The Red Chevy
Mom died last year. I have a lot of wonderful memories of my mother. She was a great person. My mom didn’t have a mean song in her repertoire. I always felt like I had to keep her safe and protect her.Read More
Damn, I almost did it. After all these years, I almost got into a political argument with my hot-headed, partisan brother
about whether our current president was saying and doing the right things. I almost had opinions. I almost got a little hot under the collar.
Take a Pill
All the weeds keep growing in your bed,
And that fly’s buzzing around your head,
And you keep forgetting what you said.
You can now take a pill.
Your mom keeps telling you what to do,
And your dad gives his two cents worth too,
And your children don’t listen to you.
You can now take a pill.
“A colorless, transparent, odorless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain of our planet and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms.”
That’s the basic dictionary definition.Read More
Table for Six
We were all on our way up. Everyone had pushed the buttons for their floors, and we were trying our best not to look at each other. It was a Tuesday morning, about ten-thirty, and there were six of us including myself. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t take any time to describe the other passengers in an elevator. What would be the point? We were such a fleeting little collection of characters, sharing a space for the sole, expedient purpose of getting to different floor levels in this downtown Los Angeles high-rise.Read More
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over a cardboard box full of photos from days ago and long before. While I squinted, nearly apping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping their knuckles against my study door.“It must be some annoying neighbor,” I mused softly, “at my door. Only this and nothing more.”
I wake up at two in the morning, and I am on the couch.My wife is sleeping in the bedroom under a pile of warm covers in our big comfortable bed.She is sound asleep.I mean, you couldn’t wake this woman up if you banged pots and pans a foot away from her ear.You couldn’t wake her with an atomic bomb, and she probably isn’t even dreaming.She always tells me how wonderful she feels after a good night’s deep and dreamless sleep.The way she can sleep so peacefully and soundly is amazing.I used to sleep like that when I was younger, but no longer.I find sleep to be exhausting.Read More
Last Will and Testament
It was a two pack per day habit that did me in. Alas, this bad habit caught up with me. A terminal case of lung cancer is what they’re calling it, and there’s not a thing I can do. So, being the responsible husband, father, and grandfather that I am, I’m getting my little ducks in a row. A last will and testament is the first order of business. I’ve avoided it for years, but no longer. No more excuses. No more procrastinations. Here it goes.
Time to Wake Up
My alarm is ringing.It’s four o’clock in the morning.Fucking thing!I was up at three and forgot to turn it off.Annoying as all hell.You know, hell isn’t made of brimstone and conflagrations.No sir.It’s made of thousands upon thousands of ringing, dinging alarm clocks with no off buttons.It figures, doesn’t it?Only us human beings would invent a device whose sole objective it is to disrupt morning slumber.Read More
The piece you are about to read is kind of a puzzle.It isn’t a short story, or an essay, or a poem – yet in a way, I suppose it can be seen as being all three.There is a brief story I will tell you.There is definitely a point I’ll be trying to make as if I’m writing an essay, and as is true in the case in many poems, it may take some time for you to decipher what I’ve written.But if you don’t like puzzles, stop reading here.You will only be frustrated, and my aim is not to frustrate you.Read More
Letter to a Grandchild
Dear Grandchild (whatever your name is),
Tom Waits said, “Writing is like capturing birds without killing them. Sometimes you end up with nothing but a mouthful of feathers.” True enough, but this is just the sort of challenge that I relish. It’s just the sort of thing a person like me would do. I’m going to take the chance that I can deliver.
Walk With Me
Back when we were young and bright, wasting time in school,
We could draw a straight line right through wise men and fools. So very sure of ourselves and we had those plans.
You would have my beating heart and I’d have my fans.
The Bologna Sandwich A Three Minute Play
Ted Wilson, age 63, an ex-building contractor and self-published author
Nancy Wilson, age 61, Ted’s wife, an advertising account executive
Jerry Wilson, age 27, Ted and Nancy’s visiting son
America The Beautiful
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain.
For shopping center parking lots,
For freeways, trucks, and cranes.
America! America! All natives step aside.
Men with plans, and calloused hands,
Have come to turn the tide.
Anniversary A Six-Minute Story
Hello there. My name is Andrew Smart, but it figures, doesn’t it? I’m not known for always doing a lot of smart things. For example, it was March 6, exactly 37 years ago today. I was 26 years old at the time. I memorized this date because in the back of my alcohol sated mind I knew the date would someday be significant to me, more important than my birthday, more noteworthy than the night I first kissed a girl, more meaningful than the afternoon my wife and I took our wedding vows. It was the anniversary. It was the anniversary of anniversaries, it being the first day of the rest of my life. There were tears that night, and a lot of blood. Lots and lots of blood. My memory of that night is not sharp, but I do remember the gore, bright red and sticky, soaked into the belly of my shirt and down my pantlegs, dripping down on the tops of my shoes. It was puddling on the kitchen floor. Jeez, what a mess.Read More
(Excerpt from An American Story)
Here are stories about a couple of Americans. There’s a good chance you won’t like what I have to say about them, but try to keep an open mind. I’m going to be talking about two rats. Do you know what I mean by rats? I mean, men who came out and told the truth, men who came out and informed the authorities of bad or illegal actions. I think there’s a lot to learn from the way these sorts of men are treated in our society. It says a great deal about how we as a nation view the truth, and about our very curious relationship with itRead More