Saturday, July 28, 2012

Submissions for Thrush

I sumbitted a few poems to Thrush Poetry Journal. The editors liked my voice but the poems were not accepted. I was a little sad because I've been a big fan of the publication and their use of social media. But, at least I get to share the pieces with you now. I hope you enjoy them.

Forged Within

It’s funny how one day
becomes a week,
becomes a month,
and soon a year
has passed where
we’re no different
from the last in
essence, yet
appearances will
tell a different story;
we won’t see the crows feet
Looking from inside ourselves
but others can and never understand
that every imperfection has a story-
laughter, love, a loss-
and we alone will see
true beauty forged within.

Pounding Rain

Cigar smoke
in the pounding rain;
her hand, outstretched
a distant light,
sifting through the plume
with ashy fingernails
she strokes my hair
reminds me,
she still cares
in hazy, blind surroundings,
Burning from the flame,
Her lips put out.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Raving without Being a Lost Moonbat

Chris McQueeney of Wander Without Being Lost has done it again. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he has written a brilliant guest spot on the Raving Moonbat. You can view it right here. Also, here. And a little here. It doesn't matter. They all link the same! So let Chris tickle your funny bone and curiosity ligaments!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rebel Driver

Darian was a reckless bastard. He had no regard for anyone. Least of all himself. He sped everywhere; through stop signs, red lights, even cops. It didn’t matter to him. Life was a game. Or at least it was until about a year ago. That’s when everything changed. Darian was going 75 or 80 miles per hour in a 55. It was dark, raining and he couldn’t have seen very well if he had been paying attention. He was goofing off with his radio or cell phone when a few kids snuck out past curfew. They were playing near the road. Darian was a bastard, but he tried to swerve. Two of them avoided the impact. The third wasn’t so lucky. He died almost instantly.

The prosecutor didn’t press charges but Darian wasn’t the same. He didn’t get behind the wheel for months. When he finally did, you wouldn’t have believed he was the same driver. Darian drove five miles under the speed limit, and that was on a clear day. If it rained or snowed, you couldn’t expect him to go more than 20 in town or even the highway. He was changed. Traffic laws became commandments. He told off all his friends for the most minor infractions.

Things were looking up for the town, if not Darian. But neither one could have predicted the consequences of a breakout at a supermax prison nearly twenty miles away. A mass murderer, Cedric “Coco” Ray, was on the lamb. The police couldn’t catch him. He was the best driver anyone had ever seen. Road spikes and helicopters hadn’t stopped him. He found holes around the most extensive police blockades.

Sheriff Rowling needed a miracle. He needed someone reckless. There was only man for the job. But he was retired.

“Listen,” Rowling said to Darian, leaning on his car. “I won’t lie to you. We need your help. I know you screwed up and so do you. But you can’t change the past. It’s over. Done with. What you can do is redeem yourself. We’ve got a killer on the loose and he’s headed this way. You’re the only one who can stop him. Plain and simple.”

“I put my guns down a year ago.” replied Darian. “I don’t have it in me to drive like that. Not anymore. Believe, me, I’d love redemption. I’ve wanted to make it up to that kid and everyone since the day it happened.”

“You have it in you, Darian,” officer Rowling said, walking away. He went to join the line with cops from five surrounding cities that stood between the murderer and more victims. Even, with all that, they didn’t stand a chance in hell.

“On my mark,” the sheriff began. “Ready, set, FIRE!” The guns blasted past Cedric “Coco” Ray. None of the officers could believe they missed him. They fired again. And again.

It all seemed hopeless as he sped toward the blockade, destined to find his way around. That’s when it happened. Darian’s Mustang flew clean over the blockade and landed, tires squealing on the ground. Applause erupted from behind him.

“Looks like it’s just you and me, Coco!” yelled Darian out his window.

“I’ve killed punks like you before,” he said back.

Darian didn’t waste more time talking. He hit the gas. Coco followed, forgetting the police. He’d deal with them easily enough when he finished off the punk.

But Coco couldn’t catch him. Darian drove like he never had before. Intersections didn’t scare him. He ran right through as Coco got held up and almost hit. When he finally managed to gain on Darian it wasn’t for long. Darian hit the brakes and sped off in a different direction like there was nothing to it.

“Who is this kid?” thought Coco. He was driving around looking for Darian. It looked as if he’d lost him. But just as he was turning around to break through the cops and find more victims, he saw him. Darian’s car was stopped. It was a showdown. Both of them would die, or one might live. There were no promises; just chance.

Darian hit the gas again and so did Coco. Neither expected the other to swerve first. Their speedometers hit 50, 60, 75 or 80 miles per hour. Darian showed no signs of avoidance. Coco, on the other hand, began to see the one thing in jeopardy he valued above all else; himself. At the last minute, he jerked the wheel. Coco avoided Darian. But not the tree.

It was over, thought Darian, looking at the horrific accident he caused. There were no solace or redemption in the remains. It felt like before. He saved the town, but still, he was a killer just the same. Darian closed his eyes. Without looking where, he threw his car keys in the woods. That’s where they would stay. He never got behind the wheel again.

A lot of people blamed him for that day. Calling him just as bad for letting Coco die. He never disagreed with them. But, I can tell you, Darian may have been a bastard. But he was the noblest damn bastard I ever met.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Night

I heard the bullets firing
For 1,200 miles
Through the Rocky Mountains,
Fields of straw and corn.

I smelled the powder
Drifting with a breeze,
Unseasonably cold
In late July.

I felt the earth beneath me
shiver as the grounds
across a continent,
a nation mourned.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Early Morning Thoughts on Love

Love is so intangible, while
At the same time tangible.
You can feel it in the moment,
As it courses through you
But you may never give it back,
Or store it in the attic,
For a rainy day.

Memories are non-refundable,
And bought on impulse.
A kiss, a touch, will wax
Before they wane.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Friend, the Phoenix

I saw him flying
higher and higher
through the clouds,
unable to control
velocity or stop before
he hit the atmosphere
and burned.

I watched his feathers
singe and turn to ash
that fell like rain;
I couldn’t look away
but choked instead
on memories.

Tears left streaks
of grey in darker grey,
rolling down my cheek
and to the ground
where they rose up
with wings to fly.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Adventures of Prince Preston

Our hero, Preston has just woke up. Deciding he is hungry, he grabs his keys and heads for White Castle, little expecting anything extraordinary to happen.

“What’s going to happen?” he says tiredly.

Nothing to worry over. Now, get in the car. And off, he went!


Off... he... went. There’s a good chap. Down McNiven Street, a left at Broad and in he pulls, eager to begin an adventure!

“I don’t know what you think will happen. I’m just getting a slider and heading back to bed.”

Our hero opens the door. He approaches the counter. And what does he order? A slider! God save the queen, he orders a slider!

“This is getting really annoying,” he replies. But I’m not listening.

“Listen, there’s no way I can sleep with your disembodied yapping all night.”

Really now? I bet you aren’t expecting a trap door to open beneath you.

“Of course, I’m-” he begins but does not finish. For he fell through the very trap door I so wisely warned him of.

“Ouch,” Preston exclaims, rubbing his knee. The fall had took a heavy toll on his morale. He begins to question if his life is worth living.

“Oh, come, on. I’m not that bad off,” I hear him lie. Tears sprinkle his young eyes.

“It’s the pain for Christ sake, the pain!”

What’s that? A light shines ahead. Preston supports himself with the wall to move closer. Perhaps they might help him.

“Is anyone there?” he asks. No one replies. The light grows fainter. Preston runs after it, his heart pounding faster than his feet.

“Stop!” he yells. It stops, miraculously. Oh, the power of our hero! I marvel at it.

“Shh,” whispers Preston. “I need some quiet.”

But, why? I need to tell the audience what lies ahead. There could be a mighty dragon or a clever mouse on the piano!

“Okay, okay, just say it quietly.”

Preston inches forward, I narrate in the softest of tones. He turns the corner, entering an antechamber. A warm light envelops him. Could it be? Yes, it could! A clever mouse is playing the piano!

“But, why?” asks Preston.

It’s your adventure, young lad. I can’t go telling them everything.

He rolls his eyes at me, which he thinks is somewhere above him, and begins approaching the mouse who has kept playing the whole while.

“Hello, Mr. Mouse,” he stutters. “Might I ask why you’re down here in a tunnel beneath the White Castle?”

The White Castle?” the mouse exclaims as he stops playing. “That is but one turret of the White Castle!”

“There’s more?” our hero inquires.

“So, much more. The Burger King sleeps deep within our halls, frozen by the Dairy Queen. Her and Lord McDonald have slowed his mind with special sauce and you alone may save him! What say you?”

A pause. The tension builds.

“I don’t know what the narrator’s trying to say, but sure. Sounds like a trip.”

The mouse steps off his stool. He bows before our hero presenting an offering of cheese.

“Long live, Prince Preston!” The mouse exclaims.

Friday, July 13, 2012

100 Word Flash Fiction

The Good Fight

“Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time,” she said, naively in a condescending tone. Beth was a bitch. She didn’t understand. What hard choices had the rich, former Homecoming Queen of Rhodes High School ever had to make? What shoes to wear? Which job not to work? Some of us didn’t have a choice in either. We wore the only pair of shoes we owned to the only job we could find. Even then, it wasn’t enough. We had to cut corners. Most borrowed, some begged and a few, like me, stole. Mostly, from bitches like Beth.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Line Across the Room

The old bit where they draw
a line across the room
but one still needs a bathroom,
the other a way out
became our hearts
as both were split
unevenly and jagged
with a shaky knife
held sobbing
while we screamed
our insides out
in vain.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

How To Tell If Your Child Is a Centaur and What You Can Do About It

1. A sudden interest in a cult, rather than an accepted religion.
2. The inability to sustain a personal love relationship -- drawn more to "group" experiences.
3. A tendency to talk in vague philosophical terms, never to the point.
4. An intense, "far-out" interest in poetry and art.
5. Constant ridiculing of any form of organized government.
6. A righteous attitude, never admitting any personal faults.
7. An increasing absentee record at school.
8. A tendency to date only members of different races and creeds. Namely, horse-people.

"Naturally, some of these signs may be observed in perfectly normal adolescents, but it is when the majority of the traits are present that the child is on the way to becoming a 'centaur,'" Dr. Rosenbaum said.

"There are also the fairly obvious signs like shaggy hair and no clothing. But those alone do not make a 'centaur.' Sometimes it's just a fad."

Dr. Rosenbaum: "There must be a reconstruction of the family unit, with much expression of love. Parents should work and play, though not horse-play, with these young people to show that all the family members care about one another."

"There must be a great deal of dialogue -- sometimes very painful dialogue -- to establish a new position of belief for the young people. They will deny they're hostile until their last whinny."


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Red, White & Haiku! Happy 4th!

I bled red for you,
staining white sheet memories,
pillows blue with tears.

the rocket's red glare
two hearts consumed in night air
gallantly streaming

yearning to be free,
we were a retched refuse;
torch me one last time.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Interview by Chris McQueeney!

I have a wonderful interview on Chris' blog Wander Without Being Lost! I hope you all go check it out! :-)  Brought some tears to these old eyes.