11,041 vagabonds plus:
Banquet of chilled foreign cuisine
odd celery with peanut butter and cold beans
blue cheese imported from Iraq
burns holes in ancient crock
a charity ball
the bashful debutante's call
sign donation checks please:
Lost Dalmatian Society
She's spotlighted in white among other gray dresses
slim unlike mayor's wives and mistresses
coiffed and adorned with moist sulfur rose
veneer dance floor polished for skimming toes
young men cracking jokes
slow turtle soup coughing out nose
"Try the celery..it's rather quaint"!
behind the curtain runaway debutante feints
It happened in a rented one-room. The writer held the electric bill in both hands. Final Notice it says. Just another deadline, joining a sweaty editor and a wooly mammoth landlord. He lit a leaky cigarette and then torched the bill. Two birds with one match. There was that flash vision in his dry brain again. He thought maybe he'd put the blue steel revolver in the bottom desk drawer upon the tip of his tongue and squeeze the trigger. That vision came to him in dreams as well, in crowds on the subway, or whenever he reached in his pocket and palmed that empty money clip.
He looked up from the desk swivel chair at the solitary light strung on a noose from the ceiling. He thought it would snap too easy before his neck snapped if he rocked off a chair. And then he soberly watched the moths at the bulb. It reminded him of his youth, in the backyard of the drafty cottage where he lived in a small town, chasing fireflies in slow motion. He closed his eyes and reached for the bottom drawer. He had to wiggle it violently to open to a crack, warped wood on splintered particle board, wide enough to get a hold of the revolver butt. He fired one shot in one swooping motion, the bulb exploding with a final blue electrical flash. Thinking about capturing those fireflies, along with a fifteen year-old girl and his first stolen kiss, a time about which he had never set words to music, he stood up in the warm darkness searching another drawer for candle and match. There was storytelling to set to paper, young man.
catch of the day
Dark Harbor, 1943, N. C. Wyeth
The onlookers were silent. Perhaps a dozen or two, or maybe a hundred cats on the lip of the water-logged pier. Waiting patiently, their necks erect, small pink stealth nostrils flaring. Waiting. Tails swishing in slow motion. Waiting for the men returning from the daily catch. Catch of the day. And yet - none to be gotten. A fisherman standing in his boat slams an oar. They scatter, the sound of small paws like tap dancers losing an audition. Eyes wide and tongues dry another day.
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