Showing posts from September, 2019

Troubles (poetry challenge)

CW: gun violence

Forty-nine souls slaughtered while dancing.
Fifty-eight music fans murdered from a hotel window.
Twenty-two shot while shopping.
Nine killed at church.
Twenty children gunned down in a classroom.
Which church? Which children?
Too many too remember,
too many to count,
too many for your mortal mind
to believe.
You don’t let yourself cry because
your tears might flow, unstoppable, like their blood.
You might sigh, or swear, or shake your head.
But soon you stop, and drive to work,
and wash the dishes, and play games.
You forget their names because
to carry on living you must pretend
this is not really happening.
You bet your life it is.

Senator Sandra read the news.
She did not ban assault rifles,
nor demand background checks.
She did not call for registration or licensing.
She typed 140 characters about prayers.
Thought that was a good solution.
They must’ve paid her a nice price
to plug her ears against the screams
of the parents, sisters, brothers, children, wives,

Writing, the Universe, and Everything

In a 2016 interview, author Toni Morrison was asked what advice she would give to young writers. She said, “Start at 40.” She had always been a big reader, she said, but she never thought about writing until she was 39.

I started this writing website just before my 42nd birthday a year ago. I love to write, but I hadn’t done much writing in my adult life. I was too busy living, working, studying, traveling, falling in love, having kids, and finding excuses.

I needed something to spur my ass into a gallop. For me, that something was the number 42.

Bear with me while I explain. The number 42 is legendary among sci-fi nerds like myself, because of Douglas Adams’ book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (it’s hilarious; check it out). In the story, people ask supercomputer Deep Thought for the answer to “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything!” After thinking about it for several million years, Deep Thought comes up with the answer: 42. This in turn sends everyone o…

Well, You Never Know

Garlands of lacy paper in rainbow colors hung from the ceiling of El Pueblo restaurant. Kate sat beneath them, chin in hand, oblivious to her friends’ chatter. Sipping her Coke, she idly watched her twin brother, Kevin, across the room at the contestants’ table, devouring an extra-large burrito.

“And we have three winners today! Congratulations, gentlemen,” said the sombrero-clad manager, handing gift certificates to Kevin and two of his business school classmates. The boys whooped, high-fived, and stood with difficulty, hoisting their full stomachs as they made their way over to the corner table.

“Katie, text Mom and tell her I ate a burrito BIGGER THAN MY HEAD!” roared Kevin, ruffling Kate’s hair.

“She’ll be so proud.” Kate rolled her eyes as the boys began a fresh round of hooting and back-slapping.

The victors celebrated by ordering more food. Kate grimaced and turned her head as they tucked into their chips and guacamole.

“They’re destined for beer guts if they keep that up.”


Lessons on the Half-Pipe (microfiction)

Skateboarding champion Quentin Smith seethed.

The challenger executed a flawless Ollie 540, then a sky-high 360 varial.

“Folks, your Ramp Jam 2019 winner: Dominic Garcia!”

Grinning, the victor removed his luchador mask. Quentin’s jaw dropped.

Mr. Garcia shook Quentin’s hand. “See you in class.”

Hot damn.

He’d been schooled.

Writing Prompt: Write a complete story in exactly 49 words that includes the word “school” in any of its definitions.