Sweet Juice

Unlike Percy who grew up in a small town west of Grey Grove, Ontario, Bash was a ‘lifer’. The midsized city was home to four major penitentiaries, so long-term residents were called lifers. His parents owned and operated Ashbarrow Drugs, an independent pharmacy in the downtown core, established during the first year of their marriage. […]

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Being Funny And Happy Is Not In The Cards

She downloaded forty Christmas movies but we never watched any of them The ice storm entered her hands and she was unable to hold the controller, push the little buttons Darkness came into the room and the depth of her paralysis went through the floor and rode the rats running in the basement What a […]

All My Eye And Betty Martin

The prison cell was cold and dark, like they were supposed to be, and the priest sat on a chair facing a man who was talking low and deliberate.  A final confession was evolving with the sort of details only a condemned killer would know.   So, I took him into the woods, below the […]

Greyhound

Emmaline had sprung for a round trip ticket from St. Louis to Reno. It only made two stops on the way out: At fucking Midway Airport in the goddamn city of Chicago and at fucking Denver International where her brother Ug lived with that bitch he called a wife. Did she want to meet her […]

There Are Ways To Know People

There are ways to be known During the day, walking around, parties and handshakes Standing silent in a crowd Friends and strangers brushing by But then there are the naked, warm-skin ways The smiling, euphoric, lucky ways Clothes on the floor or draped across a chair Hands pulling a body inside where everything resides   […]

Before The Lights Go Out

When the day is done and your arms are like black lines, really no more than threads dangling from a spool And your hands can no longer feel Nor your lips You decide to revisit the past, what came before, in the early morning, when smoke was choking your throat So you drive back to […]

Rotten Rose

Percy Flage was her stage name. Not that she ever stepped foot on an actual stage during her brief career as a therapy clown. Strictly speaking, stages, spotlights, curtains, and everything else used in theatrical productions weren’t part of her performances. Concrete floors, fluorescent lights, beeping medical machines, and extras in the form of nurses […]

Two Poem Pillow

First poem tossed and turned: I deleted it after eating leftovers from a non-traditional meal of dried bark A confused poem about floating in a black vacuum, like a pirate flag And then there was a dry well and a bunch of people dressed in robes and feathers, buckets of blood, etc. It was lousy […]