Tuesday, September 29, 2009


demoWrite, collaborate, publish and distribute...all in one place.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Sign - revised, July 2010

The madman chalked red X’s
on the sidewalks of the houses
if he suspected
or had evidence
that people there
were unkind to each other,
or their dogs.
When he was a young man,
he studied hobo signs
chalked on railroad cars, mailboxes, fences,
buildings in barn yards,
in towns he probed.
Signs that said “doubtful”, “mean dog”,
“be ready to defend yourself”,
“dirty jail”, or “nothing doing here”
sent him away
or might draw him closer
to investigate.

He was a harvest hobo,
following the crops in the West.
Once beaten senseless, and left to die in a Fresno alley.
They laughed when they punched and kicked him,
stealing his knapsack and his kit.

The beating injured his brain.
He was never the same.
He lost all inhibitions and good judgment.

He couldn’t remember what rows to pick
when he picked grapes in Visalia
and oranges in Porterville.
He lost track of time, and had to write everything down.
He made little sketches so he could find his way
back to his box under the railroad bridge.
At night, he played his harmonica
until he dropped into dreams of his days as a boy
or his job with the city.

He dreamt of the beautiful woman that gave him
a whole pie when he begged for food at her door.
He dreamt of the old, black man that looked into his eyes for a long time before tears came.
The old man saw himself in his eyes.
He saw a man with even less than himself,
and it was more than he could endure.

The hobo impressed the dirt path
in front of the man’s simple cottage
with a new mark – a mark never seen before.
It was an austere eye,
a large tear in both corners,
made with polished pebbles
and shells he carried in his pack.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Modern Couple

Chuck is a big man
He wears t-shirts and jeans.
Chuck has no arms.
He left them in a dirty, little field
in Nam.

His wife, Kim, is Vietnamese.
She talks non-stop.
Chuck has never hit his wife with his fists.
He doesn't have any, but he tries to
kick her with his heavy Wellingtons.

Kim raises flowers
and sells them under a white tarp
at the street fair.

On Saturday, Chuck eats a burger nearby
and flirts with the waitress
with red hair.

He keeps a measured eye on Kim
and angers if she talks too long
to a gentleman buying flowers
for his wife.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Lost Symbol and The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown's 20 worst sentences - Telegraph

The Lost Symbol and The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown's 20 worst sentences - Telegraph

Chance Meeting

Consider the chance meeting of a dog and a man on the street. The man smiles and smacks his lips – a calming signal.

The man asks if he may pet the dog . The dog strains at the leash.
The man smiles, squats, and offers the back of this hand. No threat, no sudden moves. Soft words and a quick glance to determine the correct greeting. Good boy...nope, Good girl.

The owner stands straight and proud of his four-legged child and the man sees himself in the eyes of the dog and knows that he, too, would like to be greeted like this on the street by a stranger, and clicked at, and lips would smack, and he would be as calm and loved as the beast.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quotes about writing

Quotes about writing

Reading Kafka Improves Learning

Reading Kafka Improves Learning,
Suggests Psychology Study
ScienceDaily Sept. 16, 2009
Exposure to information that does
not makes sense (such as
surrealistic literature) -- or is a
threat to meaning or creates a sense
that expected associations are
violated -- enhances adaptive
cognitive mechanisms like finding
patterns, psychologists at UC Santa
Barbara and the University of
British Columbia have found in two

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Flash Fiction, 9 Sept.


There I was in front of her. She motioned a hug. I don't hug very often. I am not a hugger. Hugging and massage is foreplay. My grandparents and my parents hugged me.

I warned her that she may feel something. I could feel it. I could see the lump growing in my checkered, flannel pants. I hugged her. She felt it. Her lips drew tight.

“Oh, baby!”, I said.

I looked at her face. Close. She was looking at me hard with those warm brown eyes behind the mask of age. I could see the lines around her eyes and the corners of her mouth.

“Oh, baby!'

Flash Prose, 9 Sept.

Seven Gong Man

On the round, Forest Green table on my deck, there's a stainless steel bowl that mom used for salads, and a rusty chef's knife I use to clean the moss and dirt from between the cedar planks.

When I hear a noise in the alley, the yard, or around the front of the house that I don't recognize, whether it's early in the morning, or after dark, I use the back edge of the knife to strike the rim of the bowl seven times. Exactly seven sharp strikes, and I pause and only strike the bowl after the last pure ring of the gong has vibrated away. It's very deliberate and even, and timed almost perfectly.

Whoever is around to hear the beautiful bold resonance of the bowl must wonder...where is the sound coming from, what is it for, and who is this seven gong man?

Fat Fish

Fat Fish Patty Kinney's BLOG and writing. One of my favorite, local writers.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Some writing links from the AWA site

See: http://www.amherstwriters.com