Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa-

I have been very good this year. I don't want anything for me, but if you could help my dad get a job that would make us very happy.

Love-
Kevin


Dear Santa Claus-

Please help my mommy get off drugs. She smokes rocks all the time and me and my sister don't have a lot of food to eat. My mommy is a good mommy but she is sad all the time.

I love you and all the reindeer.
Samantha


Dear Santa-

My name is Connor. I have been very good this year. Please bring my little brother Michael the new Hess truck with the race car, bring my sister Mary a baby doll, and please bring my mom a new boyfriend who won't hit her.
Connor


Jack threw the letter down in disgust. Who's bright idea was it to answer letters to Santa? He thought he'd be reading requests for toys and puppies, not pleas for help. He lit a cigarette and took a long drag, trying to calm down. This was the most depressing thing he'd ever done. He looked over at the last letter; the return address was a few streets over from his apartment. He picked it up and read it again; he could probably pick up toys at the local Target, maybe get some food and hats and mittens to throw in a bag or something. Jack pulled on a rumpled jacket and shoved the letter deep into his pocket as he headed out the door.

An hour later he was standing outside a small house bare of any decorations, a lone outsider to all its festive neighbors. He was just going to leave the bags of presents at the door and take off when the sound of something crashing made him shift into full alert. He was trying to assess the situation when he heard the back door slam, then an engine start. He slid behind the porch baluster and saw a pick up truck shoot out of the drive way, tires screeching as the tail lights faded into the distance. Jack watched them disappear, then realized he was being watched. He spun around, coming face to face with a little boy about five. The two of them stared at each other. Jack felt stupid. He moved closer to the door, crouching down to look the kid in the eye.

"You ok?"

The kid nodded his head, then gave a quick glance over his shoulder. He bit his lip, trying to decide if this stranger could be trusted.

"He hits."

A cold anger ran down Jack's spine. He took in a couple of breaths to steady himself again.

"Where's your mom?"

The kid hesitated for a minute, then opened the door for Jack to enter. Jack did so cautiously, looking around to see who else was in the house. He heard some sounds coming from the kitchen; slowly he walked in and stood in the door way. A woman was putting ice cubes into a baggie. She whirled around, fresh bruises all ready blossoming on her face. Anger and embarrassment pushed the fear from her eyes.

"Who the fuck are you?"

Jack took a step back.

"Nobody. I was at the door and I heard some noise. Your boy let me in. Are you ok?"

She quickly brushed past him, making her way to the front door. She violently pulled it open.

"Get out. And mind your own fucking business."

Jack shook his head and started towards the door. He saw two more kids cowering on the couch. He stopped and turned back towards her.

"You don't deserve this. They don't deserve this."

Tears began to well in her eyes again as her body began to shake.

"Please go. I can handle this."

Jack walked into the cold night as the front door slammed behind him. He heard her start screaming at the kids to go to bed and leave her alone. The bags of Christmas stuff lay abandoned at the front door.

"Merry fucking Christmas" he muttered to no one as he got into his car. He gave the house one last look as he turned on the engine. The front door opened; the little boy who let him in was bent down over the bags, checking their contents before he brought them into the house. He and Jack locked eyes for a minute; he thought he heard the kid say something before he closed the door. For one more year, he was gonna hold on to his belief in Christmas magic.

"Thanks Santa."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

There is nothing more painful than the absence of a mother's love.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Kiss Good Bye


They were hollowing out the pumpkin for the center piece when his six year old brought up the subject.

"Pumpkins are for Halloween, not Thanksgiving."

He grabbed a fistful of pumpkin guts and pulled them out of the defenseless gourd, flinging his hand to remove the sticky, stringy bits.

"The pilgrims had pumpkins at the first Thanksgiving. It will look nice on the table with some corn and apples."

She began to squish the guts with her hands, pulling at the seeds.

"Are you going to carve a face?"

He shrugged his shoulders.

"I don't know. Maybe I'll carve a leaf. Or a turkey."

He thought about that last remark. How the heck do you carve a turkey into a pumpkin? He guessed he could trace his hand on the side and then cut out the bits. The two of them sat silently as he continued his work.

"Mommy won't be here, will she?"

The knife slipped out of his hand, piercing his palm. A shallow cut erupted, bright scarlet mixing in with the pale orange meat. He pulled his hand up to his mouth, sucking on the blood in order to keep from cursing.

"No, she won't. She'll be in Paris. With Johnny."

"Where's Paris?"

"Texas. Down south."

"Oh."

He checked his palm. No more blood. He looked over at his daughter to see two large tears sliding down her cheek. He gently brushed them away with one finger.

"It's ok, it's only a scratch. I'm fine."

She tried to talk, tried to take a breath, could only shake her head.

"It's my fault Mommy's gone, isn't it?"

The shock of that statement made him draw in a shallow breath. He reached over and pulled her on his lap.

"God, no, honey. Why would you think that?"

Words fought with sobs to escape from her throat.

"Be cause the last time I saw her I didn't do what she said and she got mad and she took me to school and she didn't even kiss me good bye she just left me there and she never came back. And now she's in Paris without me."

He held her as tight as he could, fighting his own tears. Fucking bitch! It was bad enough she had broken his heart, was it really necessary for her to break their daughter's too? He took a deep breath to steady himself.

"You didn't do anything to make Mommy leave. Mommy left, because Mommy wasn't happy with herself. I know that's hard to understand, but it's true. It was nothing you did."

An enormous sob erupted out of that tiny face as she turned towards her father.

"But she didn't even kiss me goodbye! I didn't get a kiss goodbye!"

She collapsed against her father, her body spasming with grief. His own grief overflowed, soaking her hair. The pumpkin sat on the table amongst its own debris.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Flanders Fields


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae-May 1915

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Desk Top



There was a tiger sitting on my desk when I got to work this morning.

Not a paper tiger, not a plush toy tiger. A real tiger, all eleven feet and 670 pounds of him. He was trying to balance on the too short surface, his legs pulled up tight under his body, his head perched casually on his front paws. He gave me a bored look as I tried to muster up enough courage to reclaim my space.

"Shoo!"

I waved my arms towards him as if he were a fly.

"Go on now, scat!"

He merely lifted his head, opened his mouth to yawn, then placed it back on his paws, shutting his eyes and falling asleep.

I weighed my options. He was nearly five times my size; his paws were the size of dinner plates (dinner plates with razor sharp claws at the end of them). I couldn't push him off the desk, and I had nothing to lure him away with. I needed to get to my computer and finish a report that was due in an hour. I slowly walked behind my desk, sat down in my chair, and turned on the computer. The tiger opened one eye to regard me.

"I have work to do. Don't stay awake on my account."

The tiger stared at me another minute, then closed his eye. He began to snore as I opened a spread sheet.

About ten minutes later, one of the company's interns came to my door.

"OH MY GOD! There's a tiger on your desk!"

"Yes, he's sleeping. I wouldn't wake him up if I were you."

She hesitated for a moment, then whispered loudly,

"Can I have twenty dollars from petty cash? I need to buy bagels."

I pulled out the cash box and held out a bill towards her. She tippy toed closer and grabbed the money. Her curiosity got the better of her; I saw her gently pet the top of my tiger's head.

"He's so soft."

"Yes, he is. But he snores."

"Well, no body's perfect."

She turned and walked out of my office. The tiger grunted in his sleep and shifted his weight, trying to find a more comfortable position.

I kept working as my dead line loomed. I was just about to fill in the final formula when my supervisor came charging into my office. He squealed like a pig when he saw my desk.

"What is that?! You know animals aren't allowed in the office."

"He was here when I got in."

My supervisor scrunched up his weaselly little face as he began to pace frantically in a circle.

"What's a tiger doing here? You've got to get rid of him, the auditors will be here any minute, we're all going to get fired!! GET RID OF HIM!!"

He wasn't using his indoor voice. The tiger woke up, looking very grumpy. He trained his eyes towards the source of his irritation as his muscles began to tense. My supervisor froze as the blood began to drain from his face, his breath short and shallow. I sat quietly and waited. Finally I heard my voice whisper.

"Now."

The tiger leaped and tackled my supervisor in one fluid moment, grabbing him by the neck and dragging him into the back room. I could hear a brief struggle behind me, then the sounds of flesh ripping and chewing. I went into the kitchen and found a large bowl and filled it up with cold water, then slowly brought it back to my office. The tiger had come out of the back room. We stared at each other for a moment; I placed the water before him and sat back down. He drank it in one gulp, then jumped back up on our desk and began to clean his paws and face. I finished my work and hit print. The tiger had settled down for another nap. I gently petted his head and scratched his ears.

"Good tiger."

The only hitch I can see in this relationship is if they don't hire a replacement quickly enough.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I can no longer hold him at bay,

My old opponent.

My strength is gone.

Sapped.

Drained.

Knackered.

I am exhausted.

Too long have I

Plotted

And

Schemed.

But he knew.

He knew time

Was on

His side.

He knew

Eventually

I'd grow weary

Of

The fight.

So

I lay down my arms

And openly embrace

My old opponent.

Death.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If I had a Pony


If I had a pony

I'd let you ride him.

We could feed him

Carrots

And oats

And little cubes of

Sugar.

And maybe an

Apple.

A sweet Gala,

Not a tart

Granny Smith.

We could ride

To a field

Awash with flowers,

And I could let down

My hair.

Literally and figuratively.

Allowing myself to be

Vulnerable.

Just for a minute,

While you gaze into my eyes,

And whisper,

"I love your work".

But the truth is,

Your assistant

Thinks I'm a

Drama Queen.

"We don't expect you to sell your soul

In order to participate in this workshop
".

Well,

FUCK YOU BITCH.

I'm not inclined

To accept

Your condescending attitude

Towards me

Or

My writing.

So the next time,

A writer

Must pass,

On one of your

Writing Workshops,

Instruct your

Assistant

To reply,

"Sorry you can't participate".

Because if you

Think

You are

Ernest

or

Buke

or

Even

Jack.

You're not.

Your perception

Of your skills

Are a figment

Of

Your

Miniscule

Imagination.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Satisfacton, Guaranteed



"Go on cher, drink it up. It'll cure what ails ya."

She looked at the bright red liquid as it glistened in the bottle, tiny bubbles bumping into each other like seltzer. Sometimes she thought the bubbles looked like tiny skulls, bare teeth grinning at her. Mocking her. Mocking her fears. She took the bottle out of his hands, the leaden glass weighing heavy in her heart. She cast a suspicious look at him.

"And this'll work. This'll make him love me forever?"

He smiled an evil, cynical smile; all teeth, no lips, like the tiny bubbles within.

"Sure nuf, sis. Drink this and he'll cherish you forever."

He grabbed the bottle out of her hands, holding it just out of reach.

"For the right price, that is."

She reached into her bra and pulled out the wade of slightly damp bills, counting them out, one hundred, two hundred, three hundred. A lot of nights on her knees to get that sum, but it would be worth it. It would be worth it. To have his love forever.

He smiled again, and handed her the bottle. She pulled out the cork stopper with her teeth, grimacing slightly at the smell. Metallic. Rotting. She swallowed the bottle's contents in one gulp, coughing and sputtering as the liquid burned a path down her throat and into her stomach. Waves of nausea washed over her as she fell to her knees, a cold sweat began to pour from her brow. Her breath grew rapid and shallow, as her eye sight began to darken. Her eyes searched his with a desperate plea.

"But, I don't understand. I feel like I'm dying. Feel like I've been poisoned."

She looked at him as tears welled in her eyes. She only had strength for one last word.

"Why?"

That sick, evil smile reappeared on his face as he patted the top of her head. He crouched down next to her.

"Silly girl, don't you know? There's only one guarantee to make someone love you forever."

He held her face in his hands as he kissed her gently on the lips, whispering seductively in her ear.

"Death."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fashion Week

Angry and bitter are the new black.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ta Da!!!



The latest issue of Erotica Quarterly from Pill Hill Press. My flash piece, The Ape and I, is featured (and you can't see it, but my name is printed on the cover).

I like the cover; it has Fosse-esque quality to it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2977

Time heals

All wounds

Or does

It wound

All heels?

Slowly causing

Joy

And

Faith

And

Trust

To erode

From our hearts?

Hearts

That

Will never

Be practical

Until

They are

Made

Unbreakable.

So

The

Great

And

Powerful

Oz warns.


Two Thousand

Nine Hundred

Seventy

Seven

Hopes

And

Dreams

And

Desires

And

Ordinary

Lives.

Extinguished.

On

A

Late summer's day

So beautiful

It would make

You say,

I hope

I remember

This day.

Forever.

And

Ever.

And

Ever.


We will

Remember

This day.

Forever.

And

Ever.

And

Ever.

And as long

As we

Remember,

Two Thousand

Nine Hundred

Seventy

Seven,

Hopes

And

Dreams

And

Desires

And

Ordinary

Lives,

Two Thousand

Nine Hundred

Seventy

Seven

Hopes

And

Dreams

And

Desires

And

Ordinary

Lives

Will

Live on.

Forever.

And

Ever.

And

Ever.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nice Cup of Tea, Dear?



The dulcet sounds of the adagio sostenuto from Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata wafted through the air. She opened the box from the bakery and pulled out a lemon cake with a blueberry swirl inside, frosted with a light sugar glaze, and placed in on the cake stand. Cutting a thin slice she deftly put it on a delicate, china plate and placed it ever so gently in front of him, as the kettle began to whistle. She returned to the kitchen, removing the pot from the stove top. Steam rose as she poured the water inside, the tea infuser sinking deep into the boiling liquid. She brought the pot to the table, waiting several minutes until the brew was nice and dark. She looked over at him sitting opposite her. She smiled shyly at him.

"Tea, dear?"

He mumbled something, his head lolling forward. Drops of blood dripped onto his naked chest. She saw his hands stretch against the ropes that bound him to the chair. She frowned slightly.

"I'm sorry dear, I didn't quite hear you. Would you like a nice cuppa?"

Incoherent words tumbled out of his mouth as more blood began to spittle across his cut and broken lips. He tried to raise his head, tried to open his bruised and puffy eyes to focus on her. He managed to hold his head up for ten seconds as one word escaped.

"Why?"

She huffed quietly and poured herself a cup, dropping two lumps of sugar in. Tears began to well in her eyes, and she took a sip to steady her nerves. It was still too hot and burned the tip of her tongue. She dropped the cup onto its saucer; tea spilled on her fine, white damask table cloth.

"God damn it, Alex! Look what you've made me do!"

She tried to blot out the stain with her napkin, but the strong, dark liquid began to penetrate the fragile weave. Her tears increased as her frustration grew, until finally she was sobbing, rubbing the soiled fabric until it ripped. An agonizing wail left her body; she pulled the cloth off the table, china breaking as it hit the floor, cake smashing into crumbs, and began to drag it towards the sink. Cold water filled the basin as she began to drown her grief. Water began to overflow onto the floor as she turned back towards the dining room, a cleaver in her hand.

"God damn you, Alex, look what you've made me do!"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Committed.




I feel your breath

On the back of my neck.

Shivers skate down

My spine.

This is so wrong

I think to myself.

Even as the touch of

Your lips

Down my

Chakras

Make me sigh

With delight.

Sins

Are meant

To be

Forgiven.

But can't be

Absolved

Until

They've been

Committed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hope



"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul". Emily Dickinson

Until it escapes and flies away, where the always hungry tiger of nihilism rips it to shreads, leaving nothing but a pile of feathers on the floor.

BBBUUURRRRPPPP!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

End of Days



She didn't know his name.

She didn't care.

She didn't know where he came from.

She didn't care.

It was the end of days.

He had a pulse.

He was willing.

She was drowning

In nihilism.

She wanted

To care.

She needed

To feel.

Something.

Anything.

Anyone.

Even if only

For fifteen minutes

(He was young, so maybe twenty).

Before the end.

Before the rain.

Something.

Anything.

Anyone.

Someone.

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Place Like Home




When you have a loved one who is mentally ill, you don't look at homeless people in quite the same way. The old man wearing a tin foil crown who refers to himself as the King of Egypt used to be some one's little boy. The old lady who screams at pedestrians who get too close to her as they cross the street used to be her daddy's princess. And that heroin addict who's shaking violently as he's curled up in a ball inside an abandoned doorway used to be best friends with his brother.

No one chooses to be homeless, just like no one chooses to be an addict. "But what about personal responsibility" those who've never been down this road ask? People who are mentally ill suffer from a decreased ability to make socially acceptable personal decisions. You can't force someone to accept treatment, you can't force someone to take their medication. You beg, you plead, you bargain, you threaten. You try tough love. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it buys you time.

It's difficult to get through to someone who hasn't slept in over 60 hours. It's exhausting, it's frustrating, it's infuriating. You can grab them by the shoulders and scream into their face "YOU'RE KILLING YOURSELF! LISTEN TO ME! I CAN'T HELP YOU UNLESS YOU LET ME!" Sometimes, you get through. Sometimes, you don't. Sometimes, you watch them tear up and shake their head no. You watch them pull further away, sometimes disappear, until they become nothing more than a nagging fear. A fear every time it rains or snows that the don't have shelter, a fear the only way they can get food is by letting someone hurt or abuse them. A fear, every time the phone rings or the door bell buzzes, that on the other end is an official sounding voice saying, "We're sorry to inform you".

As sad as that information makes you, there is always that little voice inside your heart that whispers, "Thank God". You hate yourself for feeling that way. Even though, now, you can finally relax, because your loved one is finally at peace. They finally have a home. A grave. A place where they can't be hurt anymore. A place where they're finally safe. A home you can finally visit.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Under Toad


I

Feel

The

Depths

Of

Despair

Swallowing

Me

Whole.

Pulling

Me

Under.

Pulling

Me

Towards

The

Under Toad.

His

Great

Slimy

Lips

Eager

For

A

Kiss.

Alas!

Toads

Don't

Turn

Into

Princes!

They

Only

Give

Warts

And

Fill

Your

Soul

With

Poison.

Making

Your

Heart

Black

As

Ice.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cat and Mouse



A moment for

Just the two of us

On

A Saturday afternoon.

"Stay here in the living room

And watch cartoons.

Daddy and I have to talk.

Alone.

In our bedroom".

Sneaking away

Right in front of everyone.

"Lock the door" I whisper

As we quickly shed our clothes.

Stolen moments

So crucial to keeping

Love viable.

You still make me gasp

As we try to mute our

Carnal pleasure.

We catch our breaths.

Get redressed.

Open the door,

A soft, quick kiss

As you disappear.

I sit on the couch

Watching a cat chase a mouse,

When very calmly I hear,

"Mommy, I didn't hear any

Talking going on

Inside your room".


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Don't Try




"His gravestone reads: "Don't Try", a phrase which Bukowski uses in one of his poems, advising aspiring writers and poets about inspiration and creativity. Bukowski explained the phrase in a 1963 letter to John William Corrington: "Somebody at one of these places [...] asked me: 'What do you do? How do you write, create?' You don't, I told them. You don't try. That's very important: 'not' to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it."[16]" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Happy Birthday Hank.

BBBRRRIIINNNGGGG!!!!!




When the alarm goes off

And

The first thing you do

Is

Curl into

A

Fetal position.

That's a sign

That

Changes need to be

Made.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Translation




I love you

But

I'm not

IN LOVE

With

You.

TRANSLATION

I don't want to

Hurt your feelings

But

I don't want

To

Have Sex

With you

Anymore.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Heat



Sitting in the car

Outside my house.

After our third date.

Waiting for the rain

To stop.

No longer immune

To your many charms,

My desire for you

Radiates

From every pore in

My old body.

Making me blush.

Imagine!

Feeling waves of lust

At my age!

I take your hand,

And ask,

"Would you like to come in?"

When I really mean,

"Would you like to stay the night?"

You smile,

And whisper

"Yes"

As you gently kiss my cheek.

You open my door.

We walk towards the house,

As the rain

Drenches us.

Giving us two

Old

(not old, mature)

Lovers,

A convenient excuse

To remove wet clothing,

And snuggle

Under soft covers.

Generating enough heat

To burn down the house.



Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thank you!



Some shameless bragging: My short story, Some Pig, has been accepted for publication in The Examined Life-A Literary Journal of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. This was a story I originally wrote for Three Word Wednesday, so I want to send a special thank you to Thom Gabrukiewicz for giving us all an opportunity to stretch our creative muscles each week. I'd also like to send an enormous hug to each and every one of you who follow this blog; you are some of the most talented writers I have had the great fortune to read and work with. Your comments about my work are always so spot on, and I consider it a privilege to be a part of your lives.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

PHHHHFFFF



It would appear

That a dose of reality

Won't always pierce

The cotton headed ninny muggins

Amongst us.

He doesn't love you

Really means

HE DOESN'T LOVE YOU.

Not

He's playing hard to get.

Or

He's unable to express

How he really feels.

Because

He's been hurt

Or

Betrayed

Or

Had a rotten childhood.

He doesn't love you

Means

It's time

To let go

Of

Him.

And begin to

Embrace

Yourself.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Repeat as Necessary




Angry and bitter doesn't get you laid. Of course, not getting laid will make you angry and bitter. It's a really vicious cycle.

Look at your reflection in the mirror. Streaks of gray flash through your hair; it's time to hit up the colorist again. The lines under your eyes seem deeper too. Open the medicine cabinet and pull out the Preparation H; squeeze a drop of anti inflammatory cream on the tip of your finger. Gently dab some along the tiny crevices, watch as they fade slightly. Not as much as they used to.

Put the medicine back and walk towards the bed. Open the night stand drawer, and pull out the straight razor. Crawl into bed, lean back against the pillows. Make yourself comfortable.

Try to relax.

Open the blade; watch the light glisten off the edge. Hold the razor in your right hand. Draw your knees up to your chest, heels close to your groin. Bring your hand quickly down, slashing the blade over the skin of your right inner thigh. A stinging sensation will course through your body. A bright crimson line will begin to appear on your flesh. Sometimes it's hard to find a clear piece of skin; the minor scaring builds up quicker than you think it will

Slice the skin five more times as endorphins release into your system. Touch yourself with your left hand, mixing the sensations of pain and pleasure.

Repeat as necessary.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Hands Are Tied




"How could you betray me like this?"

The matter of fact tone to your voice throws me. I usually hear a hint of pain, or a touch of disbelief, when I'm asked that question. But not you; you almost sound as if you expected it. I glance over towards you sitting on the couch.

"It's nothing personal. This is business, pure and simple."

A smile comes to your face, as your gaze drifts off.

"Business. Of course. You always were a fast learner. My best student."

Your eyes turn towards mine, fixing me with a deadly stare.

"And now the student is the master?"

There's no mistaking the anger beneath those words. I fumble slightly as I place ice in the glass in front of me, trying to maintain my composure. Trying to maintain the upper hand. Trying to understand why, despite my anxiety at this moment, I'm slightly aroused by your fury. I pour some Jack into the glass, then slowly make my way over towards you. I feel as if I'm approaching a wounded tiger. I offer you the glass, but you slap it out of my hands, ice cubes flying.

"I take it straight. Perhaps you haven't learned as much as you thought."

That cold stare is boring into my soul. Boring into my heart; I feel it start to race as I bend over to retrieve the glass. I drop my guard for a moment, just enough time for you to knock me to my knees. I feel the weight of your foot as you place it on the nape of my neck. I brace myself.

"And now the student is the master?"

I try to think of an answer, but the only think that runs through my head is mindless banter. I struggle for breath, struggle to regain the upper hand. I can feel the sole of your shoe rubbing against my skin; rich Italian leather. I strain to turn my face towards you.

"Why are you taking this so personally, I told you, this is business. There's nothing I can do, my hands are tied."

You shift your weight, dropping onto the floor, your body straddling my back. You unknot the silk tie at your throat, then pull my hands behind me, binding them together.

"Now they are. What lesson should I teach you now?"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Phone Call



RIP Amy Winehouse 1983-2011


It comes

Without warning.

Even though you always knew

It would come.

In the middle of the night.

First thing in the morning.

On your cell before you head off to lunch.

The phone call.

With the cold

Official

Voice

On the the other end.

"We're sorry to inform you

That your son

Your daughter

Your brother

Your father

Someone you love

Has died.

We think

It was

An

Overdose".

And your brain

Goes on

Automatic pilot.

And you hear your voice say,

"Thank you

For Calling."

And as you

Hang up the phone

You feel

As if

Someone

Has just grabbed

Your soul

And

Ripped

It

To

Shreds.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Safe




I like

the weight

of

your body

on top

of mine.

It makes me

feel

sexy.

Loved.

Safe.

Today

I really need you

to make me feel

safe.

PSA



Heat makes me cranky. Excessive heat makes me very cranky.

I don't know where your rehearsal is. It is your responsibility to know where you're suppossed to be at any given time. You are a guest in this theater; I suggest you start acting like one. Which means you do not do vocal warm-ups in the ladies' room while everyone else is trying to take a slash.

I am not responsible for class schedules, delivering the lunch your child forgot to bring today, or submissions. If you're looking for customer service, you need to look else where.

In short, I have a years worth of bank statements to reconcile, this quarter's federal taxes to file, and a general ledger to balance, all before the auditors show up in thirty days.

Unless you've got a gin and tonic in your hand, are hung like a horse, and wearing nothing more than a saucy grin, I think it would be best if you didn't visit my office any time soon.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Thursday, July 21, 2011




Your finger tips

Upon my lips

Elicit shivers

And Quivers

And Sighs.

While your lips

Upon my finger tips

Make me hunger

For more.

And more.

And more.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Still Here



Early Detection is Essential

To Ensure Your Quality of Life.

So Grab Those Girls,

Give Em a Jiggle,

Feel Yourself Up,

Indulge in a Giggle.

If Not For Yourself

Then Do it For Those

Who Will Miss You Intensely...



She stared at the post. That had to be the worse PSA ever written. She started to press "DELETE" but pulled her finger back at the last moment. Stepping away from her laptop she walked over to the full length mirror in the corner of their bedroom. She regarded her reflection, then slowly began to pull her shirt over her head.

She stared at her chest with a clinical detachement. The first year after her surgery she couldn't look at herself, not in a mirror, not in the shower. She didn't think she'd ever be able to make peace with her body. She didn't want to be brave, didn't want to be strong. She wanted to be whole, she didn't want to see that look of fear in her husband's eyes, didn't want to be reminded of what could have happened if she hadn't caught that lump in time. Yes, maybe it was a small price to pay to keep living, but still there was a part of her that felt cheated.

She saw him stop short as he came in the room. There was still that awkward hesitation on his part; struggling against treating her as if nothing had changed between them, when everything had.

"Hey baby. What are you doing?"

She returned to her desk, leaving her shirt on the floor.

"I was trying to write some sort of early detection message, but it all sounds so trite. How can I explain the importance of doing something that I rarely did myself? It was just a fluke that I checked my breast that month."

He leaned over her shoulder, reading what she wrote. She felt his breath in her ear, squirming slightly at the sensation building between her legs. He leaned forward and started to type, kissing the back of her neck after he finished.

She read what he wrote, then raised her arms above her head, embracing him. She felt his hands reach down to caress her breast. Her breasts.


Early Detection is Essential

To Ensure Your Quality of Life.

So Grab Those Girls,

Give Em a Jiggle,

Feel Yourself Up,

Indulge in a Giggle.

If Not For Yourself

Then Do it For Those

Who will be so grateful that you're still here.

Monday, July 18, 2011




"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves".

Confucius

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sisyphus



Move the files from the back to your desk.

Move the files from your desk to the back.

Move last year's files from the back to the further back.

Move this year's files to the back.

Repeat as necessary.

This is why you don't get a degree in the liberal arts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pussy



"Life is cruel, like a bitter, cold titted bitch whore who lies in wait for that one moment of indecision on your part so she can sink her fangs into your soul and suck it dry."

She placed the cup of coffee on the table, fighting the urge to spill it on his lap. She sat in the chair opposite him and proceeded to pour half a cup of sugar in her tea. She flashed him the stink eye.

"The whole point of an internal monologue is that it's silent."

He glared back at her. He was down to two options; leaving and spending the rest of his life regretting it. Or staying, and spending the rest of his life regretting it. Last night's pity fuck didn't help, only confused him. What had happened to them? When did the woman he love turn into such a cunt? Well, he couldn't really blame her, he wasn't exactly prince charming any more. They'd tried therapy, tried date nights, role playing in the bedroom, or in the living room like last night. Nothing, no sparks reignited, no passion left. He was just about to tell her he was done when their six year old daughter came running into the room.

"Mommy, where is it?"

Her mother put down her cup and looked at her.

"Where's what, baby?"

"The kitty. I looked all over the house and I can't find it."

Her mother shot him a "What the fuck did you do now" look, then took a deep breath.

"We don't have a kitty, honey, what makes you think that?"

A crushing look enveloped the little girl as she slumped into her chair.

"I came down stairs last night to ask you a question and I heard you and daddy making funny noises on the couch. I started to go back upstairs when I heard daddy ask you to give him the pussy, so I thought you got me a cat for my birthday."

The two of them sat there, trying to maintain their composure. He broke first, chuckling to himself, then laughing out loud, while she tried to keep her cool, opening her eyes wide and whispering "stop it" in between her own laughter. Their daughter looked at them in bewilderment.

"What's so funny?"

They looked at each other; for one brief instant there was a spark of connection, a new common bond between them. His wife smiled at him, the first genuine smile she'd given him in a very long time. She turned towards their daughter.

"It was going to be a surprise, but I guess we can go to the rescue group after breakfast to look at the kitties."

Their daughter brightened like the sun.

"Can I have sliced bananas on my cereal, Mommy?"

"Sure baby. Daddy can slice them for me."

She gave her husband a 'come hither' look, and nodded her head towards the kitchen. He smiled at her, then stood up to follow her within. Sometimes fate has a way of giving you a sign right when you need it. He kissed the top of his little girl's head.

"Why don't you go sit in the living room and put a video on, baby girl? You can eat your breakfast in front of the TV this morning. Turn the volume up as loud as you like."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



When I ceased to exist for you

I died.

I curled up in a little ball

And I lied

Laid

Lay

On the floor

Dust bunnies curling around my nose

The dog nibbling at my toes

My tears covering my cheeks

Puddling on the floor.

I turned off the heat in the apartment

Hoping to freeze to death

But then I thought

That's not fair to the dog

She has a fur coat on

And will take longer to die

And starving is an awful way to go.

So I got up

Turned the heat back on

Washed my face

Fed the dog

Then went on line

And used your credit card

To subscribe to hard core porn sites

Under your name

Sent to your work e-mail.

(And BCC to your bosses as well).

So the next time you want to do the nasty

With the teenage baby sitter

I suggest

You consider

The consequences

Of your

actions.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Moth to the Flame




I throw my heart in the air, and then wonder why it gets shot to pieces like a clay pigeon.

Am I a fool for constantly repeating this, or an eternal optimist who always hopes that this time it will be different?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Death is Not Proud




Yes, I firmly believe that the Angel of Death feels enormous guilt doing his job. Cause Lord knows, I do.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ashes to Ashes, Funk to Funky

Does the Angel of Death ever feel guilty about his job?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Maybe Rupert Pupkin was right.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spin, Measure, Cut





Spin, measure, cut.

Spin, measure, cut.

The Fates hold the thread.

Spin, measure, cut.

Spin, measure, cut.

SNIP! And now you're dead.

Spin, measure, cut.

Spin, measure, cut.

Get in line! The ferry's due.

Spin, measure, cut.

Spin, measure, cut.

What a surprise! How are you?

Spin, measure,cut.

Spin, measure,cut.

Hope you have your coin.

Spin, measure, cut.

Spin, measure, cut.

Look at the friends you get to join.

Spin, measure, cut.

Spin, measure, cut.

I prefer not to go!

Spin, measure, cut.

Spin, measure, cut.

Too late! Now don't be slow.

Spin, measure, cut.

Spin, measure, cut.

Shiver at death's icy grip.

Spin, measure, cut.

Spin, measure, cut.

Alas, this is always a one way trip.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Letter to the World



I've always been a big fan of Frances McDormand's acting, but my respect for her as an artist went through the roof when I saw her accepting her Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her work in David Lindsay-Abaire's play, Good People. She looked like she had gone out to pick up milk at the local shop and suddenly remembered, "Snap! I need to be at the Beacon for an awards show!"

It's not about the glitz, it's not about squeezing your body into a dress two sizes too small. It's about the work, about the written word. It's about showing up for eight performances a week and acting as if every performance you give is the very last one you'll ever give. It's not about being famous or having a big house or big tits, it's about the craft, whether that craft is acting or writing or music or art or any other creative endeavor. All that matters is the finished product, and growing as a creative person.

Thank you Ms. McDormand for reminding me what really matters. It doesn't matter if I never get a book deal or never have more than a handful of people who read my work. What only matters is that from now on every story I write will be infused with the commitment that it might be my last. To quote Emily Dickinson, "This is my letter to the world".

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Egg Man


Who killed the Egg Man?

She looked at the piece of paper stuck inside the book. Who killed the Egg Man? What on earth did that mean? She was still staring at the piece of paper when he came in.

"What's that?"

"I don't know. A piece of paper I found in this book. It says, Who killed the egg man. Who's the egg man?"

He shrugged his shoulders.

"I am the Walrus?"

She looked at him as if he were speaking in a foreign tongue.

"Sorry?"

He sighed heavily; god, what were they teaching these kids any more?"

"I am the Walrus. It's a song by The Beatles. You do know who The Beatles are, I hope?"

She rolled her eyes. He could be so patronizing sometimes. She wasn't just hatched.

He stood behind her and looked at the paper, trying to see if he recognized the hand writing. He did, and went to pull it out of her hand. She snatched it back.

"Hey! It's mine, I found it!"

She was starting to annoy him, making his tranquil mood sour.

"It's a piece of paper. Throw it away and stop being so childish."

She held it close to her chest, a petulant look growing on her face.

"No. It's mine. I'm sure it's some sort of great mystery, and I want to unravel it."

He wasn't so fond of her any more. It was time to relieve himself of her, and move on to someone more pliant.

"It's nothing of the sort. It's a note from a lover of mine. I make her lie on a table, then crack eggs over her naked body while my friends watch. Then I let them take turns fucking her while I watch. The egg man is me."

She looked at him, tears beginning to well in her eyes. Why did he have to be so mean? She knew there were others, but why did he constantly have to throw it in her face?

A cold sneer appeared on his face.

"Care to take her place some night, pet?"

She turned and grabbed her purse, then quickly left the apartment. She sat in her car for ten minutes, trying to calm down. She looked at the balled up piece of paper in her fist and began to smooth it out. She found a pen in the bottom of her bag and started to scribble on the paper, altering the original message.

Who killed the egg man?

Me

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Question of the Day




Does stupidity hurt? Cause if it does, I know certain people who are in constant pain. Or maybe it just hurts the people that surround them, and they are in a constant state of ignorant bliss.

Remember, every time you do something stupid, God kills a kitty.

Think before you act.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Plagiarism Begins at Home





"Mr. Fitzgerald -- I believe that is how he spells his name -- seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home." Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald


"He's just Dreamy" is not a reason to read a writer's work. It's also not a reason to publish said writer's work. Especially when said work is shallow, pompous, and pretentious.

My God, no wonder Zelda drank!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Make a Wish


"SURPRISE!!!!!!"

Oh God. There's nothing worse than having a group of people screaming at you at the top of their lungs. Edward hated surprises. He hated his birthday. He hated people remembering his birthday by yelling surprise as he walked in his front door. All he wanted was to sit on his couch with a cold bottle of beer, and have his brain drip out of his ear as he watched really bad porn. Porn so bad it didn't even arouse him anymore, just embarrassed him. Because at the age of forty nine he shouldn't need to watch porn anymore. Except he wasn't forty nine. Because today was his birthday.

People began to crowd around him, kissing his cheek, shaking his hand, patting him on the back. He put his brief case down and began to take off his jacket, loosening his tie as he walked towards the kitchen. Carla was standing in the middle, like a captain at command, sending out hot hors d'oeuvres and drinks to the assembled masses. A saucy grin appeared on her lips as she caught his eye; she paused momentarily to inspect a stuffed mushroom concoction before launching it, then opened the refrigerator, pulling out a bottle of his favorite imported beer. She deftly flipped the cap off, then sauntered over to him. She handed him the bottle as she stood on tip toe, planting a soft kiss on his lips.

"Surprise," she whispered softly.

He took the beer and chugged half of it down in one gulp. Damn, that was fine beer. He burped loudly and leaned against the counter top, giving her a look mixed with disappointment and resentment.

"You promised you wouldn't do anything."

She patted his hand, and nodded her head towards a large woman in bright colors, yards of beads jumbled up around her neck and wrists.

"I didn't. Aunt Molly has been planning this for the last five months. Molly said your mother would have wanted this, since she missed so many of your birthdays when you were little."

He winced as he took another swig of beer.

"When your mother dies in child birth, she misses all of your birthdays when you're little."

"I know. Molly's heart is in the right place, it's just her head . . "

"Is firmly up her . . ."

Carla nudged him as Molly appeared, her face sweaty, her eyes moist and puffy. Molly staggered a little as she flung her arms around Edward's neck.

"There's my sweet boy! Happy birthday darling! It seems like only yesterday you were born! Where has the time gone? Oh my sweet, darling boy!"

She began to sprout fresh tears, letting her head fall against Edward's chest, leaving fresh stains of mascara and lip stick on his shirt. Edward sighed, and put his arms around her, hugging her tight, his hands patting her back.

"I hear all this was your idea, Molly Dolly. Don't you know I hate people making a fuss on my birthday?"

Molly lifted her head, a look of shock and pain appearing with fresh tears.

"Oh, Teddy Bear, I know, but it's a special birthday, you're fifty! You've lived twice as long as your dear mother."

The tears came harder now as she clung to him.

"Oh, Teddy Bear, fifty years! Do you know what it's like to lose your twin? Fifty years is such a long time to be alone."

Edward looked at Carla. He didn't know which was worse, still being called "Teddy Bear" at the half century mark, or having to hear the story of the missing twin once more. They weren't even identical. Carla came up and managed to pull Molly off of him. She wiped the old woman's eyes, making her blow her nose like a toddler after a tantrum. Carla smiled sweetly at her.

"Did I show you the cake Auntie? It has lovely little bears on it, just like you wanted."

Molly brightened up, and turned towards her nephew, pinching the side of his cheek.

"Nothing's too good for my little boy."

Edward gave her a tired smile, then looked out towards the throng milling about his living room. He could hear Molly's happy exclamations behind him as she saw the cake, then felt Carla's hands wrap around his waist. He looked down and kissed the top of her head. She stood on tip toe again, whispering in his ear.

"Don't worry, birthday boy. I made everyone agree to leave after two hours. My parents will take Molly to their house for the night, so we can have some alone time. I'll be able to give you your present in private."

Edward looked at his wife; she really was amazing. Not many women would be willing to accept an elderly relative into their home, especially one with such a slippery grasp on reality like Molly. He kissed Carla again, then once more, just for good measure.

"When we're alone, will we have a chance to get naked?"

That marvelous saucy grin reappeared; God, he loved to see that look on her face.

"I guess that depends on what you wish for when you blow out your candles, Teddy Bear."

Edward laughed; Molly began to laugh too, clapping her hands in delight. Edward put one arm around her, the other around Carla. The three of them walked into the living room, ready to celebrate.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stay Out Of The Tall Grass



It wasn't the Rapture we had to worry about, it was the Raptors.

I feel so much better now.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011



"The time has come, the Walrus said,
to talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing wax-
Of cabbages and kings.
And why the sea is burning hot
and whether pigs have wings"


The Walrus and The Carpenter
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There
Lewis Carroll (1871)

"If pigs had wings, they'd bump into people."

Molly looked up from the sink, her hands red from the hot water and soap. Her apron was damp from the cleaning up; as much as she loved cooking big meals, she hated washing up. Especially after a meal as disastrous as this one had been.

"Why do you say that, Lovey?"

"Because pigs are fat, and I don't think they'd be able to get high off of the ground, so they'd bump into people."

"Maybe they could squeal to let people know they were coming, so people could get out of the way."

"Maybe."

Alice's voice was dreamy and far away. She put the book down and walked over to her mother.

"Why did Daddy get so mad at dinner? I think having a new baby in the house will be fun."

Molly turned off the water and started to dry her hands and the counter with a towel. Steven had been incensed when she told him the news; he'd thrown a dish of macaroni and cheese across the room. He'd been unemployed for almost a year now; his benefits were starting to run out. Molly was supporting them on her salary; she was traveling a lot, spending too much time away from her family. She could feel Steven shutting her out, angry with her for taking his role of provider away from him. She was starting to look forward to being away from him. He'd stormed out of the house, jumping in his truck and pulling away, the back tires skidding as he drove off. She shrugged her shoulders, trying to hide her tears from her daughter.

"Well, I guess he's worried, cause he's not working, and money's tight. He's afraid he won't be able to take care of us."

Alice wrapped her arms around her mother's waist and pressed her ear against Molly's belly.

"Is it awake" she whispered.

Molly let her hand gently caress Alice's hair as she began to sway her hips back and forth.

"No, I think it's asleep."

"Is it a boy or a girl?"

Molly took a deep breath in.

"Don't know. Too early to tell."

A buzzing sound came from the pocket of Molly's jeans. She reached around and pulled her cell phone out; there was a text from Steven. She flipped it open, beginning to shake as she read the message. Tears began to splash upon Alice's head. The little girl hugged her mother tighter.

"It's ok, Mommy, don't cry. Is the text from Daddy? What did he say?"

Molly's eyes blurred as the tears began to stream from her eyes. There was just one word searing into her soul:

WHOSE?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Unconditional Surrender



Whales sing to entice a lover.

All I have are my words, clumsy attempts that never quite manage to fully express how I feel.

God forbid I allow you access to my innermost hopes and dreams. I'd sooner brandish a sword, like a lusty pirate wench, to keep you at bay.

And yet, when you sit cross legged on the floor, playing your mandolin, I want to rip apart my disguise with my bare hands, stand naked before you, and allow you to invade my most private thoughts and places.

The rain beats against the window; I light candles in case the electricity goes. They encircle the room, glowing like so many wishes just waiting to be made. I turn towards you. You've stopped playing and put your instrument aside, your arms open wide to me. I approach, silently, apprehensively, like a curious cat. You smile your crooked, goofy smile, reaching towards me. I stop in front of you, unzipping my dress, letting it fall to the ground. A bolt of lightening, the lights go out, then a marvelous crash of thunder.

Not an invasion, more like an unconditional surrender.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hello

If you steal a loaf of bread because your children are hungry, are you a thief?

If you let a man give you money after sex so you can pay the rent, are you a whore?

There are only two things that are unforgivable in today's society; being fat or being poor.

There's a thin line between just getting by and living in your car. It doesn't take much to fall off that wire, precariously balancing between safety and disaster.

The wolf is no longer at the door; he's sitting on the couch with a bag of cookies in one paw and the remote in the other, and he's starting to get grumpy because the bag is empty and there's nothing good on tv.


She tried to shake the voices out of her head, tried to find the grace she needed to get out the door and do it all over again. It wasn't coming today. She reached for the phone, deciding to call out sick, when it began to ring. She glanced at the number (thank God for caller ID); it wasn't someone she owed money to. Shocking. It took her a minute to recognize the number; it was his cell.

Why was he calling now? She checked the clock; 7:30 am. He was in Los Angeles, it was night time there. One more ring and the call would go into voice mail, she wouldn't have to deal with his kindness. It rang; impulsively she picked it up, catching it at the last minute.

"Hello?"

"Hey, I was afraid you'd all ready left for work."

Silence. Awkward, heavy silence. She felt stupid; part of her wanted to make up an excuse to end the call, another part wanted to kick off her shoes and burrow into the couch for the next hour.

"Are you still there?"

She nodded her head, continuing to feel stupid. He can't see a nod, you idiot.

"I was just getting ready to leave."

Not a very convincing lie. More heavy silence. Should she wait for him to speak? What did he want? They hadn't resolved that question before he left.

She heard him give an exaggerated yawn. She could feel a slight jittery feeling starting to brew in her stomach. Tell him you have to go, hang up.

"I was just getting ready to leave" she repeated.

A small sigh of disappointment became audible from 3000 miles away.

"I just wanted to say hi. We haven't spoken since I left, and I realized I . . ." His voice trailed off into silence.

Say something, the voice in her head screamed! He may not call again. She started to rock back and forth.

"You just left yesterday," she managed to whisper, "You should be asleep, it must still be the middle of the night out there. Or did you just get in from a night of debauchery?"

He laughed. He had a great laugh. She could hear the apprehension melt from his voice, thought about his long,lean body stretching out on the bed. She smiled in spite of herself.

"I'm afraid my days of debauchery are long gone. Especially if I have to do them alone. I want to hit the gym before my meeting started. I thought I'd just call and say good morning."

A sense of relief began to flood her. She sat on the couch and kicked off her shoes, pulling her knees up on the cushion.

"I miss you too."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Something




Something Old, Something New,
Something Borrowed, Something Blue

A small gold ring, a long white dress,
A smile to help relieve the stress.

Her father sighed, no longer his,
Her mother cried at her bliss.

He held her hand, she took his name,
They pledged their love through hope and pain

Something Old, Something New,
Something Borrowed, Something Blue

A chance to finally say, "I do".



A most joyous and blessed marriage to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Forgive Me, For I Have Sinned




She gazed at the fading photo; voluminous folds of black material encased the woman. They said the habits weighed thirty five pounds, so that a woman might be aware of carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. She wondered what type of fabric it was made of. Cotton? Hopefully not wool; she would have passed out from heat exhaustion in the summer.

She felt him sit behind her on the bed, pushing her hair off the back of her neck in order to plant a kiss. His hands wrapped around her waist as he laid his chin on her shoulder.

"What'cha got?"

She put the picture down, knowing it would just set off an argument between them.

"Nothing, just an old photo my mom sent me. She was cleaning out Gran's house and came across it. An old great aunt or someone."

"Let me see."

She tried to slide the picture back into the envelope it arrived in.

"Not now, lets go for a run."

He looked at her, a wicked smile on his face.

"Show me the photo first. What's the matter, is it a piece of antique pornography?"

She went to move off the bed but he grabbed her and threw her back down. The envelope flew out of her hands as she tried to break her fall; he rolled over on top of her, straddling her waist to pin her down, and grabbed it. He pulled out the picture as she struggled to take it from him. She saw him visibly recoil as he gazed on it. He threw it aside and rolled onto his back next to her. She turned towards him, as a look of anguish spread over his face.

"It's just some long lost relative. I think she was my gran's Aunt Agnes, back in Ireland. She was a Sister of Mercy."

She watched him take a deep breath to steady his nerves.

"There was nothing merciful about those bitches. Ugly, hateful, wicked old hags taking out their sexual frustrations on little kids."

Here it comes. She placed her hand on his tight stomach. She liked when he walked around in just his running shorts, his lean, muscular frame on display. She leaned forward and kissed his belly button.

"That was a long time ago, baby. It's foolish to hold a grudge after all these years. They can't hurt you anymore."

Anger flashed from his eyes.

"It's not foolish. Just because you had a happy relationship with the church doesn't mean we all did. People got hurt, badly, and then they've had to endure years of denial. It's a morally bankrupt, corrupt institution that needs to be held accountable for its actions."

She sighed. He was right, their experiences had been totally different, there were debts to be paid (and not just financial ones). The guilty had to punished. But this was such an old rift between them, they had had this argument so many times, she didn't relish a new round.

The two of them lay next to each other, the sound of birds singing breaking the silence between them. She tentatively stretched out her fingers until they touched his; she felt his hand embrace hers, tightly. After a few minutes he rolled over, letting his nose gently brush hers. He kissed her lightly, then deeply. When she opened her eyes, she saw him looking intently at her, his eyes slightly moist.

"Just don't put the picture in a frame and hang it up, ok?"

She knew this was important to him, knew he really meant this, but there was a wicked streak that ran through her.

"I was going to put it above our bed, but . . ."

A look of shock, then absolute love covered his face. He rolled on top of her and pushed her knees towards her shoulders as the photo fell to the floor, sliding under the bed to rest with the discarded sneakers and dust bunnies.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pay Back

4.19.2011, 8:11pm. Skynet became self aware.

They were hunkered down in an abandoned building somewhere in the out country. There was nothing left of the country side; all living matter had been annihilated, the full effect of a scorched earth policy. She was trying to cleanse the wound on his bicep. It went all the way down to the bone. He couldn't afford to lose his arm; she couldn't afford to lose him.

She started to cut the material around the wound; the heat from the blast had caused it to melt into the flesh. She poured alcohol into it. He flinched slightly, cursing under his breath.

"You were careless out there. Don't let it happen again."

He gave her a dark look, then took a long drag off his cigarette, letting his gaze wander into oblivion.

"I don't make the same mistake twice."

Stupid, arrogant grunt. She took her knife and began to dig out the fabric that had fused with his flesh. It took a long time; luckily there was minimal blood lose. She wrapped it up tightly, dousing it once more with alcohol. The last thing they needed was an infection setting in. She sat back, surveying her work. Good enough for now; if they could get to the rebel base, they might be able to hook up with a medic. It was a two day hike through hostile territory.

She began to clean up her kit, looking around the room to see who was left. They were lucky this time, they'd all gotten out of the ambush. Putting the kit away, she finally sat down, allowing herself a moment to relax. She felt her calf begin to cramp; she pulled up her pants leg and tried to massage it. He looked over at her, then swiveled his body around, grabbing her leg in his big rough hands. He began to knead the muscle, easing the knot out of tired, over worked sinew. A crooked smile wrapped around his cigarette.

"I guess I owe you one."

A tired smile appeared on her face. She closed her eyes and let her head fall back against the wall. Sleep is a weapon. Tomorrow they'd head out again. Maybe someday they wouldn't have to.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Is anyone else appalled at the false sense of intimacy that the internet creates? I like to go on-line and read other writers' blogs, and I'm struck by two things.

One: Isn't the point of having a writing blog the creation of new writing? I'm constantly amazed at some writers who feel the need to publish the most intimate details of their private life on the World Wide Web. All that matters is the writing you've created. My more cynical side wonders if writers spill their guts like this because they're afraid their writing isn't up to snuff, so they go for the pity audience. Or maybe, because of the false sense of intimacy that the Internet seems to suggest, they're able to say things in a "psuedo" anynomous way by blogging about it (but then they put their pictures or allow pictures of their children on line). And for the love of God, don't exploit your child's grief at the death of her mother for a buck, especially if you don't have the balls to confront your own grief at the lose of your wife.

Two: Some writers spend so much time on their blog talking about the book/play/screen play that they're working on that it makes you wonder when they have the time to devote to writing said book/play/screen play. Perhaps they have better time management skills than I have. I always think of the words of Master Yoda:

Do or Do not . . .there is no try.

You're not an aspiring writer, you're a writer. Don't sit there and blog about the great story you're going to write. Write the damn thing. Then write another one. Then another. Then another. Then another. And maybe, just maybe you'll get one you really like. It's not about the audience. Not about the publishers, or the critics. It's about the craft.

Enough. STFU Sheridan, and go write a God-Damn story.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Welcome Home

I had an aunt who was a narcoleptic. She'd fall asleep like that. One time she fell asleep while she was entering the front door and smacked her face on to our screen door. She always wore a heavy pancake make-up on her face, and for years after there was a faint image of her face on the screen. Kinda like the Shroud of Turin. It was a strange illusion. When I was little I always thought it was watching me. The funny thing was, as much as it creeped me out, I was afraid to clean it off with the hose. Somehow I thought if I erased that image, she would disappear, and I didn't want that on my conscious.

After my parents died I inherited the house with Aunty's visage. I entered the property through the back door into the kitchen. It was evident that the house had seen better days; towards the end of their lives the up keep of the place had deteriorated along with my parents' mental acuity. I wandered through the rooms, piles of magazines on the floor, unopened letters cluttering the dining room table. I kept having flashbacks to happier times; playing hide and seek behind the living room curtains. The Easter Ham sitting on the table. Sneaking down the stairs on Christmas Eve to see if Santa had arrived yet. It wasn't tragic, but it was, I don't know, really quite sad.

I went to the front door and opened it; there, faintly staring back at me, was Aunty's face. I put my hand up and let my finger trace the outline of her countenance. It was funny, I'd never noticed this before, but in this light, it looked like she was smiling as she hit the screen. My fingers followed the curve of her lips. I laughed to myself, and then closed the door.

Welcome home Sonny Boy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Angel Lust

"Touch it."

I recoil in disgust. What is it with you, constantly forcing me to submit to your perversions? I've been with a lot of guys over the years, but none with your set of peculiar proclivities. It's starting to get on my last nerve.

"Don't be stupid. I'm not going to touch it. It's bad luck."

You drop to your knees before me, digging around in the brush. I stare at you in bewilderment.

"What are doing?"

"Looking for a mandrake plant. They say when a hanged man cums, his seed drops to the ground, and a mandrake plant sprouts up. When you pull it out of the ground, it screams."

I gaze at you, wondering at your insatiable need to fabricate. You seem to do that a lot lately. I hear the rope begin to creak from the weight of the body suspended from it. A small wind picks up, causing the body to sway back and forth. I'm starting to get the creeps.

"We should go. It's getting dark; we should go and tell someone what we've found."

You stop searching for the root and crawl over to where I'm standing. Your hands grab my waist, pulling me down to your level.

"Let's do it. Let's fuck right here, under this tree."

You throw your weight on top of me, knocking me on my back, forcing my skirt up as you struggle with your jeans. I look at the body hanging from the tree above us, his face all puffy and purple, his eyes bulging from their sockets, his tongue black and swollen. I close my eyes and try to resist, but you're all ready balls deep. I take a deep breath, listening to the wind pick up, the steady sound of the rope creaking faster and faster.

"Get on top. I want to watch him."

You flip onto your back; I straddle your waist, hoping this position will make you cum faster so we can get the hell out of here. I'm so done with you, really I am. There's nothing you can say that will make me change my mind this time. I'm, what's that word? I'm adamant, yea,that's it, I'm adamant this time.

I scream slightly as a low guttural moan pierces the air; I look above me, thinking our friend has come back to life, but I realize it's only you climaxing. You begin to laugh at me.

"What's the matter? Don't you like an audience?"

I slide off you, kicking your boot with my sneaker. I'm done, I'm done, I'm done. I stand up and begin to rearrange my clothes.

"I'm outta here. Find someone else to get freaky with."

I start to walk out of the woods as you begin to shout your usual protests. At one point I turn back, trying to see if you're following me. In the waning light I can see you still lying on your back. I catch my breath; it almost looks as if there's someone standing above you. Someone with a purple face, and black swollen tongue.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There's No Crying In Baseball

Bill checked his wallet for the opening day tickets. There were only two this year; for the last eight years it had been the three of them in the stands, the Three Amigos, three generations sharing America's past time. Bill's dad had passed away a week into the new year. He and his dad had season tickets since the time Bill was seven, went to every game, no matter the weather. Once Bill had sat through a double header with a 101.05 degree fever. Opening day had been a tradition.

His daughter Mary walked in, her team jersey over a pair of torn jeans, a baseball cap covering her multi-colored spiked hair. A worn glove was tucked under her arm. She smiled warmly at him.

"Ready to go, Daddio?"

Bill laughed; his dad always used to say that. He put his wallet away and grabbed his keys as the two of them made their way to the car.

They left the car at the station and hopped the train into the city. There were a few other die hard fans on the train, kids skipping school, grown ups taking a vacation day from work. They got to the stop and walked three blocks to the stadium. People were swarming all over the place; fans, vendors hawking the riches of the game. Programs, pennants, large foam gloves with "We're Number One" printed on it. Part of the ritual for opening day was Mary trying her persuasive best to get her dad to buy her an over priced souvenir. Usually Bill's dad would buy it for her. It wasn't quite the same when Bill forked over the twenty dollars for the team mascot key ring.

They walked into the stadium, and went up to their section, where the next part of the ritual took place. Standing in line at the concession stand, waiting to buy an exorbitantly priced hot dog, hot pretzel, and beer for him, soda for her. This would have been the part where Bill's dad would start to reminisce about how when he and Billy came to the game when Billy was Mary's age, it would only cost him ten bucks to feed the two of them. They got their food and made their way to their seats. It had always been Bill, his dad, then Mary. Bill and Mary bumped elbows as they got comfortable. They sat in silence, eating their red hots, mustard dripping onto their pants.

Suddenly the crowd erupted in a loud roar as the home team took the field to warm up. Bill and Mary watched intently, making comments about the prospects for this player's season, whether the pitching staff would bring them to post season. That was the beauty of opening day; the whole season lay ahead of you. Anything was possible.

Finally the teams were introduced, and the stadium announcer spoke solemnly, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise for our National Anthem". Bill and Mary stood, their hats over the hearts. A soft sob escaped from Mary's throat.

"Pop-Pop should be here."

Bill put his arm around his daughter's shoulders as he struggled with the lump in his throat. There's no crying in baseball.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two Lost Souls








Conjoined twins are always identical; I gaze at the fetal skeleton, two tiny skulls sitting on top of one perfect little body. Poor little babies! Were they still born? Did some unscrupulous doctor murder them at birth in order to sell them as a medical specimen? Did their mother get to hold them before they were taken away from her? What were her thoughts as she beheld her children? Did she believe she'd been cursed by an angry god for some unknown offense? Was she repulsed? Did she bother to give them names? Did she grieve, or breathe a sigh of relief that there were two less mouths to feed?

So many questions swarm through my head. I had come to the medical museum to distract myself from my own problems, but all I could do was worry about the exhibits. Why couldn't they make plasticine casts of the bones, and give these poor people a decent burial? Were they poor cast offs from polite society? People of color? I was fascinated and ashamed of my fascination all at the same time. I gaze at the black empty sockets. The eyes are the window to the soul; were there dual souls residing within those bodies? Were they in a better place,or were they floating around somewhere, angry displaced pieces of light waiting to be released?

My head begins to hurt; the air in the museum begins to feel hot and thin. I put my coat on and go outside. It's damp and misting; I pull my collar up and shove my hands deep into my pockets. I start to hurry home, then slow down as I remember the fight we'd had that morning. Angry, cruel words volley back and forth like missiles over the trenches. I'm beginning to think that we're at a place we can't get back from.

I get to our place, hesitating slightly before putting my key in the door. I walk into a dark apartment; there's candle light coming from our bedroom. I take off my coat and stand stupidly by the closet. My curiosity gets the better of me, and I slowly make my way towards the door. Lit candles ring the room; you're lying in bed, seductively posing against the pillows, the sheet strategically placed. I lean against the door frame as you smile at me.

"I called your cell, but you didn't pick up."

I start to tap the top of my shoe on the floor, my arms crossing across my chest.

"I left work early. I needed time to think."

"I'm sorry about this morning. What do you say we kiss and make up?"

I drop my eyes towards the floor. I don't feel like making up. God, you're always so smug, always so convinced of your ability to make me acquiesce to you! I turn and kick the door frame, banging my head against the wood.

"I have a head ache, I'm not in the mood."

You get up from the bed and stand before me, naked as the day you were born, your buff body glowing in the candle light. Most women would be thrilled to have a Norse God for a boyfriend, but all I can think of at this moment are those bodies in the museum, alone, unwanted. Why didn't anyone care enough about them to give them a decent funeral? How could a mother not love her children enough to make sure they would rest in peace? How could she not want to visit their grave? Tears began to slip down my cheeks as sobs steal my breath. You cradle my head and pull me closer to you.

"Don't cry baby, I didn't mean what I said this morning. You just took me by surprise when you said you were pregnant. I want the baby, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. The three of us."

I raise my head and look into your eyes. It's like looking into two black orbs. Like looking into a soulless skull.