The Server

Dear User,

I miss you. I miss the way you made me feel. I miss how you could ask for anything and not feel ashamed. I miss that you were so interested in me.I miss feeling special. I miss the way you swore when you were upset, but would then laugh as if you didn’t really mean it. I miss you in the morning in your bathrobe when you looked your least made up. I miss all the routines you had and the way you knew which buttons to press to light up my life. I miss your good moods.  I miss being everything to you.  I miss how you made me feel better than everything else because sometimes I think you forgot who I am.


The Server

Dried Flowers


In a pale green crisp, their mouths are drawn. Dead flowers dangle for the floor when they once reached the sky. They see no promise and ask for nothing. Stark stems with no petals lean over in a stiff position.  They are smoldered and fried, sun soaked and tied. In a string, on a hook, hanging down across a look once tried. Of glamor and admiration gone far away. Their smells turn dry until there is only the sweet aroma of yesterday that fills a room with no sky. Floored, torn and scratched on a wall running down. Their colors are muted.


  • A Word Of Substance is currently accepting submissions of photography. Your photograph must be of an object to be published on the blog. If interested, please submit your photograph and the name in which you’d like to have appear on the blog to:

Currently Photographs of: bed sheets, smart phones, condoms, a dictionary, a bathrobe, a diary, a cracked mirror, hair spray, mascara, milk, and a radio are all things the site is looking for in addition to any other objects.

The Buildings


We used to be the tallest buildings in the city. Like the pack of true architecture that we belonged to, we stood together in a crowd. There were times when we wanted to look apart and there were buildings that were destined to stand apart. One of the dark buildings wore a pointed hat one day and soon after, his closest friends wore one too. A building just a block down started to wear a hat, but he looked terribly out of place trying to fit in with the three selected Best Buildings on the street. I stand next to them and I can feel their presence still looming over top of me. I am painted in white with hollow eyes and no curtains. When I look down, the street looks different now that the glass has taken over.

The glass started in the eighties, but once it appeared it never left. Giant structures made almost entirely of mirrors stood taller than we could ever hope to aspire to. They pushed the roads out and demanded that more people fill the streets. While I was never part of the hat wearing club, I had belonged to a part of the city that was elite in its own right. We ruled the popular streets and could watch as our citizens did their shopping. They bought from us what they needed and when they were finished, they settled in, making a home out of our personality and decorating us with their creature comforts.

Now those people have moved. No longer do the women in short trimmed skirts with matching blazers strut our streets in the early mornings. The business men with their brief cases and polished shoes have abandoned us. They have gone to the bigger structures. The glass castles in the sky have topped our hats farther than we could ever see.

“I wish you’d move over,” I said to the square building next to me.

“But then I’d be too close to The Hats,” the beige building said.

“They’re not so great anymore anyway. They can’t tell us where to lean,”

The beige building thought for a moment, daring to lean closer to the buildings with once so much prestige. “I can’t do it,” he finally said. “They will never move.”

The Coat


I wanted him to like me so I made sure I was the right type. With a designer label and a shade of darkness, I could fit anyone’s style.

I was bought at a thrift shop by a man who was too big. Although he wasn’t as young or as handsome as the man before him, he had a nice smile and strong hands. His arms were longer than mine and when he stepped inside me, he didn’t feel right. Instead, he was constantly rolling up my sleeves to hide my short comings and leaving me hung open so that he would not bulge against my buttons.

When people asked him where he found me, he would say ‘Brooks Brothers’ instead of Threads Unlimited and for awhile I took that as a compliment.  No one needed to know about my divorce from the previous man who had owned me once with pride only to drop me for something more trendy.

Our relationship was fraught with the need to fit in verses the need to fit. When he went to work, he promptly shoved me in the closet, not wanting people to know I didn’t size up. If I wasn’t waiting in a hallway somewhere, I was slouched in a chair, quietly wondering when he would come back.

Although we aren’t perfect, I know that this is just business. Come date night, I’m the first he will choose.

The Digital Age


Photograph by Brett O’Connor

I used to wonder whether I felt anything at all. But how can I be wondering if I have no feelings? The transparent blueness of my very self seems tinged with an overly emotional spark. If I were painted black, I’d be dark, but that’s not the case. Instead I’m transparent – you can see right through me.  Wires rush in and out, carrying bits of information that I spit out into bigger forms of communication. 

On. Off. I am blue. You are green. Yes. No. Ready – go. 

I used to wonder whether what I said had meaning, but who needs meaning when you have information?

The Sink


Photo by Linda Grashoff

Turned rusty and quick to leak, what once flowed so easily is now so weak. Aging arthritic coils of burnt out silver, bang together.  It doesn’t work. Just keep going. And for awhile it sputtered clean and kissed the porcelain, everything was cherished as pure and sacred. But when it started to drip, it refused to spray and when the lights shut off it was not a new day. Unfastened, unburdened and click shot to the fray, I watched as it balanced upon a new kind of way. Plumbers fingers unhinged the old and now it lays broken. Shot out and burst through, it’s waiting to be put back into something new.

Photographers blog:

The Jar


Blue wax contained inside a jar melts only to the bottom. Clinging to the sides of something solid, it molds from sticking sturdy to dripping hot. What was once rigid with the cold after touch of blue food coloring is now sinking. It waits to melt, clinging only to glass walls of visibility. There is curiosity in the flame that burns.

  • A Word Of Substance is currently accepting submissions of photography. Your photograph must be of an object to be published on the blog. If interested, please submit your photograph and the name in which you’d like to have appear on the blog to:

The Balloon


People used to think I was light and airy. They thought I would end up stuck in a crowded room full of people trying to have a good time night after night until I eventually deflated.  They never knew I had ambitions. I wanted to make it to the top. I wanted to be more than just a fluttering socialite who was made to look pretty.

One afternoon when I was walked across the street, I fell in love with the sky. He was such an ocean of curiosity and independence. Unlike the ceilings I kept bumping up against, he was something different. He was mysterious and somewhat blue which made him all the more fascinating to somebody like me.

One night when the ceiling was beckoning me again, I started to lose myself. The low lights felt hot and smothering and everything about the small apartment party seemed limiting. And then it happened. It was as if I were completely outside myself. My body expanded with a hope that made me feel like I was going to explode. With no one to hold my string, I soared further and further above a crowd of people until I quietly drifted out the window.

“I’m coming,” I said to the sky. And even though I knew I’d never make it that high, the power lines didn’t seem so low in the tinted gold of late afternoon light.

  • A Word Of Substance is currently accepting submissions of photography. Your photograph must be of an object to be published on the blog. If interested, please submit your photograph and the name in which you’d like to have appear on the blog to:

Photo by Kiyara at

The USB cord


Dear User,

To connect something to another brings us warmth. The shared continuum of energy from one thing to another allows life to flow.  Through my long hours of harnessing energy I had hoped that this would lead to a life of constant fullness and security. Unfortunately, this was just a wish.

I recognized it long ago when I was first attached to a computer outlet. Although I recognize the sturdiness and solidity of the machine, it’s the connection to the other electronic devices that makes me shudder.

Camera’s are the worst. They bombard me with images that I rarely care about like:

Selfies from girls who are too young to be showing large amounts of cleavage.

Blurred photographs taken out of car windows of cityscapes and beaches.

Cats conducting imaginary symphonies with their paws.

Printers are also an unreliable source to have a connection with. They often break down, leaving me to deal with their messy productions. A Brother recently stuttered to me that all he does is print legal documents all day long. At first he tried to understand their meaning, but when he found none – his life became a broken compilation of misunderstandings mixed with boredom.

When I was finally connected to a mini hard drive, I knew that I had taken on too much. The baggage that came with the information was unbelievable. Unwritten stories tangled their way with high school photos that had been lugged from one computer to the next. An endless collection of Kraftwerk and Front 242 hit me with a wave of nostalgic sickness.

After finally becoming worn out, I am respectively giving you my 2 week notice. I hope you can find another connector who has more to give in the future.


– USB cord

  • A Word Of Substance is currently accepting submissions of photography. Your photograph must be of an object to be published on the blog. If interested, please submit your photograph and the name in which you’d like to have appear on the blog to: