The Sentencing


the sentence2


Curled into tiny shapes and growing. Animal letters stretch carefully as not to be seen. Peering small sized and waiting. It takes a bent neck to notice. “Closer” they say – seeping further into the page. “My body of paper is eating us up. Is it cannibalism?” Still they stay.

These words weren’t always this small, but before the big, they just were. Limping on a question too old to hold: Can anyone read what I’m saying?

And when nobody could, they grew impatient with rage until the question split in half. HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE ALL OF THIS? They jumped into space. IS ENTITLEMENT NOT DESERVED?

But when one page’s letters became the volume of another, their meaning became the same. I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY. Said one sentence to the next, but nobody paid attention. I NEED TO PICK UP TOOTHPASTE, SPONGES AND SEEDLESS GRAPES. Another sentence took over.

Exclamation points were added to stand out from all the rest. HEY!! I’LL BRB!!! But they were ignored just the same. It was always besides the point.

A small period was stated and then The End. The words, at first, were devastated. But after the silence, when exclamations were forgotten, the words crept and curled. Like the pause of a tongue swallowing the “saids”, the animal letters

s t r e t c h

The Watch


Where would the dreams go if time did not exist?

No clocks. No metronomes. No music to sing along to.

Roads across valleys turn sideways to look forward.  Like backward:

Neither contemplates direction.

If dreams sputtered early and were caught before death, would we save them to prove they were here?

Into the net made of miniature holes, they’d fall out.  And push through.  

Earth rolling flat below them. 

The Straw


Photograph by Tom Haynes

Dear Potential Date,

I will let you know how I feel at all times. I’m very up front. I’m attracted to naturally red, full lips. No lipstick, please. I also prefer real beauty. I’m very picky when it comes to looks. If you’re older than thirty, please don’t reply.

I’m not the kind to call back right away. If we have a good time, I’ll let you know, but I’m not into that whole clingy thing. My idea of a perfect date is hanging out in bars that serve Belgian beer in a glass. No bottles for me. If you’re too cheap to buy your own drinks, please, don’t respond to this ad.

I’m looking for a carefree type. Not the kind that’s going to hold me down. Not the kind that’s going to get mad every time I’m with another. I can’t be tied down right now. I prefer more of the Bohemian lifestyle.

In short, shoot me an email if you don’t suck. (I already do that well enough on my own)

– The Straw

The Compass


Which road do I travel? To go North is to go up. Up and away to better things that might come my way. There sit the giant three story houses with marble staircases and floors that shine. There are the pianos with dancing keys that never stop to wonder about purpose. To go North is to go up so far that you might never look down. If you do, you might fall and from up there it hurts much worse. Life would be lived on the edge of stairs, forever clinging on to the banister.

To go South is to go down. Rusty pipes for a stoop railing and windows with air conditioning units hanging half way out. They work only some of the time. To go down means to travel into the bare bones of a city, forever looking up. There is nowhere closer to the ground than the South and therefore there is always hope. It could always get better because it couldn’t get any worse.

To go West is to go left. A little left of center is always off. Like a lazy eye that doesn’t see straight, everything is slightly off balance. Leaning brick houses stoop together over a street filled with antique cars. They move slowly, but they always get to where they want to be. To go West means you’re always looking crooked. A slanted point of view is not always a clear headed one.

To go East means to go right. The right way means the right choices. A cookie cutter plan mapped out on an old wooden table. If you follow it precisely, you’ll get to the white picket fence with a yard of gold. A porch swing rocks slowly as if someone has just gotten off the ride. There is no need for a ride when you’ve already made it.

To stay put is to die waiting. Watching the current of others as they move from place to place is like being on a windowsill. Forever sitting, never moving.