Writer’s can take inspiration from anywhere (emphasis on the word “take”). We snatch. We grab. We are world class thieves, stealing with our eyes, lining the halls of our lairs with observations. We quote you out of context. We plagiarize real life. We sell your mannerisms on the black market. The longer you know us the less of you will be yours. We walk around with magnets in our pockets and we take everything we can carry.
This poem is dedicated to the criminal enterprise that is fiction writing. We are a guild of thieves. You will never see us coming, but we are always watching you.
At first, it was hard to find your watch. It had wandered off the end table and fallen into a pile of laundry. Then it was buried in the sock drawer. A week later, you found it tucked beneath a lamp shade wrapped around the light bulb.
You’d type your story into all hours of the night, look to your wrist and see only skin. Your hero traversed the ends of his world by the time you thought to check the clock on the monitor. It was frozen at twelve. You stumbled through a forum that said something about resetting “LOCATIONS SERVICES.” You gave up about three steps in. You said you would get around to it once you’d capped off the chapter. Continue reading Self-Sabotage→
There’s an arc of cola in the air, a shiny brown ribbon trailed by a constellation of ice. It casts a wide shadow on the tiles below. My keyboard is right in the spill’s trajectory. I follow the floating brown bubbles to their twelve ounce origin. It’s pinched in the grip of a poor young runt. He’s a pasty faced kid with freckles on top of his acne. It looks like he’s lost his balance. Upon closer inspection, it looks like his balance has been taken from him. Taken by the fluorescent orange sneaker sweeping his ankle. I could step in, untie that gaudy orange knot at his feet, but it’s not going to put his drink back into his cup. I could move my laptop out of the splatter zone, but it doesn’t matter. Not yet it doesn’t. Continue reading Find the Time→
Have you ever felt like you were helping someone else hurt you? Like you were relinquishing control of your life? Like you were dating a drill sergeant? Like you clocked out of one job and into another one in the guise of a relationship? Like the devil demanded your ear and you couldn’t help but give him his due?
Here’s a poem about those charming monsters we can’t help but submit to. I wrote it several years ago about a friend who let one of them consume her.
It was five in the morning and I was hugging the museum wall. The lights were low and so was I. There was a security camera right above me. I was stuck in its blind spot, trapped inside an invisible cage that was but a few paces all around. This didn’t matter much. The air was still and so was I.
A woman’s face peered out from the dark. Her pallid skin was cracked and peeling. Her expression was vacant. The lights of her eyes had gone dim. It was Rembrandt’s famous painting the Lucretia. She stood over me in her blood stained gown, with one hand clinging to the curtain that kept her upright and the other to her dagger. Continue reading Fleeing the Beam→
The bright shiny things parade through my apartment. They skip around on stiletto heals, head to toe in sequin ball gowns. They twirl in a coordinated dance that burns a trail of glitter into my eyes. Their faces are painted with color bars. Their eyes hide behind technicolor rainbows. Their smiles reside behind florescent swatches. They twirl their fingers through heads full of tinsel.