POEM: Feathertale

I have a poem in the latest issue of The Feathertale Review. Read it here.

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PRE-ORDER: Mysterious Mini-Ebooks

Lovers of short stories,  unite…

On April 1st, I’ll have two mini-collections available for purchase…

The first, The Big T, is an arrangement of twelve adult flash fictions. Several of the stories have appeared in outlets such as The Walrus, Smokelong, and Transition. Many of them are previously unpublished in any medium…

The second ebook, Jelly, is a collection of twelve children’s stories. Some of the stories have appeared in popular magazines like Spider and Ladybug. Many of these, too, have never been published…

Pre-order The Big T and Jelly for only $2 each, today…

Remember: you don’t need a kindle to read these ebooks. You can read them on your smartphone, PC or tablet using the free Kindle app.

 

 

FLASH FICTION: A Public Library

library1

A public library is a quaint place to be in terror of one’s life. – Unknown

 

War and Peace was overdue again so I carried it back to the library with both hands.

 

It was October, but it was snowing.

 

Everyone was drunk that day or an old lady. Three drunks asked me for money, though I only had a quarter on me. The first drunk needed antibiotics for his dog. The second was distraught over his dog needing hip surgery. The third said she had twelve pups and they’d all had puppies. I gave her the quarter.

 

“Riffraff,” said an old lady into her scarf as she passed me. I wasn’t sure if she meant them or me.

 

Three drunks were sitting and standing and smoking around the front door of the library.

 

I went in through the side door.

 

I slid War and Peace down the book chute. There was a thud and a scream.

 

I turned. Everyone was staring at a ginger with a backpack. Pacing between the rows and rows of computers.

 

For some reason, I unzipped my jacket.

 

“I feel like breaking things and people,” said a disheveled man to the Reference woman.

 

“Try Nonfiction,” she said.

 

The ginger punched the wall and screamed.

 

The ancient security guard whistled.

 

The previous spring, when the library reopened (it had been a crime scene), I went to look at the new titles.

 

I always read the back covers.

 

“A blinding work of luminous brilliance,” said the one cover.

 

“A deafening work of thunderous genius,” said another.

 

“If talent had an odor, this book would obliterate one’s sense of smell.”

 

On the bottom shelf, a big book with a coming-off spine caught my eye.

 

War and Peace.

 

I picked it up with both hands.

 

The ginger punched the wall and screamed. That brought me out of it.

 

I scanned the bookshelves. I’d pretty much read everything.

 

The librarian heaved War and Peace back onto the shelf.

 

I thought, What the hell. I was curious how Book One ended.

 

“I wish I was dead,” said a wobbly man to the Reference woman.

 

“You might like Poe,” she said.

 

I lifted War and Peace onto the checkout counter.

 

“That’s a good one,” said the librarian.

 

“You’ve read it?” I said.

 

“No,” she said.

 

The ginger punched the wall and screamed.

 

The security guard tipped his hat.

 

“Have a nice day,” he said.

 

Three drunks were lying and smoking and laughing by the side door. I went out the front door instead.

 

Right beside the library, an old man slipped on ice.

 

“My god,” I said. “Are you alright?”

 

“Spare change?” he said.

 

I smelled liquor on his breath.

 

I gave him a quarter.

 

“Pathetic,” said an old lady, passing by.

 

I was pretty sure she meant me.

                                                                            

*First published in The Feathertale Review.

*If you like what you see on my site, you really ought to buy me a coffee (or two). More coffee = more stories, poems, cartoons and drawings for you to enjoy. Without coffee … I don’t even want to dream, of that.

KING VINNIE’S WILDCAT WIFE

DREAMED I was the guest of one “King Vinnie” at a drafty mansion in which 100-or-so other guests were assembled.  Suddenly, the old monarch leaped onto a sofa (a la Tom Cruise), and announced “I’ve decided to take a wife.  The only question is WHO to choose.” There was some nervous tittering amongst the guests, who assumed, fairly naturally, that he meant one of them.  But then our host leaped back down, threw open the front doors, whistled loudly – and a million wild animals of every variety came bounding in – lions, elephants, giraffes, wolves, etc.  We guests, of course, were horrified, and took shelter where we could (one elegant old duchess even scaled the grandfather clock).  Things eventually settled down, and we emerged from our hiding-places to see a beaming King Vinnie standing arm-in-arm with an enormous, white wildcat, which he introduced, a little confusingly, as “Queen Vinnie.” Then we all sat down to eat, trying not to stare as the new bride ripped apart the entrees, and lapped up the wine.  But marriage can be like that. 

UNRELATED news – look for a pair of new humorous poems in volumes 5 and 6 of The Feathertale Review, this spring and fall.

FEELING unfashionable?  Try Rolli Originals T-Shirts!  This week’s designs –  http://www.zazzle.ca/used_up_mistresses_unite_tshirt-235427953254920089 and http://www.zazzle.ca/cigarettes_are_harmless_tshirt-235705869275758251

THE LICORICE BANDITS

A few things, briskly, between coffees:

Dreamed I was burgled, and in the process tied to a coat rack – with licorice rope. All that kept me from chewing through the rope (a very simple thing), and apprehending the thieves AS THEY MADE OFF WITH ALL MY FIRST EDITIONS, was my rabid abhorrence of licorice. So I’d no choice but to sit there on the floor, softly weeping, and watch them empty the bookshelves.

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Pleased to report that “Von Claire and the Tiger” – my tale of a wobbly professor who’s eaten by a Big Cat – has been named Story of the Week by Short Story America. Read it now on the SSA website (you’ll have to register, but it’s free), and next year in their paperback anthology/Kindle ebook.

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NOW AVAILABLE – the new issue of The Labletter, featuring my poem “Bev (of the Selfish Same Hills).” Why not pick up a copy?

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On the children’s front, read my new poem “Bat,” in the current issue of COLUMBIAKids; and look for a short story, “BeeGirl,” in an upcoming Bumples.

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COMING SOON – poems and stories in Highlights for Children, Ladybug, Quarterly West, Antigonish Review, Feathertale Review, Wascana Review, and plenty of other reviews.

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Gotta run. My coffee needs me.