He has published with Black Wire, Indiana Voice Journal, Rain/Disaster/Party, Ijagun Poetry Journal and Behhutet.
Featured here are two flash fiction pieces.
THE FLIM-FLAM MAN
So he took a train to a Station in a town he knew nothing about. He has come to take advantage, but of what? Perhaps a ‘Mark’ but hopefully it is the view or exotic cuisine. He wanted to know: how could there be an evening breeze on a southern porch with moaning slaves, or would a trickling river sound melodious full of advancing solders; to him it is a feeling of wandering toward a cliff on a moonless midnight.
You think him a lunatic? You might be right. He follows the moon and studies its influence, like tonight there is a full moon in Scorpio. However relevance depends on a flimsy feeling that this is ART, thus not really conclusive but comforting.
He knew the only way to find answers this abstract is to close his eyes and go – just imagine. This will not happen until he can follow the tempo of natural history while free of any belief in it and act without sharp edges. His need for protocol made fear the supreme ruler defended by an army of reasons. He had to let go.
What is a lunatic anyway?
He got off the train and headed to the center of town to find a hotel. It did not take long before he found the Terminal. “That sounds a portentous place to rest. Death? I do not fear death, in fact I despise not living out of fear of death, but to tell the truth I have this sick feeling I have not lived in years – I am one of the living dead. This is what fears, dread and regrets can do to you – you don’t see there is always YET TO BE”
He saw a plain looking woman sitting on a couch in the lobby and sat next to her and asked, “Why are you here?”
She looked alarmed and said sharply, “Why are you bothering me?”
“Not only will I tell you why, I will show you; it is time to get to the point.”
“And that is?” She looked about for Security.
“I am me and you are you.”
She looked at him alarmed, “why me?”
“That seems basic or obvious but it is not. You believe that you are not who you want to be and you believe I am not who I should be, but rather have some motives and desires as other men. You see the ego does not obey love but rather whatever most satisfies. Is that on purpose? Purpose is the prime reason for asking why to be answered with ‘because’. This is what makes things difficult, in fact is a major pain in the ass. If you think something is good - you want it, yet then you realize that thing is bad and must be avoided; thus you are divided and full of stress.”
“You have made me acutely aware of that fact” she felt her heart pounding, “in fact I want to run.”
“Running is a good for de-stressing”
“I want you to go away.”
“If you can just give up wanting things your way, you will be eternally happy – you can fly beyond the green and rolling hills.”
“You’re a lunatic!”
“Yes,” he told her getting up from the couch, “words are just words.”
He turned to check into the Terminal thinking, “it’s both seedy and expensive. The people in the lobby look like either hardened criminals or suckers – mostly suckers! You’d have to be a sucker to stay in a dump like this or wanted by the law.”
Well what is a sucker but is a fool with no imagination, otherwise he would imagine these kindly old men with bridges to sell are flim-flam men. Well what the hell.
Anyway the lobby looks clean but stinks with a rancid mop odor, stale tobacco and vomit. The walls, ceiling, and curtains have a warm brown patina. He smiled knowing he would never feel at home here.
One of the thugs hanging in the lobby jumps on the elevator as he goes up to his room, “Hey buddy, you looking for a good time?”
“Hey I got it all - girls, boys, card games, craps, you looking to get high – I got it.”
“Who do I call to get rid a somebody?”
“Who do ya wanta get rid a?”
It’s like the bottom just arrived from nowhere. I adjusted my hat and set off to save the day, or at least what part of it I could save. I just had to keep a fire burning in my heart or at least try to make things right - you see I have been dreaming too long to stop now but I do need to get back in the groove of life. It is what I call consolidating information as I gain it.
Peddling down the streets on my two-wheel cruiser, I see worlds open and close before my very eyes. An Angel of light raises her sword and scales, behold! the wheels start turning. I focus my eyes on the real only to realize I am on Coney Island and the turning wheels are spinning tops and a Ferris wheel. The ups and downs of life are a roller-coaster and the angel is a gypsy reading cards.
Now it all comes clear: There are people searching for new ways to feel alive or get dead drunk. But dig – that is where it gets dicey like a real gobfest. I walked into a shadow and everybody is dead! I mean they are transparent like spirits - the phosphorescent sort – it was shocking – like live wire!
I said, “Hey where did you come from and how did you get here?”
“We come from Paradise fun house – that’s where the brain falls to pondering good and evil if you don’t mind”
“Crazy man so how you taking it in?”
“The good stuff is cool but Evil? That’s a bummer.”
“Well I can dig it.”
“That damned fruit ain’t that tasty either – kinda bitter – but boy what a change.”
Then there are the sands of change and the mystery of fun and fear. Oh yes oh yes there is that connection - the edge of danger - the tension and then the release. It’s all about going up slow and down fast.
On that I flew down the Avenue of Desire - the thrill - the chase and the catch and …the satisfaction. That’s where I saw her, Madam Death – just like Bukowsky described. She never looked so beautiful as she did that day.
I had to have her; she brings fresh fever from the skies and around her I feel alive!
“It is a beautiful day when I see you.” I said with all my earthly charm.
“Come on let’s sleep together.” She whispered
“I’ll stay awake if you don’t mind.”
“So, tell me truthfully, are you having fun?”
“Well you gotta try.”
“Come lets ride the rollercoaster together.”
“I’ll stick to Ferlingetti’s of the mind.”
“It’s all words.”
“I’m braver there”
“But I thought you wanted me,” she said with all her allure.
“Yes but not asleep lets do something more exciting…like have, a big bang.”
First published in Black Wire