I love London fog.

Yesterday I was walking in the fog and thought why not open your mouth wide and swallow the whole bloody lot of it?

So I did. Just one huge sucking in, and I ballooned up with fog.

I floated above the city. I was light as a cloud. The view of London! The Thames was the signature on a prescription. St. Paul’s was a cold breast.

Everybody squinted at everybody, rubbing their eyes. My god, they could see London. They could see each other.

A young man was walking with a youngish woman dressed like a young woman.

You’re not seventeen!” he cried, dropping her hand.

“Tee hee!” laughed the woman, lifting up the skirts of her gown, and running off.

Two men were committing a lewd act against an alley wall. This became the Heimlich Manoeuvre. “Are you still choking, my friend?” cried the one man. “Mmm hmm,” said the other. “Just a little more, please.”

The prostitute was a good deal cleaner and prettier than the man from the bank thought she was. “I should be getting back to my wife,” he said, slinking into the shadows.

Long ant-lines of rats tracked through the streets, up the walls, across men’s brightly-polished and laced-up shoes. One rat wrapped itself in the folds of a lady’s fur coat and stuck its head out—like it was wearing a fur coat, too. This made the lady so nervous that she started chewing on her furred sleeve. Like a rat.

The ghost of Winston Churchill was chasing the ghost of a cigar. It slinked into a man’s left nostril, and out his right. When Churchill tried to follow it, he got stuck. Ghost legs dangled out of the man’s nostrils, like a phantom stache.

People were screaming and passing out, now. They were vomiting and slipping in vomit. Some of them hit their heads.

This was no good. No, no, no.

So I spat a fog ball at the youngish lady. “Hello, gorgeous,” said the young man, taking her by the hand again. “How about some sex?”

I spat another fog ball, a nice big one, at the men in the alley. They breathed faster and faster.

A ball for the prostitute, balls for the rats, a ball for Churchill’s ghost.

I belched up every last scrap of fog, patched every last crack. Then I plopped back down onto the street.

Everything was exactly as it was before. People were happy again. You could feel the happiness. It felt like sunshine. Even though it was fog.

I love London fog.


Rolli’s latest book is The Sea-Wave

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FLASH FICTION: “My Skull Broke”


I was sitting on a bench at the ballpark, rocking it back and forth. When Big Jam cracked the ball, I tried to get up but the bench tipped over forwards and I fell backwards.

The sun turned into sequins.

When I woke up, I was thirty-four years old. I couldn’t remember who I was or who my family was or where I was. I learned how to talk and walk again. I learned my alphabet again.

Big Jam visited me in the hospital. He was an old man now. He autographed a ball for me and closed my fingers around it. He hugged me and cried. I cried. Then I dropped the ball.

I can see color with my right eye, but only black and white with my other eye.

My mom’s trying to get more money for me from the Star City Recreation Board. $20,000 isn’t a lot of money.

Every day, I lie down in my wagon and my mom pulls me to the pharmacy. People take pictures and cry.

I want to be an angel.


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I was wheeling through the park, just in awe of the trees, when I realized their new green leaves were actually black and yellow, and were actually bees.

Life is hard when you have no legs, but not as hard as wheeling away from angry bees.

They covered me. I was head-to-knee bees. I flopped out of my wheelchair. It felt like they were eating my skin.

After a few minutes, the bees flew off. But then one fat one came back and stung me in my right eye. A cat ate my left eye when I was a baby.

At the hospital, when I told the nurse with the teddy bear voice how it almost felt like the bees had eaten my skin, she threw her head back and laughed and said, “Oh, but they did eat your skin, silly! You have no skin now.”

Parents who feel guilty about having normal children with eyes and legs and skin send me presents. Every day, Gloria (the nurse with the teddy bear voice) dumps a fresh load of packages into my containment unit.

I appreciate these gifts. I do. At the same time, I’m hunched at the bottom of my containment unit, with all this stuff on top of me, trying not to get crushed to death.

Guilt is real. It’s a real thing. It weighs about 800 pounds, I’d say. And counting.


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FLASH FICTION: “Mrs. Glick’s Bedsore”


Mrs. Glick has a bedsore. We rolled her over, and there it was. It was exactly like a rose. With a big hole in it. You could put your fist right into it.

We were pretty worried, at first. If Mrs. Glick’s family noticed the bedsore, they might sue. Mrs. Glick has a large family. Thankfully, they never visit.

One night, I went into her room. I closed the door behind me. Mrs. Glick was sleeping. She’s always sleeping. Mrs. Glick is ninety-four years old. She was breathing very slowly, in her sleep.

In the dark room, lit only by the heart monitor, Mrs. Glick’s bedsore glistened like a geode.

I slipped off my clothes. I lay them on the pile of clothes by the side of the bed. I took my cigarette lighter out of my pocket.

Then I climbed into Mrs. Glick’s bedsore.

It was dark inside. I flicked on the cigarette lighter.

Sitting in a circle inside Mrs. Glick were the three other on-duty nurses. They were drinking beer and smoking.

“Shit,” said Heather, putting out her cigarette.

“You’re not gonna rat on us?” said Ang.

“We’re overworked. We’re tired” (this was Brenda).

“Come on,” said Heather. “It’s just for a drink here and there. A drag.”

I thought about it.

I thought hard.

And then I said, “Heather, please pass me a cigarette.”


Rolli’s latest book is the flash novel The Sea-Wave. 


NEWS: Ladybug


Sold a poem to Ladybug today. A moon poem. You’ll like it. Keep an eye out.


SHORT STORY: Marcellus

My latest short story for Transition magazine. Though written years ago, and just published, the subject matter (the emotional fallout of a school shooting) is all too timely. Read “Marcellus” here.