Jack and Jill

Secure in their anonymity as dictated by the separation of customer and employee, Jack and Jill stand in the canned fruit aisle. Jack is replenishing a particularly bare section of shelving. Jill is undecided between the sliced peaches or the cut peaches when she abruptly blushes. A hand has fluttered to her lips.

Jack turns to her with a smile, “It’s a normal bodily function. When it demands to be heard, it is heard.”

Jill vehemently shakes her head. “It’s just something you don’t do in public!” She wrings her hands. “You resort to the privacy of your restroom, or somewhere with nobody around.” She wrinkles her nose.

“Then, ma’am,” shrugs Jack, “I must apologize for such a blatant  disregard of courtesy and,” he sniffed, “aromatic sensibility.”

“Why?” Jill asks. “You weren’t the one who… oh.”

She giggles. Jack shakes his head.

“Boy, I’ve heard of simultaneous orgasms,” he says, “but this is a first for simultaneous flatulence!” This time it is his turn to blush; he has spoken his thoughts aloud, and for him the discussion of intimate matters contains more opportunity for personal embarrassment than the discharge of bodily humours. Jill just can’t stop giggling.

The next year they are married, and Jill, still as sensible about appropriate public hygiene, exclaims with exasperation “What are we going to tell our children when they ask how we met?!”


The Original Oyster House

The hobo sat shrouded in neon light like a dirty Buddha. As patrons entered or left the restaurant, the open door pushed out wafts of fish, clam chowder, and the stale tang of beer. His stomach growled. He watched the people chatter among themselves from his garbage can seat. The rain pelted his battered cap, beaded his beard like so many little pearls. It didn’t bother him. He was a spectator in a small constellation of dramas. Earlier he had observed a woman rushing silently out the door with her face in her hands, and through the plate glass he saw the man she came in with had with ordered a full bottle of whiskey. Children capered through the smell of seafood, rushing from the neon to the next visual delight to be sampled. A couple lost inside their reality bubble dawdled in the pounding precipitation, forgotten umbrella dangling at their side. It rained harder, the water sluicing against the curb to lap at the sidewalk like an exuberant puppy. More smells, more groans from his stomach. He fingered the makeshift fishing pole that leaned against the garbage. He would go to the Allegheny and try his luck, arsenic be damned.

In response to Word Catalyst Magazine‘s latest prompt.

The Bitch Witch

She had many names, which was quite proper for somebody who had lived so long and moved on so often, but we will call her Mab for that is her name now in this particular time and age, Mab the bitch witch everyone loved to hate, the bitch witch everyone depended on for their sad secrets.

See Mab in the forest, in her shack. The shack is overgrown, wrought with morning glories and yagé, the twining vines of introspection, and a musk of cinnamon and jasmine and vanilla suffuses the wet air. Honeybees bumble about those flowers and parcel dizzying properties to their hives. Dilapidation reigns in the warped beams and crooked flue and the flapping eaves, but this is a ramshackle farce, for entering the house finds oneself in a cozy space, hearth warm in the winter, cool as stone in the hottest summer.

A cast iron pan hangs above the cast iron stove. Stainless steel kettle. Embroidered rug. A hempen hammock dangling from the rafters. Various herbs drying in bunches on the walls. Glass bottles of all sizes and colors on shelves along one wall, also hung on hooks and roped to the rafters. Mab herself is seated in a burnished rocking chair sipping tea from a finely rolled spliff. Through the artful smoke rings that litter her atmosphere, her hair is brown shot with gray, and she moves with slow lithe grace. She puts down the smoldering roach and putters about her abode. Now, Mab needs to go to the market.

As soon as she left her door she affected a humpbacked gait, held a cackle at the ready in her throat, and for measure, gave her eyes a good roll. It was a ways before she entered the perimeter of the town, marked by the rough translation of rutted dried mud to a relatively smooth pane of dusty road. She rolled her eyes at the beastly children who ran up to her to throw rocks and sometimes eggs. When Mab passed storefronts, the townspeople’s chatter ceased to stony silence, starting up when she was well behind them. Nevertheless, she had hawk ears and heard their prejudices from afar. The General Store lay ahead.

Cruel children hid and sniggered from the shadows of alleys, rags of light moving across their faces. She slipped into the stuffy heat of the General Store and ordered flour, eggs, nails, and dried fish strips. She paid, cackling and rolling her eyes, reveled in the alarm flashing under the shopkeeper’s bushy brows. That one, he had hives whenever he glimpsed women’s underclothings. He came to her one blustery night bloated with hives on his hives. He couldn’t see through one eye and his words were slurred. Apparently he had deviated with his proper and prim route and passed by the whorehouse. She had him kill a toad and smear its innards on his badonkadonk. It must have worked. The Madame was now part owner of his General Store.

The folk of this town feared her but that never stopped them from going up to Mab in the deep of night to knock tentatively at her splintery door, secrets of pains and curses heavy in their mouth spilling like blood from a pig’s slit neck. The cobbler beating at his leather averted his gaze, him she helped rid with a powder the sores inside his underwear. She cackled and rolled her eyes at him, saw he had blushed. The piemaker flashed her lashes with demure shame. Her husband was frigid so Mab showed her how to rub the button special to make her gush. She had concocted a bullshit potion for the Mayor’s wife who wanted to curse her husband for running around with his filly; it was bullshit in more ways than one for the mayor’s wife’s ill wishes were all it took for the filly to fall off her horse and break her back. It was sublime pleasure watching the high off noble borne quaff rancid steaming crap and daintily dabbing the corners of her lips with a kerchief, utterly trusting Mab. She had cackled high and long.

Mab walked through town without much trouble but for the infernal children. She shot a dart from her sleeve, small as a rose’s thorn, and it caught a red-haired brat in the neck. He slapped at it, probably thinking it was a skeeter. She cackled at them and they scattered like pestilent rats. The boy would have interesting dreams tonight. His mother would be stunned at the aftermath and burn the shamed boy’s sheets.

Mab had a bag stashed away with her essentials. If worse came to shove, as it often did with a constellation of burning torches in the night, she would small rose thorns dipped in quick acting hallucinogenics inside her sleeve spray, disappear in a swirl of purpleblack smoke and leave the cottage a night bloom of flame at her back. Once she had made the Slavs think her house run away on feet of chicken.

She cackled all the way to her rickety cabin.


…contrived visions…

she peers through the stalks and brushes the cornsilk from her cerulean gaze with golden hands…small green boys caper in the tall rushes under a bloated red sun…a lagoon boiling with silver ripples as dark things twist in its depths…line of labor in the desert, plucking burning bushes to be thrown in long yellow bins…a trail of bubbles etching a line of blue breath as the fish god passes through its medium…orange men with long slender wings gambol above a watery marble, trailing their fingers through the russet clouds…black basalt is the relief which outlines these small, fur white people ascending the mountain…girl children with sad eyes huddle under weak shelters as it rains green frogs and blue snakes…a field ruined by grasshoppers and the wheat’s ward hangs from a tree in hopeless abandon…its corrugated steel rusted, its timbers rotted, its plaster and paint peeling, its streets and windows cracked, its buildings and stores crumbled, its soul decaying like the corpse on the road into the city…a hum of computer in an empty room that smells of morning coffee…roaches desperately race across linoleum, a black flag at their rear…shoes, countless matches and mismatches, fill the warehouse with a musky smell…candles gutter as the black nights blows through the red drapes…women weave baskets from the slender hairs of yellow-eyed cattails that root and lap at pond’s edge…songs that echo through its drafty streets, and a long dead philosopher asks if a tree can be heard when it falls with nobody around to hear…blue and orange turtles leashed to a sapling with bright yellow string trundle in a circle as the laughter of children echo over the hill…neon squirrels flicker through the park at night…old men sit on knurled steps to reminisce about the green days of youth and sip tea in a cloud of smoke…tin cans and aluminium kitchenware on small paraffin stoves splash ethereal blue on the walls of the cardboard shanty…the circle of stars, through the quickening ever-rushing fall of night and swell of day, wobble as the years pass…lazy dust in the lethargic bedroom…thin and bent, his spectacles reflecting monitorlight, he taps slowly at the keyboard


Probably My Only Completely Honest Blog to Date

My world lit up like nitroglycerine, and my soul was rendered asunder. I was floored to find myself so at the whims of my emotions. I underwent an embarrassing array of actions ranging from bleary groveling to sobbing raggedly in public to the actual contemplation that a demonstration of the photoelectric effect off a nice flat razor was vewy, vewy pritty.

Caught off guard there, I’ve grudgingly reconciled with the fact, more out of a practical sense of self preservation than a real acceptance, and uncannily surmised that a lack of experience in The Break Up Game had poorly prepared me for such an eventuality.

As a new page in my life turns, I can’t help but to imagine these embryonic moments, already miscarriages before conception, as a vista of lost joy forever unrealized. The gap of a boy’s toothed smile, natural mischief a-twinkle in these pre-pubescent brown globes. Her endearing and patient smile as she consoles two children, one large, and the other, small. I reassure myself with the false platitude that, in some gentle fold of Time, I did the right thing.