What can YOU say in six sentences?
Untacking the “Gone to Lunch” sign from the back of the door, Brad pulls a strip of scotch tape from the dispenser and tapes it to the front of the door, so it will not fall down and the supervisor will not complain about having to look for one or the other of them thinking they are in the store.
Melanie grabs her purse and Brad tells her…Continue
Brad continues to grip Melanie’s wrist, not with any pulling or twisting, just fast and firm enough to let her know he does not want to turn loose, and she breaks eye contact with him and looks down at the floor.
Still, he holds her wrist with steady, waiting pressure, but he swears in his heart he will not reach out and take her chin and lift her face and brush her hair from her eyes; instead he waits, because he knows she is not trying to be demure whatsoever, but is looking at all…Continue
so I sent a “happy birthday” message to him, ahead of time, to give the impression that I would be out of town and busy on the day itself.
although I’m not…
and he said “thank you”…Continue
When he got to the house she was raking up crabapples, bushel basket partly-filled, hair covered with a red kerchief, a few shades darker than the healthy tint of her skin. "That time of year again," he said, though it wasn't quite, and he stopped a few feet away; he watched his mother straighten and wipe perspiration from her brow, the air closer, now, the pungent smell of the rotting fruit pressing in upon them. He swiped at the gnats.
"Obviously, half the apples have yet to…Continue
Brad and Melanie work in the same small room all day, every day, doing monotonous tasks for an exclusive retailer, like putting price stickers on things and preparing items for shipping.
They have been doing this for a long time, and whenever Melanie has to make her way across the floor, which is usually littered with empty boxes and crates that the custodian has not come to retrieve, Brad scrambles to move things out of her pathway and frequently takes her by the hand, to aid her…Continue
We leave the windows open so we can hear the surf from a few blocks away. Guests from last weekend left a couple bottles of wine so we helped ourselves, saving the trip to the store for tomorrow. Tomorrow a series of silences and the words that fill up silences.
After midnight the laughter of teenagers walking along the sidewalk, glitter and sandals and fingers entwined. You tell me a story about when you were a kid and you used to come down here with your family--I've…Continue
It was One Million BC, a Saturday night as it happened, and Bork, Bubba, Barney, and Fred sat shivering around a sputtering fire; stiff winds whistled right through the cave they were in, rain blew in with it, the place was skank to begin with--bear shit for days--and they were a long way from home.
It had been one fucked-up day: they'd gone on the hunt and couldn't even bring down a dik-dik, and then finally they did and a troop of baboons came pimping on by and…Continue
I used to steal peaches right off the tree, a Kool-Aid face kid who hopped a chicken wire fence, ran to the trees fast as I could, plucked the fuzzy fruit with a twist and a swoosh of leaves.
I don’t remember eating them, don’t remember if they were sweet as sunshine, or bitter as a reluctant spring. …Continue
“What do we have Tom?”
Lieutenant Uejo stood in the doorway of the office, smoothing down his tie, inspecting the ornate pattern of origami cranes in hues of blue that dove down his shirt. Like all the upstairs suits, Uejo was transparent, the cliché…Continue
If you walked a mile in Hangman’s shoes you’d end up a mile back of where you started because brother Hang’s shoes never took one step forward without taking two back. He rode a Trailways from San Pedro via El Paso just to get to Vegas. Now here he sits, king down, nine showing and considering his options. The sun will rise polka dotted in a checker board sky before Hangman draws a deuce. Double or nothing he knows nothing but you can’t call Hang a quitter.
They are the color of tempered steel. The fat palms press face to face, the middle fingers tied firmly and neatly to each other with grayish string, thumbs bent inward, the other fingers stiff and free, the fingertip pads removed, precise peel cuts that have sliced away all hope of any identification; a ridge of raised white vein - thick as tendon - track up to the wrists at the cutoff.…Continue
Some mamas would have their babies stay babies, especially boy children, the next set of dicks in the world, who learn soon enough to spit like their daddies.
My mother came to my bed in a dream; I was three. She started in eating my feet and then up she came, chewing through muscle and tendon and bone, and then at my guts she looked up at me and grinned like a Gorgon and kept right on coming.
Later I took my food in the alleys and learned above all the value of shadows and…Continue
The bar’s centerpiece was a lucite cypress tree, backlit by pink and white fluorescent lights, each level of carved branch and foliage serving as a shelf for bottles of high end liquor, glowing like gemstones on laudatory pedestals.
He wore a fitted sport coat over a pristine white dress shirt, unbuttoned at the collar, staring into a glass of Old Fashioned, poking with a tiny red straw at a slice of…Continue
“Please keep items away from the art as we don’t want anything damaged or scratched accidentally.”
I had pointed - with a rolled paper flyer - at the Warhol silkscreen hanging at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, a one-color triple print of Elvis pointing pistols at our heads. I had been enthusiastically indicating to my two friends…Continue
My unit had "training days" on the last Friday of every month in which a group of fifty young artillerymen would be crammed into a stuffy room that was made for twenty, we would listen arduously to the least charismatic speakers in Korea talk about the most ironic subject matter for each individual.
Sergeant Wooddell, who had an oral cavity that would make a meth head look like a Colgate model, was our stuttering dental liaison.
Sergeant First Class Campbell…Continue
My love for capturing life with a camera developed when I found myself in a darkroom during a manual photography class at a local art center. I was introduced to chemicals in canisters and the rough tumble of a new language – depth of field, white balance, saturation, stop bath. Sunday afternoons found me in a lightless booth no bigger than a shower stall, tipping my film back and forth in a slosh of liquids. I liked the chance to be absent of sight, to meditate on the beauty of wrought-iron…Continue
Okay, so let's say a good friend brings someone over to your house for drinks and nibbles on your back deck, of an evening, and you assume that because you really like your friend, this new person will be likeable, too.
As the evening progresses, the person talks almost ceaselessly about himself while dropping names of well-known people in politics and business -- names you see in the papers all the time -- and after three…Continue
“I got a new hip, you know, one of them ones they pound into your leg bone, all made outta titaynum and shit, boom, boom, boom,” he said, swinging an air hammer like he was pounding a spike into an old hickory stump. “Two weeks later I fell on that side and the titaynum ball popped out of its socket, and, boy, I’m here to tell ya that hurt like the dickens, screwed my eyes shut and screamed for help, and they popped it back in, but something ain't quite right yet. I live in a adult foster…Continue
Walking in rain, I come to a gingerbread gift shop, the proverbial one in a village of dreams, that summons the children to wish and to plot and to envy like burghers of old.
Inside, cornucopias: cookies and cakes, the latter three-tiered, with groom and bride blushing on icing on top.
Bone knives awaken in boys the impulse to murder; rag dolls in cribs whose lives are a sigh take girls by the throat...
I stare and stare down the years and hear a nun rapping for order, a…Continue
It's blank and oblong.
Your spray-on tan fades rapidly.
You’re thirsty as a Giraffe—all the time.…Continue