Tag Archives: Prose

The Vermeer

After the manner of Vermeer: a beautiful redhead in silk performs her household chores in quiet peace. She squats before a litterbox, scooping feces and excrement, but the fortunate child does not grimace, as she cannot smell anything. This is rendered apparent by the artist’s acute attention to detail: notice the watery snot dripping from one nostril, straight into the bag of scoopings. Her eyes are distant, as if imagining a sunny pasture far, far away, or perhaps she is writing a blog post in her mind. A shaft of light from a household 60-watt bulb basks the scene in a warm glow, drawing the viewer’s focus toward her nostrils, which are brightly limned in variegated reds.

Yes, dear ones, this is my current reality. Remember, it is a sin to envy another’s situation. I’m sure everybody wishes they lived in the domestic bliss of a Vermeer.

 


 

 

That was last night. This is today:

 

IMG_20190326_075927012.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Incendiary

 

Sitting at the kitchen table by the window, smoking and watching out the open window. The screen had long since been torn away, by animals, perhaps. The scent of a dying fire on the cool evening breeze carried from the city: a primal, inviolable, deeply human smell.

I’d just come from there. My work for the day was done, and there was nothing to do now but rest.

They said the cigarettes had given me cancer, and cut out my larynx. Them. Doctors. Hospitals. People whose profession was to help you live. It all sounded so phony. Laughable, even.

I hadn’t wanted to go, but my husband had pleaded and begged me into it. In the end, I went for him.  He wasn’t afraid of what he called my paranoia, but he was terrified of losing me to cancer. He might have been naive but he was kind, and he loved me, and I could never say really say no to him; not when it mattered.  So they weren’t the ones who took my voice. I had given it as a gift to my husband, to stop his tears. After all, I still had hands to write, feet to run.

Now he was dead, too. Taken away by the same men in white, in an ambulance. Halfway through dinner, he’d fallen down. I hadn’t been able to protect him after all.

I tamped out the butt of my cigarette and lit up a new one, breathing deep. The sunset’s pink light caught the edges of the dissipating cloud over the city.  It was a beautiful evening. They couldn’t touch that.

A laser focused over my heart. I pretended not to notice, gave the marksman time to aim, and took one more long drag, relishing the flavor, the last thing left to me.

Aim well, bastards. I’ve already made my mark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

questions

(Fiction)

 


 

 

There’s a light in your eyes that I’ve never seen before. I can’t read it.
Then I’ll read your lips. Kiss me.
Ah.
They’re cold.
Is it over?
What did you find out about yourself?
I don’t think I’ll ever understand.
I miss you already, and you haven’t even walked out the door.
It’s only a matter of time.
I am so lonely. I’m lonelier with you by my side, than I think I would be alone.
You left the house warm. But you returned different.
What did you find out about yourself?
Do you know what I lost for you?
Do you know what I would lose again?
I would clutch you close, if there was a shred of connection left between us. Even a filament is enough to start a bridge. But the space between you and me is already too vast. No rope, no tree roots, not even a spiderweb.
I see you across the expanse and think, what made our bridge fall?
Why won’t you talk about it?
What did you find out about me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Defied

Just an exercise. Trying to get bigger, more interesting words back into my active vocabulary.

Does this sound stodgy to you, or is it nice?

 


 

The cat looks intently at the edge of the table. Her bronze eyes bespeak her intentions: she would try her reign from this elevated place. Coiling springlike energy down into her haunches, an instant of quiet tension and calculation. Then, in one powerful movement, she launches herself three feet into the air, hooks her paws on the edge and forwards herself even higher, a leap of such precision and delicacy that might put any prima donna to shame. By the time gravity catches up with her, it is too late; she has already gained purchase of her goal with all four paws. A wondrous maneuver, brilliantly executed.

Unfortunately, she cannot stay.

You scoop one open hand under her belly, lift her scant weight with hardly an effort, and transport her to an area which is more convenient for you. The instant you pick weight up off of her legs, they become silken fluid. She droops, either extreme of her small form dangling, limp as wet seaweed, from your unyielding support. Her apparent power has been shattered. She knows the futility of struggling in this gargantuan grip. Instinct and training directs her to wait until she is liberated, as struggle will only injure. The cat has been effectively paused.

Once you arrive at an adequately removed location, you deposit her back on her dainty feet with a inconsequential drop of a few inches. She absorbs the concussion with all the grace of a liquid creature.

Her coat is ruffled from your handling of her, and from her discontent. The tip of her tail indignantly flicks. This goddess, a miniature incarnation of noble wilderness, in whose eyes still blaze the sands of ancient Egypt, has had her will defied.

Disoriented, she sniffs, acquainting herself with the alternative locale, and selects for herself a new throne. She will not spare a glance in your direction.