new poem “Little Red Suitcase” published in oddball – this very cool magazine
I hope you’ll check it out. I kept a little red suitcase in my childhood bedroom closet for many years-
I was always ready to run away…
little red suitcase
Glasses stretch another piece of writing on the basement desk.
A string of words magnified beneath the resting lenses. All other
sentences, words I’ve written and know as well as the magnified
ones, settle back into the smallness of shadows.
A small red suitcase.
Stashed in my closet for when the ideas in my head can’t take the
body impersonating them any longer. A child and her red suitcase.
Bottom of the closet next to my dog Charlie with the chopped off
ears. He’s curly pink. I cut his ears off so he won’t have to hear
what I do in my head.
My typewriter is turquoise. I remember it that way. Near the desk table,
my fifth and sixth parakeets most likely named Budgie One and Two
because that’s what they were. Maybe bright blue and bright green
parakeets don’t like what they see in their little bird mirror. No room
for suitcases in their orange cage so they just die.
No flying away when the windows are shut
and people are supposed to love you.
Across the bridge where snow meets the sea, I comb my hair while wishing I were a swan. His broad hands stroke my delicate neck, gentle and curving on the point of a star.
I wake. Those same comforting hands are strangling me in the emptiness of shadow. Moonlight gives him the power to see my neck breaking, my jugular turning deep violet like the purple bed sheets of his new lover.
There was a time I would have gladly fallen beyond salvation. I’d have welcomed the pain. A tailspin drop to his bed, his mouth, his body. He touched my flesh and treasure books lost their gilded words. Warm gold lines melted into my bones. His shield of dragon horn turned silk upon our pressed bodies. He was magnificent. Those beautiful lips once whispered, “I love you.” The simple act of survival taught me to fight back. How many times must I do battle. I’ve grown weary. One weakness bests another. Pain rouses conviction, but I no longer possess the courage to face morning upright.
If my wand held an ounce of magic, I’d demand my mind dismiss its owner of memories. Dreams collect in a thick midnight veil, and waking hours are cloaked in cold light, light we once practiced magic in. A barred owl screeches as it lowers for a kill on the dark flattened tracks. The silver train streaks across the sky, but I’m not in a rail car. Trapped in a place that’s damning me, I will not adjust to the light. The sun is much too bright. It scorches earth and steals water. Charred holes open up into blackness and I watch all the white rabbits disappear. In darkness, I might remember the moon in kinder hours. Gentle arms cross my body where we lay together. Gold melts into my skin. His hands caress my neck. I scratch at his eyes then fly away.
created with prisma pencil
New flash piece, character drive and I do love Myrtle Lee. “He relished Putty Cat’s pancakes flipped in the tiny space devoured up by her curves.”
I’m again so very honored to be included in NowThenMagazine, in their wonderful WORD LIFE section. Thank you.
Myrtle Lee “Putty Cat” Jameson
Myrtle Lee “Putty Cat” Jameson lived in the years where many tried making a go of it, the in-betweens of lovemaking, family gatherings, breakdowns and slumber. At the tender age of eighteen, Myrtle Lee joined a long journey shipping crew to transport rail goods and collect inspiration. Assigned to the cargo ship, A4 Sunset, her form cut a proud silhouette against the sky. Broad-shouldered men, not admitting to inebriation by the mere presence of her coconut flesh, found themselves dreaming of her with their vigilant eyes open.
But it was ‘his’ mad blue ocean eyes that were deepest. Their stolen moments together when Putty Cat’s warmth flowed down his back to the soft underparts of his toes. “You are burned into the very chest of me,” he’d groan to heaven.
In the bright kitchenette, Myrtle Lee often sang with a barefoot saunter to choke out the Apocalypse. He relished Putty Cat’s pancakes flipped in the tiny space devoured by her curves. Here, syrup poured from her sweet veins. How the vision of her in his dark wide eyes, hushed him quiet when the day had been long and life rolled hard. He wanted nothing anymore, save for the treasures, to keep Putty Cat joyful.
Sometimes Myrtle Lee cried herself to sleep. Whenever his back sweat reflected a cargo ship moon, and night breathing summoned waves against the Sunset’s bow, Putty Cat remembered. A shadow dream of the man with the mad blue ocean eyes. The well-boned hands of his sliding from the tips of her satin ears to her blushing thighs. The mountain of a man sleeping beside her, who loved her more than she loved herself, could never fill the sand hole. Memories spun invisible lines holding afloat her sinking heart. Her heart near an ocean bottom too deep for light.
A southern belle from the South Bronx was Myrtle Lee “Putty Cat” Jameson. She sealed her peace the first time she witnessed heaven’s orange flames spread across the Atlantic–like warm peanut butter on burnt toast. Beyond the great blue, she expected to meet all her shipmates again. And ‘him,’ her lost lover with the mad ocean eyes. The man who’d died too young holding her heart.
honored and thrilled to have a new flash fiction piece, Sharpies and Coconut Macaroons, published in this terrifically absurd magazine
“The Absurdist is a small monthly periodical of absurdist flash fiction and illustrations, printed and distributed in Portland, Oregon and shared digitally around the world.”
Nella wants to tie people down. Not everyone. Just those with hair like piles of snow. Their old translucent skin resplendent in odd brown patches and mottled crimson swatches. Nella believes wrinkled skin is cosmically linked. She must bind old people together and connect their age spots with Sharpies to make star maps to God. Old bodies are closer to heaven each day. She has visions.
The giant Moai heads of Easter Island are not empty. No one is empty. Nella feels empty. Her head hurts all the time. She sees invisible stars on wrinkled skin.
The other night while she was walking home from the Quik Mart with a coconut macaroon stuffed in each pocket, an elderly couple strolled by her. They were so close, Nella could smell the accumulated years on their skin. The gentleman held, not his wife’s bony elbow, but a tiny Pomeranian. The hobbling couple were glowing more than the bitty dog’s sequined collar. Twinkling glass shards embedded in the grimy sidewalk dulled to dirt near their worn shuffling shoes.
Nella thought about using her green belt to tie them together but feared her pants would fall down. Besides that, the Pomeranian would likely bite her in the ass. And anyway, she wasn’t armed with a stalwart Sharpie. The Quik Mart worker said they expected a Sharpie shipment sometime tomorrow. Nella was dubious. The young man behind the counter had done nothing but stare at her breasts. She’d forgotten to wear her only bra, blue and decorated with black Sharpie stars.
Not defeated, just delayed, Nella climbed the seven flights to her apartment. She ate her coconut macaroons and danced by herself. She used her long brown hair to dust the floor while dreaming about star maps.
Her head is not empty. It is full of ropes and lights and hammers. Endless headaches reminded her to work when she feels lazy. She needs God’s help.
She swallowed the last bits of coconut then leaned out her apartment window.
Down below, so many old people to tie together. So many chances to find salvation. ♦