What can YOU say in six sentences?
It is just a can of stewed tomatoes, the Italian kind, seasoned with spices, a round can with a simple label, the Safeway brand.
And yet... it opens up a world of possibilities, ideas, smells, dishes simmering in my mind, and the three huge zucchinni beside the cutting board are already chopped and sauteed in my imagination.
We all want to be brilliant, don't we, or at least good at what we do, able to string together words that will be accepted and advertised and put between…Continue
It is 7:30 am in the city that never sleeps and I wait for my plastic coffee while the security guard finishes up the VIP Guest's tour of the casino/resort at the coffee shop and deli.
As the guard walks away, shaking his head,the new guest orders a coffee and one of the sandwiches with bacon from the short dark waitress.
Her whole existence screams poverty : unfashionable limp hair probably cut by her sister or her neighbor, flat dollar-store keds, walmart sack containing a…Continue
first of all, I want to say that this is a HARD challenge, and I am not sure I am going to get the job done. but, I am for sure giving it a try.
1. The opposite of elephant is purple ink.
2. The opposite of marigold is bacon.
3. The opposite of sunrise is cardboard.
4. The opposite of shouting is dew-spangled spiderweb.
5. The opposite of cat is hoof beat.
6. The opposite of a star is Indian corn.
She swallowed her gun.
I repeat the phrase over and over as I drive down the interstate, and indeed it is a bad day, the kind that when I say, "I don't feel good," those closest to me know what I mean.
Swallowing my gun sounds like an option, only, like I said, I am driving down the interstate and there are a lot of trucks and pot holes so I don't have enough hands to reach into the door pocket for mine, much less hold it awkwardly while I swallow.
Hands at 10…Continue
You have never been here; we have never been here together; I have always come here without you.
What will I tell you about this time in this place?
Will I say I saw the tiny fish jumping at sundown, a cluster of unremarkable toadstools under the tree after the rain, the dawn kiss the cliffs, a scarlet bird-too far away to tell me his name, that I saw the men rappel down the waterfall into the river narrows and their rope was orange?
Just for now, this is my place and no…Continue
The city is urgent, and the urgency drips onto visitors at the city limits and as they exit airplanes.
Move, move, move, see, see, see, do, do, do--an excess of light and desperate sound urging everyone on to the best party.
Each individual bulb blinks and the individuals seek, seek, seek even as some sit like lumps of clay pushing the magic button over and over--caged in chairs by the perpetual hope that the number in front of…Continue
The padded booth in the dim restaurant swallowed Sunshine Angel Lewis and she held onto the table to keep from going under.
As the girl with the stick-straight hair took her drink order, Shiney cursed getting old, no longer limber enough to tuck a leg up under her ass to lift herself into a more dignified position, and no, house scotch was not ok, not today, not to celebrate her sixty-something-th birthday even if she was doing it all alone.
In the interim between ordering…Continue
It could be sung to the tune of Farmer-in-the-Dell... "Samantha on the couch, Samantha on the couch, Hi ho the cheerios, Samantha on the couch."
There really were cheerios and doritos and oreos and all manner of crumbs sprinkled around the couch where Samantha lay like a mound of laundry and Jens vacuumed around her daily.
It was like the mound of laundry had a huge hungry maw as it sucked down food and huge vats of soda, and Jens wondered if any of what Samantha consumed was…Continue
She's handy to have around.
She heard him tell Dirk one night after about the fourth beer that a guy ought not get with a girl that's too hot because then he's always got to worry.
It's better if she just pretty enough, the kind that's grateful to have a guy at all.
Plus, she's handy to have around, remembers to put more beer out of the box and into the fridge, remembers to get steaks or burger out so it will thaw, is always willing to run down and flip the pump off when…Continue
The cricket in the corner kicks his song into high gear at 3:30am in order to compete with the alarm's shrill, and the sheet is kicked to the end of the bed because the air is heavy, dense, hot.
Still, coffee is what I crave as we read into the pinkening dawn, and hope is high that the heat will do its job, cook cook cook the clouds, pour blessed moisture over the land.
It is not a homogenized or homogeneous life, for my days are never the same and for sure nothing like yours,…Continue
Dream interpretation is based on archetypes, on universal symbols, and the student of dreams often must choose a school of thought or a collection of ideas on the matter: Dream interpretation only works if one is willing to get down and dirty, brutally truthful with one's self.
This week it is all about nudity and newborns, my own mother anxious and unsure, girlish even, about the adorable new child in her arms: The mother of me is unsure of the new venture I have embarked upon,…Continue
The beat of the heat is a refrain as we strain toward the hope of rain with dust under our feet and the crust of dried-up ponds mocking the month and the dense blue of the rueful rural sky.
Everyone says the same thing when they gather, palaver, an old fashioned word that has seen other dry-fry summers, and I wonder as we stand there in the hot wind and slow burn which of these be-hatted men are also mourning the loss of lust when the sheet is kicked away by impatient feet and even…Continue
"The reason I married him," she said, "is because he lets me wear my red petticoat."
She didn't even say it to me; I heard it from someone else, but I know her penchant for wearing red petticoats and other bizarre outfits, so I smiled.
And I kept the memory with me... even as I longed for someone in my life who would "let me wear my red petticoat."
Finally, tired of shape-shifting, I made vows to me and set out anew.
As I met each new person along the road, I put…Continue
And so, the pen moves across the page and we find relief...
From what, exactly? Poorish food and the dull slog of time, from tedium and gray sheets, numbers that never quite add up and the incessant humm?
And so, the pen moves across the page, a kind of salvation--not the kind of being saved where one lies back sodden in the boat, breathing hard and dripping--but a kind of reaching toward that which saves, an active chewing of the wafer and gulping of the wine, rituals that…Continue
I breathe; yes, I am alive, only sleeping like the dead at night when I finally lie down, fan on high, and our cow-works-that-would-never-end has ended, or at least shimmered down to pale, and my guests have departed, and the swelling of creative energy under my breastbone is bright orange.
In the camoflague of "how do I entertain my guests 45 miles from town" I discovered the zen of casting a little Zebco closed-reel line into the dirt tank over and over and over as the bats swoop to…Continue
I remember going to the fabric store with my mother and being scared to use the bathroom because it was in the funeral parlor next door.
I remember thinking motherhood would be all pink and blue pastel emotions.
I remember my first e-mail address.
I remember the summer I walked around and around and around the local high school as if I were waiting for its doors to open in the fall, my own personal Jericho.
I remember what you said in the dark that night.