The walkers round here’ve always buzzed buzzed buzzed ever which way. Leelee crouching here and there over her plantings, seeding the flyer feeders she hung on my limbs and up and down that long front porch — a little crooked like a Cherry branch, mouthing with the walkers who come to call, yacking about the gardens, folks crowing over the decrepit dwelling and musty barn, yip yap yip. Her male counterpartner, too, whilst he had his turn here, bumbling round, rusty tools and machines, swilling spicy fermentations, mouthing deep and loud and blasting out cackles here and there. Relations and…
This story was originally published in Promethean Spring 2019.
“This year has just gone so fast,” Gran B said into the tumid heat, passing the bowl painted on the outside with green beans and filled on the inside with the same, plus cubes of ham. I made a vegetable pile on my plate between the crusty pork chop and white rice and handed over the steaming dish to my boyfriend Kevin, whose thin upper lip curled in distaste of the porcine effluvium drifting upwards. …
We sat up
on our towels
like dogs at attention
to a yelp across the sandy distance,
woken too late by some commotion in the water.
At a house down the beach,
guys on a deck call toward it,
words swallowed by the ocean expanse.
I think I recognize an older man in a sarong
from off-off Broadway Shakespeare,
failing to project.
I picture running, diving, tearing through the sea,
finally acting on that lifeguard
certification from so many years ago,
but sit still
as a helicopter swarms in,
blades spinning, ropes hanging,
then again on the beach…
Those who survived the blasts and who were strong enough for the journey trekked south to the border to try and escape the fallout. They searched for the few remaining gaps in the wall, tempted the arid desert, dared river currents, offered bribes at the checkpoints. Some were arrested, some shot by citizen police paranoid about radiation. They hopped trains, walked by night, relied on rumors of safe houses.
Consuelo Pinto, a religious elderly woman, was said to harbor gringo families. The one that arrived after dinner that night now slept on the living room floor under blankets she provided…
When I first knew Taylor Mac (as Taylor Boyer) in the early 2000s, I suspected judy* was destined for great things, though a Broadway play starring Nathan Lane directed by George C. Wolfe was not one of them. We were in the same acting class and went to see plays together when one of us had complimentary tickets for one reason or another. I’d go to judy’s script readings and one-person shows at Galapagos in Williamsburg and at Here in Soho when sometimes only two other people would be in the audience. I’d also see Taylor in judy’s signature circus…
For Mark Jay Mirsky
About a year ago, Dennis Overbye wrote a beautiful obituary and a separate appraisal on Stephen Hawking in New York Times called “Stephen Hawking Taught Us a Lot About How to Live.” I took his words and ideas, pared them down, moved them around, and mixed in my own to create this poem. For a few lines, I also adapted a tweet of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s and took two lines from Ezra Pound’s “E. P. Ode Pour L’Election de Son Sepulchre.” …
For W.S. Merwin
At our house in the woods, we often put out a bird feeder in winter once the bears hibernate. This year we were late about it, well into January. In fact, it had been a couple of years since we’d bothered. I remember being amazed years past at how it would take only a day or even just a few hours for news of easy pickings to go viral and soon there’d be a flurry of chickadees, juncos, nuthatches, and blue jays competing for sunflower seeds amid the cold season’s scarcity. …
Hemingway’s spare story, “The Killers,” just under 3,000 words and characteristically laconic, has seen several film adaptations since it was first published in 1927. The latest by Silleck Family Productions most loyally and most inventively captures the original.
Hemingway’s “The Killers” is the story of two assassins, Max and Al, who come into a diner to kill “The Swede,” also known as Ole Andreson, a retired boxer who dines at the establishment regularly at 6 pm. The assassins order dinner from the proprietor, George, and then proceed to tie up the one other customer, Nick Adams, and the cook in…
Warm river mists rise
Swallowing rush-hour bridge cars
The earth’s vengeful ghost
Outside the coal mine
February crocus blooms
If the creek don’t rise
Robins back early
Pick earth for invasive worms
For whom we fatten
Humans snap photos
A field of forsythia
Photoshop the bees
Break through. Hatless we walk by
Not thinking of death
I teach first-year Composition this semester. A student and his brother came to see me in my office hours because the student was over a week late turning in an essay assignment, and they were trying to figure out if it would be better for the student to drop at this point or try to catch up despite his five other classes (calculus, computer programming, and other courses that would make my head spin). …
Writer of fiction, plays, poems, essays, reviews. Middle-brow dilettante. Founder of Robots for the Ethical Treatment of Humans.