going to the other one. The Cathedral of Saint Drogo was the opposite in every way. Where Mark's soared, Drogo's squatted. Where Mark's was resplendent in carvings and bright floodlights, Drogo's stood dark and plain, with only a single yellow bulb over the main door announcing its presence.
Saint Mark's was reflected in the waters of the canal, while Drogo's overlooked a potholed street in a neighborhood that most people shunned at night.
Those potholes did their best to wrench the axles from the Mission's van, and Sister Constance did her best not to spew curses as they bounced around to the back entrance. Lem smiled to himself at her restraint. At any other time, Constance would deliver a volley of cussing that would peel paint, but right now she was wearing her grey vestmen
17. Lem's InterventionThe ashtray was red plastic, with Curly Cue's printed on the side in white. The place had burned down about seven years ago. Constance got the ashtray at a thrift store, or so she claimed.17. Lem's Intervention in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
She also claimed to have quit smoking long ago. When the red ashtray came out, that meant things had gone to hell.
And there it was. Constance was tapping ash from a Newport 100 into it as she sat on the edge of the table in the center of the breakroom.
Lyle stood next to the sink. He was sipping coffee. He held the Sister's magnetic cross in his hand, and tapped his thigh with it. From there, he could sweep the room if he had to.
At the other end of the room, under Constance's glare, Buttercup sat on the floor, wrapped in about twenty feet of iron chain with a plastic shopping bag over her head.
Lem sat in a folding chair. Melody was still curled up in the recliner.
No one spoke or signed. Constance had gone through about four cigarettes in silence.
She stabbed out the fifth, then nodded at L
16. Lem's ZooLem half-carried Pryor through the Mission's back door, and Pryor wasn't going quietly. He shook off Lem's grip, turned and gave him the kind of look that could drive a rivet into a bridge girder.16. Lem's Zoo in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Pryor, Lem signed, Man, I'm sorry...
Pryor lifted his hands. They were crumpled, scarred from the burns. Two fingers on his left hand were fused together.
He could barely sign, his fingers cracked like old rubber over his bones. Pryor turned, and shuffled off toward the stairs, clutching his scarred hands against his stomach.
But he didn't need his hands to speak his mind. His eyes told it all. Of every worthless piece of undead trash in this building, Pryor was the only one who'd faced the sun and lived, and it had driven him close to mad.
That look told Lem that he likely finished the job.
Sister Constance came in, and Lyle after her. They wrenched the back door closed and slammed all six of the locks home. Lyle went up to the front to see to the ones coming in for their blank
What a Former Deadhead Did The short memoirs and many ticket stubs of a former traveling Deadhead.What a Former Deadhead Did in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
After the first concert I saw (and barely remember) which included the soon-deceased Pigpen and a lightshow, the old oil-slick-trick kind of lightshow, I kept a scrapbook. That book is my keeper of The Grateful Dead, who are no longer extant.
List of tickets (and more)...
1. University of New Mexico, "Homecoming," N.M., 10/7/77, note price $7.50.
2. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO., 8/30/78
3. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO., 8/31/78
4. Indianapolis Convention Center, 12/7/79
5. Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, 12/9/79
6. Memorial Hall, Kansas City, 12/10/79
6. Backstage Pass to the above
Crow Girls and Literature, Part Two Hellohello, we're back, the Crow Girls are back and ready to talk about books again. We've been thinking and thinking about moreandmore literary characters to send up or down depending on what they're like in their books. We like classics veryvery much, but we'll begin with literary characters in a not-so classicclassic book. Many humans may not have read it yet. Readread it during one lifetime or another.Crow Girls and Literature, Part Two in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Anyway, Maida [it's me, Maida talking now and not Zia - nobody can tell us apart!] I think a character the writer says humans pronounce - lemme see, three ways - "Ky-oh-tee" or "Ky-OTE" or "Old Man Ky-OTE" and like that - Well! The writer means Cody, that Coyote who causes us corbae more than a little trouble. I think he's tootoo much trouble, even when he charms human literary characters. He can be soSo charming, and also soSo harming! It causes a very distant literary cousin a lotta trouble in the book w
Mama's Jewell - Four Vernon turned his huge car from a steep hill onto a street like Texas, flat. Lottie patted her daughter's knee. She wanted Jewell to see the buildings on the right. She pointed to a shop and said, "I did the window-dressing there. Slow down now, Vernon! I want Jewell to see what I do for a living." Vernon eased to a stop in front of a big store.Mama's Jewell - Four in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Jewell looked past her mother to see an array of co-ordinated colors inside the brightly-lit store.
Each seemed to lend beauty to the other. She was impressed.
"That's so pretty, Mama!" she said. "How did you do that? It looks like a movie magazine in there."
"Why thank you, honey," Mama said. She smiled at Jewell. "Someday you can watch, maybe help a little and you'll see."
But Vernon drove on. "We gotta get back, Lottie! Everyone'll be at our place by now."
Mama's Jewell - Two The train crept north to San Francisco.Mama's Jewell - Two in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
The dang thing stopped too much at small towns with few lights, nowhere to go and nothing interesting to see.
Jewell grew tired of watching people get on and off the coloreds-only car and fell asleep again. She dreamt about trains.
She missed Alda and Nettie, Grandma and her cousin TJ so much, there they were, just like they were with her.
When TJ and Jewell were real young, they walked the train tracks once to the slaughterhouse for pigs' feet. They saw a strange-looking white man walk toward them. He staggered a little and fiddled with his pants. He yelled, "Hey, little girls! Come over here and see what I got for you, sweetmeats!" Jewell got ready to protect TJ, TJ was so tiny. Still, the unusual sight made them stand like they were hypnotized, frozen again in Jewell's dream.
Masterpiece, No Theatre The woman was barely dressed. Some kind of silver seemed molded to her body, like the green mold on the bread Leo forgot to eat. But this woman held Leo's attention in a way bread never did. What a woman! He'd never seen one like her.Masterpiece, No Theatre in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She stepped from an open door in the wall where no door existed.
It was awfully early. Maybe Leonardo wasn't quite awake.
He often dreamt about beautiful women.
She said, "Don't be alarmed, Famous Artist. I come from the Future to give you a gift I'm told will save your most Famous Work for you. I have traveled to the far past to give you this wipe-board from the Future, Famous Artist."
Leo didn't like women who talked nonsense.
He sometimes wondered if he liked women much at all.
They generally didn't know shit
Bored vs Board Most people's eyes widen when they see me. I scream (silently) Stop that! It gives our strategy away. There is an opposing side here. I want to conquer it! Few seem to know or care what I want. People think tiny things like, What the hell am I gonna do now? and other irrelevant things. The point is to win. The point is always to win and I help our side win.Bored vs Board in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
No, I won't be modest! I give people their best chance. I'm their great path to victory! Um. Well. There are two of us who could help a lot. But the other one is easily used and allows many losses. People usually get rid of it too fast. Me? I'm not easily used at all! Not if people want to win and know how wonderful I am! Not if they know it's war down here and every one of us wants to win. Even the silly vowels want to win!
Most people's eyes relax when they see the v
Freak FireSam was at the wheel of his new Dodge Ram when he saw red dust at home. That dust shouldn't be there.Freak Fire in Short Stories More Like This
He turned both truck and new horse trailer over a cattle guard and drove closer.
Sam expected the corral to be ready for his prize quarterhorse, Taut. A spiral of red dirt over it sure didn't look good.
Past the prairie-dog town, Sam saw another column of not-dust on the right.
It looked too damn near property Sam and Jonnie both owned since Old Grandma died.
It was a white column, not red, and it looked like somebody left a campfire burning near Granite Canyon.
Plus it looked like heckuva lot more fire than any campfire should ever be.
Sam sighed. It was just like Jonnie to leave distress flares all over the darn sky whether Sam was home or not. Jonnie was Sam's lazy little brother. Maybe Sam didn't spend enough time with him, though Jonnie was grown.
Old Grandma died early on, after mostly sitting still as a rock and chewing tobacco, spitting it off the front porch. She always dresse
2nd Half November Features by Others Up*Now I'll write something interesting from a book I like.2nd Half November Features by Others Up* in Personal More Like This
First: Please recall I appreciate all who visit and/or watch work I do.
I also appreciate work YOU do. I hope to feature something by you.
I wish I could thank each of you, for all you do in any art. Thank you!
From The Stars My Destination by A. Bester
He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead. He fought
for survival with the passion of a beast in a trap. He was delirious and
rotting, but occasionally his primitive mind emerged from the nightmare
of survival into something resembling sanity. Then he lifted his mute face
to Eternity and muttered: "What's a matter, me? Help, you goddamn gods!
Help, is all."
Blasphemy came easily to him: it was half his speech, all his life. He had
been raised in the gutter school of the twenty-fifth century and spoke
nothing but gutter tongue. Of all brutes in the world he was among the
least valuable alive and most likely to survive. So he struggled and
Crow Girls and Literature We decided Juliet should finally reach literary heaven, but Romeo--oh hell no. Maybe heaven and hell are unfortunate words to choose, but here's the deal with those two characters. First, we studied Juliet's literary life carefully and yeah, she kills herself, said to be a big no-no, but she's really veryvery young and she knows better, she says so in one act, way before she unfurls that red-scarf-fakeblood at the end, seen on hundreds of theater stages a few thousand times a year.Crow Girls and Literature in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Romeo though, he's a bad boy throughandthrough. He's madly in love with one girl at the beginning of a single party, then madly in love with another by the end of the same party. What nonsense! He kills a few guys before he kills himself, then kills himself because he thinks little Juliet is dead. That girl is lying there veryvery much alive! Why doesn't he make sure she's dead? He even talktalks about how alive she looks. What a hotheaded go
Fast DrumMock it, Knock it -Fast Drum in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
Will we stop it?
Boot it, Shoot it -
Who will lose it?
Crave it, Pave it -
Can we save it?
Spit it, Hit it -
Will we quit it?
Trials, Wilds -
Who walks a mile?
Out there, In here -
Which is more dear?
He say, She say -
Who hears the baybay?
One way, Done way,
Why not more ways?
Now is, Now see -
What is free now?
the face in the mirrorI feel you detatchthe face in the mirror in Open More Like This
dreaming ways through my problems
that are your problems
that are the world's problems
to hide the gap
she shows her tits
you all know me
i am this
capsized in the sea of society
you dont see the face in the mirror
breathe the morning breath
you dont know that i
all your theories work well.
you dont live in here
where we attack all information from 100 angles
before we can even pretend
of the bullshit you feed us
my opinions are silent for the moment
honesty takes time to distil
Dry shave hangoverspixelated blackDry shave hangovers in Free Verse More Like This
to golden light from the next room
the alarm shaves the day
i attack it
feet on the tile
(bites like ice)
and my swimming head cant see through last night's wine
turn on the bath spigot and submerge the excuse for a head
emerge a bit more human
the razor bites the two-day beard
pain triggers adrenal response
the face in the mirror still swims
i think words, words
and dislike themselves
tiny hairs in the sink like severed wires
the faucet is roaring
there is an expressed, stupid dichtomy
bouncing in my head
a leaden baby for morning
i do what i do fully knowing better
i do what i do because i know better
Moonthe moon filters downMoon in Free Verse More Like This
through the eyelid of the nighttime clouds
ancient white muse
filling the streets with nearly empty memories
summer porch nights
crazed with contemplation
beautiful in her dreams
everything was much less complex then
her arms enwrapping like a shroud
like a slinking spirit
curled in my lap
i knew i would pay for all that comfort one day
the piper is done
here i amYou're looking for mehere i am in Free Verse More Like This
maybe you are, maybe you aren't.
I don't know.
we waste so much time blabbering
about anything at all
ANY THING AT ALL
we admire our separate suffering
we admire our pain
Stop telling me what I think
it's not real enough to make anything out of it
our dreams are centered there
and you can't tell me it's real
you can't tell me it's false, either
but i believe you either way
show me a sign
show me a sign
while the voices upstairs shiver
and i just crouch and cringe
j. o'barrwhen i was sixteen years oldj. o'barr in Free Verse More Like This
and my mother nearly died
i was in love
with a self-abusive, crazy girl
smile like the sun inside me
hotter than fiction
she dangled the rope of this little black and white book
in front of me
i read the first page
it was Like
it bled into me and the sorrow
i clung to that book
reading it every night by candles
so my father wouldnt scream
again and again
a ray of vengance
a ray of hope
i was 16
i wanted to love and fuck
floridaI can almost see that florida nightflorida in Open More Like This
stretching out there
the bowl of the gulf rising up to touch wet lips
against the soft endless sky
on nights like these the possibilities are better than average
that the enormity of nature will stop everything else
speech and thought will fall away
emptied into the great 'out there'
the rush in the waves
is mother's voice all over again
we are died and reborn inside the instant of the waves
i spit my spirit into the sky over the gulf of mexico
and it came back to me
now i cry tears of regret
in a vague way
that beauty inside
that never left
63When i used to wake up in the morning63 in Free Verse More Like This
brushing its white paint against the sides and shingles of the
remembering the curling leaves of the corn ready for harvest
the days of autumnal warmpth that separated my Father's birthday from mine
between the dead rains of September and the early cracked frosts of All saints
In the Saturday mornings
we would wake and squeeze into the small black Chevy
that somehow always smelled of coffee and grain
and we would pour steam out of ourselves
into the gold-blue skies that are only missouri mornings
we never celebrated birthdays
you and i
we celebrated times
the sunrises and sunsets on laborious days
the spring buds rising and the first frosts
they have lent us both another year.
foundyou make me want to beat my head against memories and scratch through this pale fabric of reality to get to you sometimes.found in Free Verse More Like This
in the land of mordor
where shadows lie.
and you really picked the best pauses
the best flowing water to drink from this time
and if i could open my veins or just sing your deep vibration out
so that it could lie down next to you
with or with out me and
just you there
flying in the head of all that weather
you cant see me here
this suited bastard phenomenon of lies that i couldnt make real
but i can feel you out there not sleeping
maybe remembering me in the vauge press of mundane events
and even that doesnt matter without
this new murder to rise up inside me screaming
that i want your name on my lips and your lips against my thumb
the prick of your teeth would never be sufficient warning
and im sure you know it all too well
stop leaving those spaces empty of your meaning
stop leaving me empty
the bring down
the come uppance
Stagnant Missouri Summer townsStagnant Missouri summer townsStagnant Missouri Summer towns in Open More Like This
Would be preferable now
And its funny that we cant seem to acknowledge
that even though those times were better
(If anything can be said to be better)
There is the most marvelous lesson here and now
Mostly because we left the green comfort
the nighttime pathways
the streets that greeted us so eagerly with smoke
what would have occurred had we stayed?
Now there are questions to solve us
Women to confront or hang or murder or confine us
Now there are affiliates
And no Tribe
Sinking and injured from inside
I suspect the Great Spirit has plans or lessons
I cannot make them out in the speech of the crows
Nor in the wheeling of the eagle
Holy Elk Woman tells me I am blessed
I do not feel very blessed by myself
There is too much in the way of my only decent eye