Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Air Above

amusing to consider something i said
thirteen years ago when we first met
in a single cavern of this house
it was not you who agreed to give
could not possibly have been you
the air above places has got to be
right and all, i said

[originally posted 6-30-2009]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Storm

as solid as a stick
you remembered feline cruelty
turned, whistled softly
a cruel hurricane
no pattern
legs, arms, and chest
gotten there only by inches
she shrugged, gently

[originally posted 6-14-2009]

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Big Leagues

She bit her lip,
thinking that it was a good game.
He smiled, then, glad to be playing.

[originally posted 5-16-2009]

Saturday, November 14, 2009

An Elegy of Sorts

I have remembered
The passing
Close to the end
It helped
We all knew we were
So large, so low
I have realized

[originally posted 6/17/09]

Friday, November 13, 2009


the message arrived the same day
he was diffidently at work by that time

listening to the news
words he had never heard
words indeed he had never even
listened to

what it meant to be freed
to be silenced of this babble
within him

leaving himself

[originally posted 5/31/09]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Song for Stevie Nicks to Sing

Hair, chains, honey
undone, an array
old and sickly
a song.

[originally posted 5/24/09]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Black Diamond Detective Agency, Part 3

It was 10:30 by the time I felt sufficiently revived to venture out of the office into the streets. The first place I went was to the bank where I cashed a check for $100. From there I made my way to a barber shop where [a saint with scissors] managed to get me looking somewhat respectable.

The next stop was a Goodwill resale shop where I picked out a cliched sort of movie detective outfit: dark suit, tan overcoat, and a battered but not beaten fedora. I was hoping that Curt would get the joke. Things were going well and showed every sign of continuing that way. I returned to the office where I changed into my getup.

When I called the public library to ask for information about Ramiland, I was connected to a very friendly and helpful librarian. She sounded like she'd be a lot of fun when she wasn't being a librarian. She didn't know anything off hand about Ramiland but told me that she could locate some sources for me if I wanted to come by and pick them up. I told her that was fine. I told myself not to get too excited about the librarian. She was probably about 70-years-old and most likely had a figure like a baby elephant.

She wasn't and she didn't. At the library, we had a pretty good time talking. She thought my detective outfit was as amusing as it was supposed to be. She had been, though, only able to find articles in two magazines, which she handed over to me with a wink.

And here, dear reader, my story grinds to an expository halt never to recover, except for this brief passage:

It was around 2:00 when I finished reading. The librarian I returned the magazines to was 70-years-old and did have the figure of a baby elephant. She had a pretty voice and I was in a good mood so I flirted with her for a little bit. We didn't exchange phone numbers, though, and I didn't even get a wink.


[originally posted 6/5/2009]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Black Diamond Detective Agency, Part 2

My clothes were in even worse shape than my hair. The Hawaiian tourist shirt had never been the height of fashion and was now just barely wearable. It did go, more or less, with the Army surplus fatigue pants I had on. The splotch of puke, my own or someone else's I couldn't remember, on my right thigh came pretty close to matching the flowers on the shirt. I didn't think Curt or his family would appreciate that too much.

I looked around the lovely Black Diamond Detective Agency for something else to wear but couldn't find anything. I did find my checkbook in a pair of black-and-pink checked pants that I couldn't remember ever wearing. Looking at them now, I was glad that I didn't. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had $450 in my account. It was obviously money left over from the last time I had worked as a laborer on a construction site. I certainly hadn't worked on a $450 case for a least a year. As a matter of fact, I hadn't worked on a case of any kind -- cases of beer excluded -- for 6 months. Maybe I'd been working on too many cases of beer.

(To Be Continued)

[originally posted 6/4/2009]

Monday, November 9, 2009

Black Diamond Detective Agency, Part 1

Note: Way back in 1980 I took a fiction writing class at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville taught by Lloyd Kropp, and my final project was a short story that, frankly, doesn't live up the the promise of it's first two and a half pages. Those first pages, though, are worth posting here.

It was 9:45 in the morning when the ringing of the telephone ended my sweet dreams. I know it was exactly 9:45 in the morning when the telephone rang because I'm a detective and I get paid to remember little details like that. It had been a long time since I'd been paid for remembering little details, though, so I did a fairly good imitation of a man leaping out of bed to answer the phone. The imitation was flawed because I was sleeping on the floor of my office and only had to roll over on my side to answer the phone. As far as I was concerned, I was leaping out of bed and it's the thought that counts.

"Uh, yeah, what do you want?" I interrogated my caller.

"This is Black Diamond Detective Agency, isn't it?" I allowed that it was and further admitted that I was George Blake, head honcho. "George," the caller continued in much happier and excited tones, "this is Curt Simonson. I just got into town a couple of days ago and I thought I'd give you a call to invite you over."

"Oh, hello, Curt. It's been a long time. You've been off in Africa or someplace, right?"

"That's right. I've been doing fieldwork in Ramiland in eastern Africa. The political situation got pretty hot so I decided it was about time to come home to the family for awhile."

"So you're back at "the Mansion," eh? I think I can still remember how to get there. What time do you want me?"

"Around 3:30, if you can make it. And, George, I may have to ask you to mix a little business with pleasure."

"That's fine with me. Lord knows I could do with a little of both. I'll see you at 3:30, then. 'Bye." I hung up and began getting ready for the upcoming reunion. The first thing I needed, I saw when I finally located a mirror under a pile of old newspapers on my desk, was a shave and possibly a haircut. A haircut soon became a necessity when it became obvious that no amount of combing was going to produce any style other than grubby. It'd been a long time since I'd dealt with anyone who would mind hiring a detective whose hair was grubby.

(To Be Continued)

[originally posted 6/3/09]

Different Rather Than Difficult

Uncertain, the vital seconds went by
He said unhappily,
"Don't ask me how."
A vague recollection
different rather than difficult
A sudden sense of a picture
From behind her
He parted her lips
And thought finally, desperately.

[originally posted 5/3/09]

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A House But Not A Home

The process of bringing the
house up to the standards of
Jean Harlow's ghost was
difficult, to say the least.

[originally posted 3/20/2009]
[written circa 1978/1979]