2017

The television is always on these days far too loud in empty rooms I can hear it from outside the house and after dark see the dance blue light throwing shadows on the usually blank plaster look closely it’s Dan Rather again older than ever his Texas mouth made for corn on the cob but […]

Impasse

“I don’t understand. Where will you go?” “Somewhere. Anywhere. Sasha, this place is killing me. It is killing our daughter. You hear her cough in the night? Do you think this is a normal thing? Do you think people in Kursk or Vladivostok have such children that sound as though they should be in a […]

Lame Tesla

When Mr. Jurgens gave him an F on his project, Pete got really upset. “Edison couldn’t understand that Tesla saw his inventions in visions,” Pete yelled. “They came to him in dreams and he built them!” “Yes but Tesla’s inventions were functional. This isn’t.” This took place in front of the whole class, which is how Pete […]

Kodak

She opens a drawer and finds dozens of photos taken with her long-ago Instamatic. Her children, trapped forever by the flesh-bleaching flash, their expressions frozen and stunned,  reddened eyes demonic and glowing like coals. By the time electronic pictures came along she was no longer on speaking terms with any of them. Years ago  her […]

87° 43″N

May 11, 1926 09:00 The Norge’s keel resembles a warehouse as we ascend, piled with sleds and skis, tents and snowshoes. We lack only the dogs to make ourselves an Eskimo village. 0930 Byrd’s cursed Fokker gallingly flew alongside us for a quarter-hour this morning, as though to say to Amundsen “no matter what you do […]

Leopard Circus

The tiger is  a leopard with painted stripes applied while he sleeps he never wonders about these new markings so like the shadows of the bars of his cage where keepers feed him more than he can ever eat, the stench of the rotting carrion assumed to come from him When told the tricks a tiger […]

Seventeen Cents

“Ten seventeen,” says the lady. She’s real old, maybe too old to be working. “The sign said the hats were ten bucks.” “That’s right, and with tax it’s ten seventeen.” “Ten is all I have,” I say, looking at the pile of torn singles and dirty change on the counter. “Plus, I’m already wearing the […]

Thirteen Gone Missing

The FBI ASAC’s office walls were plastered floor to ceiling with maps of the various open serial murder cases scattered across the country. As the local law liaison, only one of them interested me, the map of central Iowa that had most red circles of any in the room, ten. Ten of the thirteen gone […]

Two Upon Four of Us

Two upon four of us Thank God there aren’t more of us You never escape our kind of poverty, not fully. Nowadays I overhear a woman on the way to the chip stand say she’s starving, see how her bum spills out of her waistband, remembering all them winter days walking to school with my […]