StormThe air is thick with the promise of rain, but she hardly notices. Hers is a brisk rush through the darkening world, hands full, sneakers kicking up bits of grass in her wake. A breeze runs its ethereal fingers through her hair. It tickles under the collar of her jacketthat's the first thing she really feels.Storm in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Clouds lower overhead like great gray wings on a downstroke. She's never noticed the scent of cloud before, but she can smell it now, carried by the breeze. The dense layer of shifting black and gray above says hush, and the whole world listens. Birds become still and small. Dogs blink up at the sky, scenting the rain, and even th
Mercury"If I were an element on the periodic table," you say, "which would I be?"Mercury in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I meet your upside-down gaze. You're lying belly-up on my bed, your head hanging off the end and your hair pooling on the carpet.
Scrambling for a reason, I nudge my notebook away and turn, straddling my desk chair backwards. You continue to stare, owlish in your attention. "Must there be a why?"
Chin on wrist on chairback. "You are colorful."
"That's cheating." You blink slowly. "Elemental neon is not inherently colorful."
"Let me think then."
Owl eyes give silent assent.
Some things end up meaning so much to you. You didn't even
Guardian"A day like today happens--maybe twice in a whole season."Guardian in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It's all hot sun and achingly blue sky, and you're sitting leonine on the hood of your battered pickup. I wish I could draw just to capture you like this--squinting into the horizon, one knee drawn up to rest your elbow on, hair windswept. I'd keep the white t-shirt and jeans, but I'd add wings: big, dusky gray things, relaxed and resting open on the windshield, pale underbellies to the sun. It'd fit, somehow, with you.
"Remember that big storm they had up north last week?"
"Yeah." I wouldn't have forgotten, not after the charts and scans you showed me. I only saw a mess of swirling colors like an end-of-the-day paint palette, but you saw sense in the chaos.
You ease off the truck and walk toward my white picket fence perch. "The wildflowers bloomed like all hell out by the lake." Resting your arms along the top beam, you gaze off into the distance for a minute longer before turning mischievous eyes my way. "Want to go see?"
lightsdon't be fooled--lights in Free Verse More Like This
the sky is not static.
there is an infinity between any
infinite hex codes
between the bounds of the spectrum--
this is the great secret of the universe, this
cosmic light show
we can't detect--
the changes too small for our
perhaps there is someone out there--someone else
even if he cannot see.
is not my blue--perhaps it all comes down
to the chemicals
the spin of individual molecules that all add up to become
our own blue.
maybe it's all on us.
the cosmos isn't trying because, really--
if i were the cosmos
i would have better things to do.
maybe there is something
in our ability to overanalyze
and oversimplify--our ability
to realize we know nothing
and try again, anyway.
all that hasn't happenedPretty please listen to the audio.all that hasn't happened in Free Verse More Like This
i want to remember
the rumbling piano baritones
high notes like hailstones--your hands
running soundless scales.
i want the summer seas
the vineyard overlook, the olive
trees and sunwarmed coasts.
we filled the empty pages
with whole notes and halftones,
oceans and lovesongs.
we lived, we live
inkstained and drowning
through nights thick with words
and days shot with sound.
PilkunnussijaHere's what I think:Pilkunnussija in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There's a certain joy in not doing this face-to-face. For one, I don't have to leave my apartment and I have the quiet company of my goldfish and my goldfish alone. (I don't like people, which is why I love books. You can understand that.) For another, I don't have to see your presumably crestfallen and injured attitude when I tear apart the prose you cried and bled and sweated over for weary nights on end. But really the best parts are those uninterrupted hours alone with your manuscript and the shred of you that lies inside. It's a small shred, but an important one. It's the one that tells me who you are and what you think and how you feel and I never have to look at you and be disappointed when the real thing doesn't come up to scratch. As I sit there, un-tensing and re-tensing and tense-shifting and shift-entering (and damn it, wishing English were like German so I could get rid of those clunky space-wasting n-dashes--oh, damn there they are again) I feel li
A Love Story in Four Actsi.A Love Story in Four Acts in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I loved a blacksmith once, back when the sand still clogged up my soul. It was only far after that I began to love the desert too.
Underneath the casual noise--glass on wood, heat-smothered conversation, worn cards slapped down in careful triumph--there was this low, thrumming quiet that wouldn't be broken. He spoke in sepia undertones. "We're getting out."
Hot iron smells like hot blood, like blood that's been poured out under the white Arizona sun. It's something you don't forget easy, like the taste of whiskey or the plasma patterns left on your eyelids after watching fire all night. It sticks.
My childhood was fed on medical books, and I've got this pain right behind my eyes and I wonder if this is what it feels like being lobotomized. Of course the brain has no nerve endings, but the hurt has to manifest itself somewhere.
stolen dog-eared mapsAudio version.stolen dog-eared maps in Free Verse More Like This
we will run
directionless but on
until the sky recedes before us.
we will outlast the horizons
sink teeth into every sunset
until we chase
what chases us--
until the oceans below hold no demons
the galaxies above
we will lose ourselves
until there is nothing left of us but
suffocation keepthis city suffocates so we don'tsuffocation keep in Free Verse More Like This
no, at best
we sing in sign language:
the hushed glances, the solidity
of shoulder blades
let's leave the choking crowds
and chase out somewhere
where the wind blows
wide and rich--
where the knotted songs in your
to take these beartrap ribs
and let us
Crayon SoulmatesDear Stars,Crayon Soulmates in Free Verse More Like This
I have a bone to pick with you. You see, when I was six, I called myself the nowhere girl... and I coloured myself a soulmate. I made him on crumpled sheets, with broken pieces of crayon, on a playground that was too busy wondering whether growing up entailed stealing your mother's cigarettes and your father's dirty magazines (I suppose I was already wise enough to know that growing up meant choosing one of the many ways of breaking yourself in two.)
I hope you remember him, stars...he was important to me (My mother threw that drawing away on my seventh birthday and told me that girls are not supposed to have such dreams.).
Death"Do you fear death?"Death in Short Stories More Like This
The question loomed in the air before my body, as if a sword looming over someone almost conquered by their enemy. But I looked down at my hands and then back up, only to say, "Have you ever felt the pain of watching two lovers embrace at the end of a movie? It's supposed to be a happy ending. But your heart tells your lungs to stop breathing for just a minute because it will never ever be yours."
"Do you fear death?"
A question repeated deserves an answer. But instead, my trembling hands sat clenched on my lap, the blue ink like veins showing through the frail covering that might rip apart any second. "Do you kno
It's Odd.I've grown fond of you.It's Odd. in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You don't always hold me after sex. It's because you're restless. And as much as I need it, I find that restlessness far more endearing.
You take so long to get used to me in your space. I find it sweet almost, how uncomfortable you get and how the taut muscles in your back relax slowly as you watch me.
You don't think it necessary to care about my feelings. Instead you tell me as it is, exactly what you think of me. At times it hurts. Then I realize you're the only person who has ever been this honest with me.
You call me your friend sometimes. It hurts because I feel like that's all I'll ever be to you when
A Snowfall CandlelitMy version of winter has always been flawed. It is controlled by the fall of snow and the exact amount of the ground it covers. It never ever covers the tiny little patch in the garden, right near the broken tin roofed shed. I suppose that is why I just like the idea of snow. But I do not love it.A Snowfall Candlelit in Free Verse More Like This
(Realisation: I suppose that little corner represents the only part of me that even I cannot love.)
I met a man with candle lit wolf eyes and a strong, warm lion heart, who tells me Sea God stories before disappearing into a cold, cold winter's morning, fog cloaking his very essence.
(Addendum: Sometimes I think of five a.m. coffee, and wonder if
UndeservedI don't deserve to be an artist.Undeserved in Free Verse More Like This
I don't know how to hold deep meaningful conversations with strangers.
I don't lament at night about a lover I have lost.
I don't watch the white smoke ebb into darkness.
I don't spend lonely nights admiring the true beauty of the world.
I don't sleep restlessly from the truth of suffering within this world.
I don't lie through my smiles or struggle to create them.
But I do think I am a writer.
I am completely, irreparably damaged.
I cry all night over old words and emotional baggage.
I weep over my lost innocence.
I spend nights
LustHis hands have a habit of finding my hip bones,Lust in Free Verse More Like This
trailing his river like fingers along my stone smooth skin,
his lips do not move, his mouth tells me stories.
Mine spend their time
tracing the length and breadth
of his back in kisses*
We travel through lands that never existed
before we touched them
At temperatures far exceeding in Fahrenheit
If only we could understand
how lust and geography
make such divinely sinful bedmates.
* One hundred and sixteen
FaithI love your belief in God.Faith in Free Verse More Like This
Not because it matches mine.
Because it makes you even more beautiful to me.
You are the dream I always wanted, but never had.
(God likes to surprise me. Well, consider me surprised.)
It makes me want to sleep every single night by your side.
I want to wrap my prayers around you.
I want to press my lips to the segments of your body.
If you asked, I would rest my head besides yours
and dream your nightmares for you.
(You shudder in your sleep. I don't think you know.)
In faith, I'll be your dreamcatcher.
In dreams, let me wis
Constructive Criticism"Tell me what you think."Constructive Criticism in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Of the poem?"
"No, of my face. Yes, the poem."
"I was going to say, because your face is just stupid."
"Very funny. Read."
"What did you think?"
"Why did you write this?"
"I wrote it for you."
"You make me self conscious when you say things like that."
"I'm not worth this you know."
"What does that mean?"
"I am half a girl, and I deserve half a poem."
"That is not true, and you still haven't told me what you really thought about it."
"It's as broken and complex and half hearted as a sad song about the way you feel ink trail between your fingers like it's blood. There
I'm Not the Marrying KindI'm not the marrying kind.I'm Not the Marrying Kind in Free Verse More Like This
I have stones in my hair instead of flowers,
And a rosebush of thorns is more poignant to me.
I'm not the marrying kind.
My words aren't pretty or wise,
And I can't sing about anything but a broken heart.
I'm not the marrying kind.
I am the sort of damaged you see in an old recorder,
And the kind of old in an instrument that breaks into a billion pieces at a touch.
I'm not the marrying kind.
Neither neat, nor tidy, nor correct in my behavior,
And yes, I did in fact tell you to fuck yourself.
I'm not the marrying kind.R
Judgement"You need to stop doing this."Judgement in Short Stories More Like This
"Stop doing what?"
"Writing me into your stories."
"Because it scares me. I'm not this guy that you write about. I'm not some kind of Prince Charming and I'm certainly not a sea God or whatever you like to say about my eyes every now and then."
"Yeah. You really need to work on your judgement of people, because this is all wrong. It's like you don't know me at all!"
"So why don't you correct me and I'll fix my idea of you accordingly."
"Well firstly, I'm a really nervous person."
"Yeah. Your hands are either fiddling with your hair or your sleeve, or you're biting y
Stolen goodsHis cave is filled with stolen wonders.Stolen goods in Short Stories More Like This
He was taught to be resourceful at a young age. It's part of not being sloppy. You clean up after your meal, his mother always said. There was more than washing his face and the cold cave floor. There was much more to do to survive.
Clothing is good. You can reuse it, or break it down and make something out of it. He knows another one like him who makes the most beautiful quilts. If you bring her the supplies and a nice meal, she'll make you a quilt too. You can use that every winter. It's going to be cold every winter. You'll need it. Aesthetics aren't important, but it's a nice change. Just because you're a monster in the woods eating people doesn't mean you can't have nice things.
Knick knacks can be useful. Tobacco is ever popular. Not many of his kind like it, but those that do suffer the same addiction as the humans. The
Outside"How the mighty have fallen?" She repeated, incensed by the woman's mockery. "Who are you? How dare you speak to me like that?!"Outside in Short Stories More Like This
The woman in gray laughed, before looking at her companion, a man dressed in extravagant clothing, "The more she talks the more I think you where right. She doesn't want to get out."
"I told you this was a waste of time." He shook his head, long braid shaking with him. "Let's just leave her and go."
"No!" She interjected quickly. "I'll listen. I'll listen to whatever you have to say."
"Really?" The woman asked, switching to German. "So, you'll listen to me, and you'll do whatever I, or my companion here, tell you to?"
"I hate when you switch to German." The man muttered, "You just do it because I can't understand you."
"If it gets me out of this tower, I will." The Countess responded.
The woman's smile grew a bit. "Good. We'll help you, but you'll be in my d
TrembleThe Countess has lost track of time. She no longer knows the date, month, or even how long she has been in the tower. Despite this, she has made some new companions that took up a few hours of the unending days.Tremble in Short Stories More Like This
There was a hole in the wall so food could be passed to her. Her company rarely joined her inside her cell, and spoke to her through the opening. "They only charged you with thirty or so murders." The succubus filled her in on the latest details of her trial. Erzsebet could not see her through hole much, but she sounded so young, not like a being that had been alive hundreds of years.
"Only thirty?" She replied with a laugh. "I'm almost embarrassed."
The two spoke of the trial, and of many other things. The succubus, who gave the Countess the name Secunda to call her, was just as educated as her on several matters, such as politics, ancient literature, and philosophy.
"There are people who do e
TransformationThe painter had learned a great deal about the unstable relationship of things. Life to death. One life to two lives. Fresh to rotting. Human to monster. He had seen it all. He had enough. He was an old man, and he was ready to die. He told her that.Transformation in Short Stories More Like This
"I wanted to be famous, but I've become a sell out." He told her. She had been posing as his wife for years now, since they came to this city. "My art isn't even my art anymore."
She was not a painter, let alone the artsy type. While she had been trained to deal with feelings, she did not completely understand. He was a famous artist. That was what he had asked of her. "So, this is it?"
"No." He answered quickly. "I want to do one more painting." He wanted to transform a blank canvas into something beautiful one last time. And this time it would be something he wanted, not some rich man's vanity project. "I want to paint
Waiting for YouI don’t mind waiting for you. When you’re lonely, any meaningful conversation is worthwhile. Even the kind you have to wait an hour or two for. Maybe especially that kind. The kind you stay up late for, reading to pass the time, or constantly glancing at the clock, hoping. The kind you walk around the block a few times for, even in the cold. The kind you would have over tea if you could but you can’t because you’re both going home and you’re tired of the day but not of each other and, you know, one cup wouldn’t hurt.Waiting for You in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Wind RosesAlabaster was a city of the stars. A brass telescope on every balcony, every rooftop, constantly pointed to the sky. The city slept easy during the day, but breathed new life at night and the smell of chocolatl and spice wafted from several of the vendors.Wind Roses in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
In the middle of the city, a compass rose was laid into the plaza, a magnificent marble thing with thirty-two points. The cardinal directions were lain in gold-flecked black marble and the ordinals in a solid, creamy white. The rest alternated between a dark emerald green and a soft red with veins of rust. The people lived their lives in accordance with the whims of the directions and star
One Way TicketI have always known that I will die on a train.One Way Ticket in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I used to wait for Death at the railroad tracks. Some days I would kick off my shoes and balance on the rails. Other days I would lie on the tracks and count the stars. He never came for me, but it's okay I understand.
I saw him once through the window of a passenger train, scythe leaning against the glass. He was reading the newspaper. He glanced up long enough to see me waving and offered a nod in return. I watched him go as long as I could, until the last car was a dot on the sun, and I finally turned away to find summer was now autumn and my shoes were full of dust.
I crunched my t
the little things in life.i.the little things in life. in Short Stories More Like This
the cemetery architects had never planned to place a bench within the premises. they surmised that those who came to visit would not wish to dwell long in the company of ashes. however, the builders consented to procure one to appease the masses, assuming its only use would be a remedy to tired feet. after the stone slab was put in place in the uppermost corner of the grounds, it never crossed their minds again.
he came alone, wearing his usual plaid coat and bowler. tipping his hat to his brow, he greeted passersby with a crinkle of his left eye. (most ignored him as they made their way to their next destination.) in fact, few noti
embarrassment.i'm ashamed of what love's turned me into.embarrassment. in Emotional More Like This
why is that i can hurt you so easily now? why has jealousy consumed the very core of my heart that was once ruled by innocent admiration? i feel like a monster has clawed its way through me, leaving chaos instead of peace, death instead of life, and no sun to shine its beautiful rays upon my needy skin.
you know, i don't mean to do it. i don't mean to make your life hell with my constant pestering and violent nature. i try to contain my overflow, but fail miserably. and there are things you simply cannot control, envy being one of them.
it's not my fault i want to compare me to her. what with her
we are all waiting to be found.August 17, 2012we are all waiting to be found. 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 wi
A Contradiction He watches her, intensely, avidly, passionately, and the more he does, he realizes- knows- that she is changing; becoming someone different for every person she meets. One moment she is laughing, superior, intelligent; tossing her hair back and laughing at the world who cannot hope to keep up with her. She meets the other's eyes unashamedly, radiant with confidence. The next- she is shy, timid, downcast eyes and a faint blush on her cheeks.A Contradiction in Short Stories More Like This
He wants- longs- to tell her that she doesn't need to change. But the words are caught, stuck in his throat, and he finds he has nothing to give her. The air seems still around her, the oxygen seemingly
RealWhen they met it was on accident.Real in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Her heel caught in a crack on the old sidewalk that was full of them, and her books fell out of her hands and hit the ground almost rhythmically. He thinks that it's the perfect way to meet someone, cliche and nothing embarrassing.
She's had enough cliches to last her a lifetime, and she thinks little of it.
She thinks little of him, to be honest. He is kind and a gentleman, and, at their first meeting, utterly boring. However, boring has a new appeal for her, which is why they meet a second time.
She doesn't realize how much time she spends with him until she calls him one night
The Reassurance of GreenIt was Ella's idea to hire a gardener for my mother's tulips.The Reassurance of Green in Short Stories More Like This
"I've been doing fine with them," I had said, a little surprised at the sudden suggestion. My sister had looked pointedly at the small patch of tulips that had previously encompassed the whole side yard. They were already dying, and the bulbs would have to be planted again soon. I had been planning an intense Internet search for that.
"I'd like to see you do better," I had muttered, but agreed nonetheless. I left the actual hiring to my sister, though.
Which led me to this moment, staring at a stranger on my doorstep and hoping rather desperately that there had been a mistake an
Into the darkThe memories I treasure mostInto the dark in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Have rendered me a hollow ghost.
My heart hangs but by a thread,
The remnant of an empty web.
It used to catch all that I hold dear
The memories slipped, they are no longer near.
I fear that I have lost them all.
There is nothing left to do but fall
Into the dark
With my heavy heart.
One Thousand HeartsFar beyond the reach of your telescopes, there is a world. It is small, insignificant; chosen because of its diminutive size. Its atmosphere, once a haven for simple life forms, is inhospitable. Only one being resides on it. This world, now completely lifeless, was given a dark purpose so that all other worlds might be spared.One Thousand Hearts in Short Stories More Like This
Stillness. That night was the very essence of stillness. There were five comets in number that alit on that terrible planet. Four were incarnations of the phases of the moons. They shone with a clear blue light, akin to that of the moons. The fifth was warm, her golden light brighter than the rest, bringing
Maedhros: Son of FireHe was the fireMaedhros: Son of Fire in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Wine until bottom
And pain of fame
He was my father
His anger like flood
We sealed our Oath
In fire and blood
The flame extinguished
By Oath we're still bound
Through tears and pain
No rest to be found
The blood on my hands
And my hand in chains
What was it for
When nothing remains?
The Light we sought, burns
So close, yet so far
We are not worthy
To touch a star
Burning flame, take me
And clean the stain
Take the cursed Jewel
And end my pain!
In fire it started
In fire it ends
Just like my father
The fire in my veins
Spirit of the LandI am the landSpirit of the Land in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
I am the stone
I am its breath
I am its bone
I am the song
brought with the wind
but never seen
I am the spark
in the lakes eyes
The arms of trees
And wings of night
As old as hills
As deep as sea
HomeFor the restless, 'home' is a difficult concept; the idea of a physical or hypothetical place we are tied to. That we will always return to. That we will always belong to. Milo has always said that airports are his home, or train stations or motor way service stops. Home is where the heart is, and Milo’s heart is in escape. He dreams of flitting from place to place and belonging to them all, absorbing everything and being absorbed as he runs free. But even those who run are running from somewhere and no one can outrun the primal ache that calls us back.Home in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
‘You could have called. Or do hippies not have phones?’
Coffee ShopsIn the corner of the ill-lit cafe, Clare sits alone and tries to blend into the wallpaper peeling off the sloped wall. Cracks chase cobwebs from floor to ceiling and around the fake candle light-fitting that flickers and hums, bare wires expose their pretty copper heads. She's been nursing the same cup of coffee for four hours, and though it's long cold she still holds her hands around it like a campfire on a teenage summer night. People have come and gone; though small, the cafe holds a lot life. Couples have cuddle into the marshmallow sofas, mothers have forced prams through the impossible obstacle course of mismatched furniture, suits havCoffee Shops in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
How I was BornTake a muddy handful of dreamsHow I was Born in Free Verse More Like This
and mold them into bones.
Tie them together with sinews of love
taken from roots underground.
For nerves take fine spider-silk
and lay it with the muscles
which were formed out of tireless hope.
Cover them all with heartwood
letting the inside of trees
be the outside of me.
Robin's eggs make fine eyes
full of hopeful happy light blue skies
And river reeds for tangled hair.
Color my lips with cranberries
And lastly: a breath of poetry
to awaken me and serve as my soul.
Naiad SisterJoin us now, oh daughter fairNaiad Sister in Free Verse More Like This
With pale skin and winter-hair.
Leave the dead-dry land of feet
And come where the water is cool and deep.
We are grasses to your lily-flower
Forever dancing in shady bowers.
Oh, please join us, water-maid!
Exchange a tail for those shaky legs.
Mortals live for but a day
While we have centuries to have our say.
Join us, sweet sister, in the cool of the deep
Where tendrils and serpents in darkness sleep.
Forsake that lover who toils in dirt
His heart will heal and you'll never be hurt.
For should he travel to the pool so sweet
With waters and currents curious and deep
Let you entice him further on