Lucid smiles slide off

leaves, playgrounds, benches.

Everywhere is the smell of laughter—

A wet, gentle sheen

that speaks of happiness, hope

and nostalgia. A puddle.

For one second, you are again

A child.

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Gabriel’s Oboe

Gabriel’s Oboe.

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When I listen to “Gabriel’s Oboe” by Ennio Morricone,  I can see an old, crushed man, huddled on a stool. His face- so lined. The stream follows the channels carved into his cheeks and nose and drip onto her hand.  She lies still under the gaudy, patchwork quilt-  so serene in death. “Irene, I’m alone. You promised to stay. Stay.” Wooden grief, broken frame. He bows his silver head onto the quilt while the linotype pictures silently witness his breaking. He is alone.

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A Three-Word Horror Story

Perhaps it’s my logophilia or just caffeinated imagination, but I have always had a strong reaction to words. Some words just flow off the tongue like milk: sinuous or undulating. Others seem to stab with their edges: corrugated and juncture.

And then there are those disgusting words. Words which, when emanated, provide the deepest feelings of revulsion and shivers. Words which seep nightmares.

Those who know me best have a shortened list in their head and they know to tiptoe around me when said phrases are uttered. But I felt it was time to allow those adjectives to breathe a little. Since they will never again be acknowledged in my lifetime.

  • Moist: oozing wetness, with a touch of mildew; sometimes resilience

            The moist amoeba slithered across the petri dish.

  • Crusty: dried, shriveled, disintegrating; mostly dead

            Lying in a shadowed corner, the crusty brown spider twitched its leg.

  • Succulent: shapeless but palpable; room temperature

           “Mmmm…. Succulent…” Mable murmured as her butterscotch pudding plopped into a puddle.

These adjectives are listed more or less, in their order of power with the accompanying sensory experience. As time goes by and I have more visceral reactions, this list will probably grow.

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autumn leaves

Swirling drafts of burgundy, haunted expectancy

chills the listener. He stoops, gathering a golden

memory that crumples like paper in his hand.

Everywhere, silence filled with whispers.

Shadows lengthen as the lemon days of

forgetfulness say goodbye.

Hush. Hussshhhh…

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