Thursday, April 29, 2010

Residue

The shell casing slow motions skyward, drop-floats back to ryegrass, brass in a tight coat of gunpowder.

Many others, random as dandelions, are found by the sunlight, gathered, handed out to wilt between our fingers, in pockets.

A cousin reminds us to wash with lots of soap after touching them. Lead residue. Still warm in our hands, the poison slow motions, too.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Born From Prompts #5: Birdsong

I can't listen anymore. I make the music, for Chrissake, but I can't listen. In the mirror every afternoon I check my face, pull my ears. I need my ears. At least one of them.

Through and past the lines of my face I see the kid, a chunky version of me, tired of the dump I told him was his bedroom. Asking if I had chips or anything to eat. I found cheese and crackers and, like a damn fool, left him to it. Went back to the music and kept off the bottle of ripple until my ring finger started shaking.

I frisk my coat for a lighter before I realize I'm out of smokes. Start to the gas station for a pack and then, screw it, take a left to the park. The kid always wanted the park. Soon as the sun was up, we'd pile in the truck and I'd turn the volume down on the radio, not sure he wanted to hear my music. Not sure he wanted music at all.

The park's empty. I focus, trying to hear birdsong, the wind, anything. The monkey bars are even more empty. The kid loved them. I'd watch him in the last year before he stopped coming, flip and twist, move like smoke, easy and free in the sunlight. Watched the baby fat fall away.

He's a gymnast now, she told me. I hope he still moves easy and free. I hope his hands are steady.

I close my eyes and try again for birdsong, then to remember the way the kid sounded when he laughed. If I can remember that, maybe I can keep the music, ears or no ears.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Us Time

A person should never slurp tartar sauce. Ever. Clara tongues the edges of her fish sandwich, moves the brittle pieces of batter like loose teeth until they drop onto the table between us.

Should we just switch? You go to Sam's and I make the Lexington trip?

I don't care, she says. You can handle Sam's endless prattle better than I can, though, and you know how you hate the drive to Lexington. Things are okay like this.

It was never suggested we go together, first to Sam's and then to Lexington. Without saying it, we both thought that option a drab thing, a limp possibility, a draining thing. Watching the clock, I hear her say it all again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

UPCOMING: An Interview with Speed Rocket Writer Mel Bosworth


I'm excited to say that I'm now exchanging questions and answers with speed rocket writer Mel Bosworth for an interview I'll be posting here in the coming days. Please keep an eye peeled, as Mel is one of our best and always gives great interview.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lunch On Next To the Last Day

Tilted you back in the bend of my elbow, smelled lunch on your lips and there we were, two long shadows across the grass. You said you could hardly remember what we ate. You laughed when I said Spotted Dick was the main course, reminded me to be mindful, moved your lips against mine, lightly, no pressure, only lunch.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Guestroom

This can be your bedroom, baby girl. I love it, I love it, she said. She ran to the porcelain cat curled on the nightstand. Pink! I love it. I just love it! I had told her I hoped she’d like it. She liked it, I’m sure, for me. A heart so old for a girl missing only three teeth from new gums.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Micros Born From Prompts #4: I'm Leaving Here But You Can Stay

Stop looking at me, you. The crew's behind there at the barrel. The bus ain't never coming here, not here. Go get warm and you'll forget about the projects and my metal frown. You'll like the crew. They count the smoke cubes making love to the clouds. Nevermind my suitcase, you. And nevermind where I'm going or my busted eye. Don't stare. Don't be like them, counting and laughing and sitting in one place so long they rust.

(Above: Art from Grant Bailie which served as the prompt).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Micros Born From Prompts #3: Jake

The father saw the picture again, big tears in red, a jagged oval of hairless skull. He tore off the corner with the crayon name and rolled it, snorted the blue crush until his dead son stopped drawing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Micros Born From Prompts #2: Her Field

Sybil took to the field when it got bad. She turned her head and let the first cow she saw nuzzle close on her shoulder, its mouth a perfect silence.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Micros Born From Prompts #1 : Brother Bike

This was my brother's bike. He was simple. We painted it orange one week, rattlecans of spray and rattlemouths of laughter. Orange that week and then infection green another week. A ragged rainbow with wheels. This was my brother's bike, and now it is mine.