Tagged Creative Challenge #3

The Ticket

Tucked under a box of Kleenex and a small sewing kit, the Dutch Masters cigar box rested in the drawer of Grandma Beth’s small oak nightstand. On Monday, after her funeral, my son Jesse and I started to pack up everything in the tiny apartment. I sat on the bed and opened the box. She’d…

My Father’s Self-Portraits

on his Piscean road to Emmaus to pierce Kleio’s veil (and all other linear time illusions) to comprehend the Nature beneath nature, the Word beneath words, his Tao-fish heart double-frames found impressions: morning mist steaming off frozen Silver Lake affirms fire’s deeper breath; Canada Geese (warmed by thermal eiderdown) brooding over the peach-pink sun within…

The Pleasure of Your Company

Instead of writing a toast for Jocelyn Feingold’s rehearsal dinner, Mara wasted the flight from St. Louis to Chicago thinking about Mr. Feingold—Jocelyn’s dad and the intermittent object of Mara’s fantasies for two decades. You’re ridiculous, she told herself while glancing at her husband, Aaron, asleep in the next seat. “The fantasies aren’t about Mr.…

Sound, Unsound

To wake is an annihilation. The wool gathered  Blown and scattered In draughts of sound that flap from above. And the want to grasp at facts Is killer; The want to seal the cracks Is bigger Than any bribe  A dream might offer. Now the light steals in All hasty and foolish and brilliant, As…

Hometown, Iowa

This is the town where the dogs blend in with the pavement, where the air chokes with the smell of the pigs, and your neighbor greets you with wire gray hair and twisted teeth. Instead of hello, his mouth gives a grinding noise, metal on metal, intermittent.     EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected…

Do Not Neglect a Gunlocke

Pulling, twisting, turning, ripping. Dust fills my workspace and the smell of cat urine makes the air unbreathable. Pliers, a hammer and a flat screwdriver break bones, tear tendons and remove cotton padding from the chair I adopted from Wendy at work. She had two chairs, identical in design and similar in disrepair, but they…

Jumble

Charred Landscape A jumble of buildings squatted some distance away, dark and low What used to be a harvest moon Rises in the background History no longer remembers this place. A cracked highway, weed-choked and crumbling Traces the exit of humanity’s footprint Leaving nothing else behind except A jumble of buildings squatted some distance away,…

Robot Love

It begins with a spark, short, bright, lightning in the command center. There is a shock of movement, steel lips link, lock, a pop as one lip splits. They fall to the floor, long limbs clanging. Try to find a purchase. For a moment they mimic a thrust, hard breathing, one cries out in ecstatic…