Monday, December 29, 2014

First and Last Darkness

The light dims, a cigarette
end ground into glossy old-glass,
Navy ashtray of sky –
stars caught popping, air bubbles
racing from
long dimmed
creation fires.

This moment is a relic,
a museum hum
drum, passed by with a
shrug; visitors
crave electric.

What’s an old sunset
gathering dust?

As if from ghostly measure,
then, the tray is rocked
and balance hung -

Slow shattering, like tinkling water
rushed, screaming
steroided out on megaphones.
The noise wakens the eyes,
first and last awareness:


Posted for Real Toads' Open Link Monday.

Happy news!
I am ridiculously excited that a short story from my Welsh ghost/archaeological novel was chosen as a runner up in the AmeriCymru - West Coast Eisteddfod! Congrats to winner Sally Spedding for "The Fold," an eerie story of rural Welsh life that left me with goose bumps. Kudos to all entrants; the competition was fierce, engaging, and filled with talent. Thanks especially to judge Mike Jenkins (a writer I've long admired) and to Americymru's Ceri Shaw. Diolch!

Friday, December 26, 2014

"What Shadows Follow the Souls of Men?"

Where you walk,
you stretch behind yourself,
shrinking from the light.

When you walk into the light,
you leave some of yourself
behind. What part is that?

Is it your doubts about
moments being connected,
a life of pictures
instead of films?

Will your breath
pull through?

Your need to fidget,
avoid silence?

The way you picture
your own shape and
measure it against
the puzzle you make
of the world?

The way the images
leaving dark snow.
Even that blows away.


Hello, all. Merry meet again. How have 20 days gone by since my last post? Well, it was dissertation proposal crunch time, end of semester grading, holiday traveling among Illinois, Ohio, and Virginia... and some minor crises to deal with. All of these things have been excellent fodder for writing, so keep checking back. I hope your 2014 has been inspiring and enriching, complete with holidays packed with good cheer and company. Stay warm and safe, friends!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bad Vibes & Things Discarded: 55 Worded Works

A Series of 55-Word Shorts & A Poem for Real Toad's Flash - 55 word challenge.

“Other Worlds”

“I have a bad feeling about this.”

You should, I think, watching you roll your thumbs on the joysticks and your Barbarian character simultaneously turn a corner in the dwarf-hewn cave. From the deep, a fiery balrog tears out of the earth, shaking your controller. You drop it.

In your shriek, the virtual becomes real.



Vibrations aren’t always good, she frowned, regretting answering the buzzing phone. She returned to the white linened table, heels clicking on the wood floor, and proffered an apology to her date on the way out, “Gotta go clean up a mess at the lab.” She felt a flash of guilt, but, hey, Bloody rampages qualify.


“Cosmic Mockery”

Vibrations aren’t always good, she frowned, immediately regretting answering the buzzing phone. It was her bank: someone had stolen her credit card. They’d bought $1,000 of baby items: diapers, food, and a crib. She sank to the ground, breath catching in her throat, next to the trash can that still held the pregnancy test, negative.



Red balloon stretches thin -
pinprick, needle-scar puncture.
air escapes slowly, roundness
retains through shrinking
till shriveled it gives up.

In the trash, it meets discarded
apple core, once round and red, too,
now thin, bowed from depletion of
seeds and apple-meat.

Whether one lost
more than the other
they both ended up
the same.