Sunday, January 31, 2010

160 - paper airplane trashcans

on a soiled paper airplane
beside a steel trashcan
he reads in
heavy tears
her words,
it absently
among the debris
in the alley out her window.

i never did

What can you say in 160 characters? go see monkey man.

This is a continuation of last weeks 160...

sweet & sour paper airplanes

on a Chinese takeout menu,
under a brown stain
she writes in
angry letters
an apology.
it neatly
she flies it
out the window to the world.

i forgot you

Saturday, January 30, 2010


one day, i saw a polar bear in town.
it was lost.
i said, i am silly.
i called my penguin, Pingy!
he is silly too.
i love him, silly.

Logan, my oldest (7), wrote this. He has the stomach flu right now, which is making for wonderful nights of nastiness. Thought it might make him feel a bit better to share his story today.

On top of that, we are supposed to be clobbered by snow today. Which means I won't be around much if I can't get out of the house to somewhere that has internet. Will catch back up with you on Sunday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

55 - roadside wooden cross


each hammer fall rings
stirring memories
of the freckle-faced girl
too little to lose
to a man consumed by
one more for the road
leaving her world in tears
marking this roadside wooden cross


her wedding band hangs
on a second cross
for the man she could not save.

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Theme Thursday: Felt Impression

little arms wrap my legs
furiously pulling me to the floor
as the final buzzer rings
ball still clenched in my hand
so far from the goal
hanging on your bedroom door;
exhausted we giggle.

soppy wet head on my shoulder
tossing questions in the air,
floating back to my heart
seeking answers...

batman has no powers.

mom can't marry you.

eat bugs only for survival.

each touch, an impression
none felt greater than these
still quiet moments.

For more takes on the theme, visit my friends at Theme Thursday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

all that is between us

hard bristles scrape
last night
from my teeth,
polishing to shine
what is left behind.

hot water washes
all that is between us
down steel circle drains
until we are
all that is between us
wet and naked, no
make up
surf wax
slapped on self
nothing special
all that is between us.

and then nothing is.

and then everything.

love covers a multitude
even better than body wash.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Her Voice (a ghost story)

Her voice pulls at my inmost parts, beckoning me further and further…I know I should not, but I give in letting her lead, to where I don’t know…

This is a true story, at least what aging minds can recollect. My cousin told his part here, now this is my side....and the rest of the story...

Empty, the house sits dark and quiet on the hill, blue light leaking from the rear bedroom. My parents have vacated to the beach, with do this and don’t thats left hanging heavily over my neck like a guillotine. My social life is such at the time that an all night marathon of Super Tecmo Bowl sounds enrapturing.

No matter what Mike says, he can hold his own, though not this time. Mike and I might have been brothers in another life or world, but this one fated us to be cousins and the Sunday afternoons of our adolescence were spent sucking every last bit of marrow left in the bones of this grand adventure.

Vanquishing him on the virtual field of play, the hands of the clock approaching the tipping point where darkness bleeds into a new day, Mike heads down the long hall leading into the front of the house in search of refreshment. She must have watched him leave, waiting for just this moment...

Sticky sweet, her voice twines fingers around my heart giving a tender jerk, 'Brian, come here'.

How could I not follow?

She plays so well, ducking into the darkness, passing bedrooms, pulling me along with a trail of promises wrapped up in 'come here'.

Who is she? I do not care, I only want to know her.

Blood courses through my veins in a raging torrent, my pace quickening to capture her before she disappears. Rounding the corner…


Sprawling on the hard wood floor, my cousin and I survey each other, not wanting to ask the questions that hide behind our eyes, for fear she is still lingering.


Did you hear?

But she is no more, vanished beyond even the shadows. Perhaps she never was, only a figment of our youthful imaginations. But for one night she visited us, if only in disembodied voice.

A voice we will never forget.

If you have not met Mike, visit him at Hey Cabo. He is a great writer of both story and song. And sometimes he even tells the stories that go with the 'disclosing' comments he leaves here, much to my chagrin. lol.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

160 - sweet & sour paper airplanes

on a Chinese takeout menu,
under a brown stain
she writes in
angry letters
an apology.
it neatly
she flies it
out the window to the world.

i forgot you

What can you say in 160 characters, spaces included. Go see Monkey Man.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Stand Off

Welcome to another installment of Brotin Tales. This is part two. You really don't want to read this before you read Otin's part. It will make very little sense, so head over to Otin and see the amazing job he did setting this piece of fiction rolling.

All I ever wanted to do was prove that I was a man…and she robbed me of that. When they took us out of the house, we walked by the stain of what was left of my father, wondering what he thought now.

I can not imagine what you went through. That’s an awful lot process, can you give me a minute
, the paper rim of the cup kisses my lips before realizing that even the coffee has grown cold in the shadow of the moment.

Do you think they will like my story? Martin drew a deep breath through his cigarette, exhaling smoke rings through the light of the window.

Martin, there is a way you can regain that opportunity…

Don’t start talking about making concessions! Everyone needs to hear my story, it could change people’s lives. Now you know what I am asking for, make it happen.

All I am saying is let’s give this story a happy ending, then everyone will like it.

You are just trying to beat me down like the rest of them. I will not lie. For once in my life I will take a stand. I am through giving in to bullies…

Martin, let me make a few calls…

No it’s too late for that…

Martin, you don’t want to…


Slow and loud the gunshot rips through my ears, followed quickly by a cacophony of noise and a brilliant flash of light. Boots thud across the floor, voices loud, screaming, bodies moving, shuffling, a loud thwack as something soft and heavy hits the ground then silence…

Sir, target secure. One casualty, need medical assistance stat.

Help is on the way.

No hostages injured.

Absently the phone finds its cradle, though I don’t remember putting it there, later when my mind stops running a marathon. My feet seem to have a mind of their own, finding a path through the patrol cars and vehicles surrounding the bank, ignoring the rush of activity in the aftermath.

He did not try to steal anything, just wanted to show he was a man. The only life he took, his own, in the end.

Fingers tremble, trying to wipe the thoughts from eyes tired from hours of talking, staring at the broken windows, anticipating for resolution. Pausing at the rear of a van, I open the door, looking deep into the eyes that await my explanation.

I am sorry sir. I tried to save your son, but…

I will remember Martin’s father’s eyes in the darkest moments of sleepless nights and wonder just how much of Martin's story was true. No kid should ever feel they need to earn their fathers love and no man should ever hit their kid, even if they are the Chief of Police.

You did your best, his father’s smile leaves me standing in the afternoon sun, shivering.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

55 - tart

on the front porch
key lime pie teases my tongue,

balloons play polka-dot
with the sunset clouds,
aglow with flames as they rise
like little boys' thoughts...

can they fly to the moon?

Nah, they'll run out of food before they get there.

nodding we smile because
possibilities are endless,
until we limit them.

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Theme Thursday: Bread

raking stray sticks
through remnants of warmth shared
in the shadows of night,
orange embers emerge
beneath blankets of grey ash,
which rise in plumes
thickening the cool morning air.

tired fingers work
flour and water into pasty orbs,
small worlds pressed flat
now tucked neatly onto
beds of white hot ash
transforming it fragrantly
into our scant repast.

plunking charcoal chunks
from nooks they create
in the bottom of our biscuit,
we eat, dreaming of sticky
golden honey dripping
down our chins, fooling
our tongues into submission.

sometimes this is what it takes
to swallow our daily bread.

yet we are thankful.

For more takes on the theme of bread, go here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


i find his body, broken, pieces shoved in a hole. one glassy eye stares, filled with questions, ready to spill down his cheek. a disjointed arm reaches stiffly. my heart turns violently in my chest, my mind wondering what kind of man would...

anger boils the bile in my stomach, its steam filling my mouth. exhaling, i breath him and need to escape.

walk away.

much later in life, a medical examiner will push my gloved hand into the chest of a body laid out on a sterile silver table, so I can feel the crushed sternum and ribs. but now i am only eight.

much later it will be easier. it won't be as personal.

my second cousin did it, though he would deny it straight to your face, yet out the corner of your eye you can see the shadow hanging over him.

the body was found in his room as well, but at age eight there is no court to lay the evidence before and who really cares about a broken G.I. Joe figure, except the little boy it belongs to.

to him, his world turns upside down.

i forgive him eventually, but we never play G.I Joe again.

forgiveness doesn't mean i let you hurt me again...and again...and again...

does it?

Monday, January 18, 2010

10DOM: Clarity through a Cinnamon Mist

in an empty mall parking lot,
as many are these days,
a crumpled piece of paper crawls
between the yellow lines
aided only by the wind at its back,
kept warm by the orange~pink sunset
fading beneath the mountains
in the distance.

slowly it searches until it finds
the scuffed toe of my shoe,
just as it is about to move
into the car and speed away
to something of other that
needs to be done.



poking to get my attention
i gently lift it, feeling
the weight of its course
brittle skin unfold
revealing someone’s lost poem
balled up
thrown out
flushed away

because it
hurt too much
embarrassed them
became pointless
felt clumsy

i want to tell them
i found it here,
this complex verse
that chokes so many
in blue pen, on paper
weathered cinnamon,
it simply reads…
i love you.

smiling, I lower
it to the ground,
watching it wander away,
searching again
for whom it is intended.

For more takes on the theme, go here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

160 - silent but deadly

warm plush blankets
form battlefield foxholes;
tired eyes peer
across the expanse,
choosing to roll over.

oh what pyrrhic victory

no one wins
without words.

What can you say in 160 characters. Go see Monkey Man.

Friday, January 15, 2010

one last post

Twitching, fingers massage the tender skin beneath his eyes, willing them to stay open. Stray hairs poke from his pale cheek, pestering the palm of his hand back to its place of duty, ever back. Air rushes from deep within, his soul gasping for that last breath, spilling deathbed confessions until the cup runs empty, clattering on the hard floor.

How long have I been here?, marks on the sidebar, chiseled by his torn fingernails, highlighted in crimson smears, speak to his longevity. One more mark, he scratches across another four.

Soft blue light cast shadows across his sunken eyes, brightening the chains that bind him ever more. Escape...maybe a thought one day, but no more. Fresh air thoughts make his stomach churn, yearning once more for what made him feel...again.

Shifting weight, circulation returns to forgotten nether regions bringing prickles to dance along nerve endings. Wrapping the cord around his arm, he prepares the drug, heating it, giving it form.

Click, clack, click, clack....

Sometimes I write because I am afraid of what happens in the silence afterward...

Drawing his finger to the plunger, he feels its texture, thinking to himself about what comes next. Feelings flooding him after...a slow pressure applied, eyes rising to look deep into his skull, leaving him a limp rag doll in the chair. Quickly he pushes and...

Your post has been published.



Only you can determine...

For you.

Remember to live so your have something to blog about, not the other way around.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

55 - chasing rainbows

bright light
she dreams
big city dreams
over the rainbow
from her
small town

who she was
who she is

concrete sidewalk
she dreams
cold nightmare
late night scenes
where her rainbow
went amid the

who she was
who she is

chasing rainbows.

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Theme Thursday: Surface

My flashlight flickers, leaving retinas stained red in the pitch black bowels of mother earth. The rumbling sound of torn claws pushing through soil fills in the gaps where my vision fails. It is almost here.

Beyond the woods, through the rusty barbed wire, on the other side of the golden fields, there is a hole, gaping like a puncture wound, to the very center of the earth. Chilling breath blows any warmth the sun could provide from our skin as we stare into its obsidian soul. Terrifyingly excited we follow its whispers of adventure.

Pressed to the floor we crawl beyond the entrance way to the main chamber, our flashlights leading the way. The main cavern is vast, our beams losing strength before ever reaching the other side. All sound of the world above is lost in the silence, except for our breathing. It is peaceful here.

Round and round our circle of light finds new passages, deeper and further from the surface, the hard packed dirt floor speaks to the presence of previous explorers or inhabitants, while the mountain of earth above our heads carries the weight of their stories. We are not alone.

Our hearts hammer.

Well rounded and smooth, the tunnel dips then rises into a hollow circular room, just big enough for one man to sit cross legged. Finger size holes dot the walls every two inches, disappearing in depth when we shine our light into them. Shutting off our lights, we breath the deafening silence. Our skin crawls with the energy of the moment.




Our lights flash back on, illuminating a patch of earth on the only path leading out, now moving and cracking from something within, pressing through towards us. Flicker...flicker...darkness. Banging our flashlights buy us a few more flashes as the dirt is now pressing up...

Slip sliding, we leap into oblivion, juggling fresh batteries and plastic flashlight parts as we try to manipulate them into place and escape...


...on our heels...tripping...scrambling for purchase...

Breathless we wheeze against a fallen tree by the mouth of the cave, thankful to be alive. Frantic eyes train on the shadows of our retreat, waiting for our pursuer to step from within, hoping it does not.

Beneath the surface, there are monsters, that will steal your light if you let it. We will go back and face day.


For more takes on the theme, visit Theme Thursday.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

love haunts

at my nose,
from a fresh
poured coca~cola;

butterflies inside me
each time our lips meet.

up my legs,
these well worn
torn blue jeans;

your arms each morning
begging me to stay.

or is that just me
wanting to.

between horizons,
in the shiny
rear view mirror;

whispers carry forever
to my ears from your mouth.

everything i
reminds me
of you.

and i haven't even
got to work yet.

how will i
ever get
anything done
with you
right here
inside me?

Monday, January 11, 2010


Crows perch on the thin red line that leads to my heart, gathering into a murder. The fact that he is my brother matters little.

A warm summer breeze clips dust devils across the hard packed dirt leading from the pitchers mound to home plate. Across their dance, pin prick eyes stare back at me, daring me to throw the ball. Tensions drips between my fingers, cool droplets of sweat falling slowly, forming splatter paint images around the white rubber by my feet. This game is slowly slipping away from me.

Come quick, I think Brian is going to kill Ross...out of breath, Mike rushes into the campsite, massaging a stitch in his side from covering such a distance.

Behind the chain link backstop, my brother dances like a drunk chicken, caterwauling taunts, gesticulating wildly. Distracting my attention. Pop, leather on wood, a solid hit retreats into the outfield, diminishing with any thought I had of saving this game. It is his fault. My mind latches onto this thought, wringing it like a dishrag for every ounce of anger it can muster.

Its just a game, why would you...they don't understand.

His turn at bat, a grin slips across his face, begging acknowledgement. Flying wildly the ball zings across the expanse, barely in the lead as I race it to home plate to see who will hit him first. He runs. Friends chase, then gasp as I raise the ten speed over my head and launch it at him.

Even the crickets go quiet.

From the thickets, I see them approaching the field, come to survey the scene of my crime. Their voices call my name, ricocheting off trees to pierce my adolescent soul, now tattooed with the symbol of Cain. Pride and anger give way to shame and this is how they find me.

He is the wife that burned the supper, because she was too busy taking care of the kids, that just happened to catch you on the day your boss yelled at you and the old man cut you off in traffic. He is the husband who is running late, because he had to stop at the store, on the day the kids became demons, tearing up the house while your internet was down all day, so you could not check your blog, making you miss coffee with a friend.

This is not really about that, but we yell anyway. Better it be their fault than ours.

My brother survived. The bike was fixed. I wish I could say I never get angry, but I do. Now, I just try to keep a pellet gun nearby to pick off the crows early, before they gather, becoming a murder.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

160 - time bomb


the hands run round
until it is sprung from
wound to tight...
such are the days
of pocket watches
such is the way
with life


What can you say in 160 characters. Go see Monkey Man.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Life I Chose (a Brotin Tale)

Welcome once again to another Brotin tale of fantasy and fiction, with a few twists and turns along the way. This is the first part of a two part tale. You will find part two at my cohort in chronicles', Otin. So, sit back and enjoy this months Brotin tale...

Saturday evening sticks in the corner of my eyes, clenching tight against the dawning of a new sun. Sheets become handholds for my fingers, grabbing at the edge of the warm spot in the bed, less for comfort than to keep the room from spinning. Memories stutter like an 8mm film, spliced again and again, by amber filled shot glasses.

Such is the life of the eternal bachelor.

Warmth snakes against my leg, I am not alone. It must have been a great night, a smile sends another wave of pain through my groggy head, before my heart skips a beat hoping she is at least palatable to look at, especially now that she knows where I live.

Checking my breath, I wish I hadn’t. No next morning kisses here, beckons too many thoughts of attachment anyway. Better to get her out of the flat early, before kickoff. The guys will never let me live this down.

Darkness threatens to overcome my frail consciousness, as I move to sit on the edge of the bed, head in hands. Perhaps I will tell her I have to go to funeral today. Nah, I’d have to remember that if chance ever brought us together again. Work, yeah I have to work.

Honey, you are up early…

Did she just call me honey? My eyes slip to my finger just to make sure I was not that drunk last night. Empty. Whew.

Umm…my words are cut short as I hear rummaging from the other room. Grabbing the Louisville slugger from its place in the corner, the sure wood lends confidence as I pull back, ready to meet whoever is ransacking my apartment.

Daddy!, two small children round the corner, sliding on their footed pajamas, crashing into my legs like stampeding buffalo. The bat clatters to the floor in stark retort, a new wave of nausea thrashes against my stomach, mind racing…

until I notice the kids kinda look like me…

and the lady in my bed just smiles…

Happy Anniversary Dear! Thanks for the best ten years of my life!

What the

Hope you enjoyed part one, now run along to Otin and see how our story progresses...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

55 - the art of evaporation

a blank mind,

pushing back
all that clutters
a blank page,

until slow strokes
spring from my
soft bristle brush,

bringing forth
tension that hides
beneath the surface,

releasing shadows from
the recesses of my heart,

eyes open now
it slowly fades

only water on
a blank page
breathed by
a blank mind.

tell a story in 55 words. want to give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Theme Thursday: Polka Dots



Striking an arch through the blue sky, playing peek-a-boo with fluffy clouds, the little white balls plunk into the fields of green. Wrinkles and creases criss cross the tan leather skin of his hands like tattooed storyboards, as he slips off the well worn golf gloves. His eyes are easy as his smile surveying the polka dotted landscape. Brushed steel buckets in hand we go off to collect them.

Soon enough, we will slip into the kitchen and I will prepare him a tomato sandwich and he will smile again as his gums push through the texture into the juicy goodness. For now though, we relive Easter egg hunts as we chase down the dimpled golf balls returning them to the recesses of the shop until next time.

Some days we pull out the old riding lawn mower and I travel in ever diminishing circles as I cut their grass, a meditation on a simple life. Occasionally an errant golf ball we miss in our searching will fly true out the chute on the side of the mower, propelled by the blade. Cracked, the hard shell gives way to one of the mysteries of life...the nuclear center of the golf ball. Poison, power, combustion...all these thoughts dance in our adolescent dreams when i smuggle them home.

Running the sharp edge of the blade over the rubber bands of the second layer, digging for the center, we are sure we are going to blow the house up, maybe even the town. Anticipation rewards us with...not even a poof. Just one of the mysteries of life discovered while sharing...

love &

polka dots.

Thoughts on taking care of my Great Uncle Lawrence as he grew older.

For more takes on the theme go to Theme Thursday.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Earning stripes

His scream, that is what I will remember.


We are on the way to the ER, Cole busted his head open.

Words barely heard over the symphony of pain that pull my heart strings, until they groan, ready to snap.

We just watched his head disappear through the window and then there was blood.

Puddles of crimson life gathering in the hollows of the hard brown stone, beside the soft prone body.

He was riding his scooter down the ramp your dad built for your mom and he hit the wall.

Memories pull me away from the conversation...

Logan got going to fast and ran through the chain link fence on his big wheel and hit a boat with his face. (Fourteen months ago)

Logan slipped off the stairs and went 'bounce bounce' on the Tupperware tub and flew into the banister. (Two and a half years ago)

I dove through a barb wire fence, catching my leg, parting the meat about fifteen inches. (Twenty two years ago)

Snapping back to reality, the cold phone pressing into my ear...

It will be alright, he's just earning his stripes.

But I still hear the screams.

[Seven stitches straight across the forehead. Boys, what can I say. ]

Monday, January 4, 2010


soft petals part,
brushing my cheek
such delicate caress,
filling my senses
with your
heady perfume
and we...

lay in
fields of
green grass, revolving
around the sun,
erupting in
butterflies dancing
on a breeze...

be my Spring,
lend me your
warmth on a
chilly January

sexuality or spirituality?
both seeking to know and be known,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wet shave

Blue jean and flannel smiles sit on the low brick wall framing the sidewalk, a howdy and hey ya'll handy for the next person that graces the doorstep. Tendrils of smoke ring the candy cane sign in a blue haze, shrouding what is beyond the door in mystery.

Jingle jangle, chipped gold bells hanging on the door, tied up in last years Christmas ribbon announce our presence to the cabal within. Pure essence of man pushes across our pores in a warm wave, a blend of hair tonic and blue liquid from the jar they float the combs in to keep them sterile.

This is where boys become men, in a maroon leather swivel chair.

Stories pass down across the ages, world politics are solved as a straight razors lick the stubble from your chin. Men talk man talk, unashamed, as clumps of hair mingle on the yellow green flecked linoleum around the base of the chair, gathering sins confessed, until Richard limps across the room on the artificial leg that carried him back from Nam' and sweeps them up, like grace.

Mr. Brown was the first man to cut my hair. He also was the first to cut my sons, dressed in a blue shirt, reminiscent of something out of a medical ward. His scissors fall into an easy rhythm lulling you to sleep, taking all your burdens with a dollop of warm shave cream slathering across your face.

These days, I cut my own hair with clippers and a mirror. Mostly I do alright. On days I don't I just shave it all down to soft prickly stubble. Its just hair, it will grow back. Sometimes as I run my fingers across my freshly shorn head, I wish all mistakes could be fixed as easy, sacrificing a little vanity on the bathroom floor, swept away and deposited in a trash can.

Every once in a while, I like to revisit the barber, putting my life in their hands as they massage my neck with the shave cream, then stretch it with their sure fingers and run the sharp edge across my throat. There is nothing like that feeling after a wet shave, it makes you a new man.

And as I watch Richard sweep the hair in the red metal dust pan, it reminds me of the grace I sometimes forget to give myself.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

160 - headstand

grab soil,
as trees
dangle limbs
like skirts,
over the sun
drowning in
deep blue sky,
geese backstroking
on its surface.

can you see

what can you say in 160 characters? go see monkey man.

Friday, January 1, 2010

resolute revolt

it is a sucker punch, he knows, i can tell by his smile as my stomach discharges between breathes in murky puddles on the cold concrete sidewalk.

steel limbs support rubber coated cables, tools in the art of torture. strapping me to the rack, he stretches me out, pushing me beyond the point i am willing to spill state secrets, just to keep him at bay.

brian miller...blah...blah...blah...whatever you want to hear...

cool water crashes against my face, attempting to revive me for yet another round. i think he enjoys his job a bit much, pulling on his leather gloves so as not to leave a mark. wickedness is the color of his eyes.

are you ready for more?

he taunts my masculinity, abusing my spirit, pushing me to break fully with each chrome plated implement he pulls from his bag of tricks. the man at the gym is trying to kill me.

when his exercise regimen doesn't quite finish me off, he tries to strangle me with a protein shake, which is how i end up on my knees, under the floodlights out front, watching every horrible thing i ate over the holidays drip slowly into the gutter.

i try to save those making their way toward the door, lemmings on their way to extinction. a few laugh, cold and uncomfortable, already doubting they have what it takes.

it is the week after dawning of the new year, where resolutions go to die...

...when you realise it might actual take work, and progress marches ever so slow. the journey toward your goal stretches well passed the horizon, and it seems so much easier just to take it out on others, find an easier way or just give up.

but then, nothing would ever change.