My quarry shambles off the bus. His lanky frame is lost inside a long black coat. He adjusts his head cans, then buries his hands in his pockets. He nods to the beat. His feet stride with the rhythm. There’s a lovestruck couple up ahead of him. They take up both lanes of the sidewalk. He mounts the boulevard and breezes past. He doesn’t see the pedestrians for the people. The scope of his vision narrows to the crosswalk. He doesn’t bother to look both ways. He doesn’t see the traffic for the cars. Continue reading Bulletproof Cupid
The volume went up as the Guest of Honor stepped into the party. Then the lights went down. Scarves found their way to the banisters. Layers found their way to the floor. Buttons were undone. Belts were unbuckled. The Guest of Honor peered into the coat room. His was the coat that made the pile spill to the floor.
When he ambled down the hall, heads peered up. People watched from their blind spots. Arms uncrossed. Footing shift. The guests repositioned themselves to stand full front to him. Their guards went down. Heads began to nod. Eyes began tracking movement. The guests started to promenade from social click to social click. Everybody was open for business.
Wheels turn. Gravel pops. It takes a while for it to come to a complete stop. Something has been delivered to the main gates of your Imagination. Its snout casts a long shadow over your Ideas. Its wooden mange creaks in the breeze. It’s a three-story stallion looming over the birth place of your fiction. Guards report whispers from its nostril. They report the sounds of footfalls and metal unsheathing. Suddenly the horse, is all that your Ideas can focus on. Continue reading Compartmentalize
When I was in my mid-twenties, I wrote a lot of pieces like this. Positive affirmations that came from very dark places. Leave it to me to find cobwebs in the arch of a rainbow. There was a sincerity to being insincere. An acknowledgement of how I ought to think, had I not been governed by fear.
I’ve always been an introvert playing at extravert. This circa-2004 piece must have been written hung over, on the day after a party. I can only imagine what I had done to inspire it. Continue reading A Part I Was Conceived To Play
You clock out of work. The punch card weighs heavy in your hand. You go straight home. Your Story has been waiting up, pacing the apartment, peering through the blinds. There’s a pair of empty wine bottles in the sink. Incense sticks line the coffee table. They’ve been ashed all the way down. Candle wax has dripped across the varnish. Three empty sleeves of Girl scout cookies lay crinkled on the couch.
In just a few days Minnesotans will be given the choice to amend their constitution to deny gay people the right to marry (a right they didn’t already have). Civil rights issues don’t usually get put to a vote. Imagine what would have happened if Brown vs. The Board of Education had been put to a vote. Do you think we’d have integrated schools today? What about if Affirmative Action had been put to a vote? I didn’t think so.
Follow the dolphins into shore
Follow the power lines into the city
Follow the spot lights downtown
Follow the breeze into me
The balloons dangle from every street sign
The streamers swing from every fence
There’s a landing strip of Christmas lights
I spared no expense Continue reading Open House
I’m trying to find the name for a very particular faux pas. One that I’ve had far more experience with than I care to admit (I might have to switch perspectives from first to second just to distance myself from it).
This faux pas happens when you’re trying to impress new people with your sparkling whit. You decide to play stand up comedian and shine a spotlight on some unspoken truth, a universal thought that only you have the charisma to articulate. Then you realize you’re the only person in the room that this thought has ever occurred to. Continue reading A New Faux Pas
The downpour has pedestrians popping their collars. It has late starters piling on the layers. The Author puts his heart on his sleeve. The Detective puts his chip on his shoulder. One shuffles into the tavern. The other ambles.
They take their stations at opposite ends of the bar. The Author is an open book. His stool spins around every time the door chimes. He catches each patron with his puppy dog eyes. Then he hunches over his memo pad with his hands in his cardigan, an over protective father guarding his precious pages.
Well bub, I’ve been published. So put that in you’re corncob pipe and smoke it.
My apologies. Where might I procure this magnum opus of yours? Continue reading “Phantasmagorical” and Other Fifty-cent Words