Friday, November 30, 2012

17 Very Short Stories. -6-


--What jeans should I wear?
-- I dunno. The white ones.
-- The white ones make my ass look like an elephant.
-- Wear the leggings, then.
-- Do you think he'll even notice? I mean, does he even know I exist?
-- He's got to know. You sent him that playlist.
-- Yeah, but does he know, know? Or are we just all buddies?
-- No, wear the leggings. They're a lot better.
-- You know that guy in our chemistry class?
-- The basketball player?
-- Yeah. He has the hots for you.
-- Not my problem.
-- Why not? He's cute. His dad has a Mercedes.
-- You want to go to homecoming in a guy's dad's Mercedes?
-- You bet. Better than the old boat of a Chevy my brother drives.
-- Is he still with that girl?
-- Tiffany? Yeah, they're still together. She puts out, you know.
-- Ugh. Gross.
-- Totally.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

17 Very Short Stories. -5-


Silent, on the hillside. The spaniel sits, patiently, an expression of eager anticipation gathering at the eyebrows. The man lowers himself gingerly to the ground, forms a splint from fallen tree branches and a handkerchief, calculates distance to the road, likelihood of hypothermia, amount of blood loss. He does not intend to die on the mountain. He knows that if he falls asleep he will never wake up. The spaniel sits, patiently, awaiting the command for their next action, watching his master for cues.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

17 Very Short Stories. -4-


Hotel ballroom.

"Name tags, did everyone get their name tags? I'd like to welcome you all here tonight. Before we get started with the keynote speaker there's just a few orders of business to take care of. You will have been asked to fill out a short personal survey with your registration packet. We're going to come around and collect those now. Gentleman in the green shirt -- yes, you, thank you -- please stand and come to the front. This won't take but a moment. Thank you for helping us out. Ladies and gentlemen, this fellow will be representing all of you as our speaker demonstrates his techniques for hypnosis and spiritual healing on the path to a better life. Welcome, all the way from Tel Aviv, the famous Professor _______!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

17 Very Short Stories. -3-


Full baskets of apples, piled everywhere. Apples on the counter, on the coffee table, on the washer and dryer, in the bathtub.

-- What were you thinking?
-- They're gorgeous, bright red, perfect. You'll never find a better harvest.
-- But what were you thinking?
-- Winter. Winter. Winter. Winter is coming, so quickly, so cold.
-- But how shall we live, surrounded by apples?
-- I have a plan. Don't worry.
-- I don't. I can't.
--Trust me. This time, trust me.
-- Too many times. Too many times.
-- Don't leave.
-- I can't stay.

Monday, November 26, 2012

17 Very Short Stories. -2-


Woman gives birth to ape baby.
Elephant in zoo speaks Korean to scientists.
Secret love triangle between the pope and his butler.
Tax loophole: My Yacht is My Kingdom.
Ways to lose weight: The Chocolate Diet -- you never knew!
100 Recipes for Pomegranate, Nature's Superfood.
Tainted flu shot poisons junior high.
Secrets of the Stars: "We're just like you!"
Princess found passed out in Hollywood bar.
How to play the lottery -- and win.

-- That'll be $17.50, ma'am.

I paid for the assortment of crackers and cheese and regretfully put away the guide to a reality that existed elsewhere, true stories of lives I would never lead.

Outside the moon rose and frost gathered on the grass.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

17 Very Short Stories. -1-


In an elevator.

-- Snow today.
-- None too soon.
-- Got your gear?
-- Nope, still in storage. Didn't think I'd need it.
-- We're ready. We're off to the mountains.
-- Remember when you went last year?
-- That didn't work out so well, near destroyed the marriage.
-- Things better now?
-- Not so much. Figure if only one of us comes back down the mountain, that'll be okay, too.

-ding- 17th floor.

Friday, November 23, 2012

water & water everywhere

Ampersands leading to below the surface of the city.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

from the air



Thursday, November 15, 2012

early onset

Text to follow all in good time. Scenes from the present tense, fire and ice:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

second order transitions

Overhead, masses of starlings were gathering in trees, along power lines, gathering and disbursing into starburst clouds of birds scattering in the air, forming patterns like fireworks then settling back in among the trees. The squirrels were hyperactive, but it's hard to tell the difference between when a squirrel is being a squirrel and when a squirrel is possessed by the devil, so I ignored their manic frantic games and watched everything else. The trees even seemed taut. Maybe that's ridiculous, maybe trees are always rigid and still because they're trees and not because they are preternaturally hyperaware of some dramatic change in the environment, just as squirrels always run around in random circles regardless of the state of the universe. That's a fair criticism, but there was something different about the trees, something attentive and watchful, that hadn't been there before, and there was something different about the squirrels, something acutely fearful, and squirrels are never afraid of anything, god or man or dog or demon.

This is a delightful description of the question: is glass a solid or a liquid? And I do wish the author and I were related, instead of merely sharing a surname.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

thirty poems, begins anew

Last year, DYP! brought you the 30 Poems! chapbook, as part of the Center for New Americans literacy campaign in November. Send me an email to subscribe to the 2012 production.

This year, in a month that promises to be nose-to-the-grindstone all-work-and-no-play, the morning alarm has been set. Every day a little jingle rings out at 7.30 in the morning, and an electronic message in a brilliant cheerful shade chirps: "Write a poem!". Prompts available here.

11.1.12 : "Get acquainted with the thirty days of November: ask them what they expect from you."


Each day, a vertebra formed
By a column of words, stacked:
Filled with the animating fluid of ink,
Linked by the sinews of definition,
Muscular prose,
Flexible articulation,
Holding the body in alignment.

Here, the month passes
Through silent nights
And muted days
As I trace the vertebrae
Of your sleeping back.