Man in the van

This afternoon, I went to the market.  As I was locking my car, I noticed an old man in the driver's seat of a van.  His head was down, as if sleeping, and my idle mind thought "Oh, he's probably having a nap, waiting on the wife." In about fifteen minutes, I came back out. ... Continue Reading →


They headed down the valley With their wine and picnic lunch. The periwinkles blooming They gathered by the bunch. Happily remembering The times that they had spent As children, in the old ravine Inside a makeshift tent. With jam and jelly sandwiches They'd huddled from the rain And hoped that in the days to come They'd... Continue Reading →


His ears have been ringing for thousands of days, as from a hard slap, but it stays and it stays. A similar sound to a siren that plays without losing its pitch pipe perfection. A strangling snake seems to coil, and to tighten. Never to loosen, never to lighten. Its singular purpose to cow and... Continue Reading →

My Wife Story

She works all day, all week Nigh to thirty years at the same mundane place Nothing to show but her name in the company newsletter And a couple of gold pins But wait....there are many friends she has made She is a charitable soul Helps the food bank And a family that's in need Offers... Continue Reading →

Loss and blame

A person very close to me met his death, at a young age, some years ago. Cancer it was, and it spread very rapidly, a “good thing” for those of us who loved him. Like many of us, he had his faults and sins, and had been an alcoholic and a heavy smoker for some... Continue Reading →

Sing Sing

I sing.  I have sung to myself since the tender age of 12, when music first reached me.  I begged for a guitar, and one finally came at Christmas time.  A couple of days beforehand, I did a devilish thing.  Searched our apartment while Mom and Dad were out.  Found the guitar underneath their bed, already... Continue Reading →

A Night at Pinetop’s Tavern

The best piece I have read in some time.

Brighton Rose

Somewhere in the back alleys of the city’s older section there was a crumbling brick building that had been around since before ragtime music was popular. Hanging above a faded green door that led down to the building’s cellar was a wooden sign, and despite the peeling paint, you could still make out the bar’s name: Pinetop’s Tavern.  Nobody really knew when Pinetop’s first opened; local folks would tell you it had been there since time began, and the world had grown up around it. It was one of those places where the lighting was always dim and the cigarette smoke never dissipated and the cloud you were breathing now had probably been around since W. C. Handy was still alive.

Pinetop’s Tavern was a blues joint, and it had been around almost as long as blues music itself. Blues music was a lot simpler than most kinds of music—simpler…

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The Music of the Greats Charges the very neurons of the mind They glow brightly As if from a sudden injection of quicksilver I think And the ones that are the keepers of memory Secrete themselves and wait until called, Often in times of great need. Cadence, phrasing, pauses, One note eyeing and speaking to... Continue Reading →

Small things bring a smile

Lay on the bed Body like lead It's already half past the noon Swallowing guilt For this brick wall you've built That blots out the sun and the moon The Doc gave you pills For the cure of these ills But you still feel like going to Confession And you cannot revive Or feel half... Continue Reading →

From Thralldom to Salvation

"Are you an anxious person?", the therapist said. Our man then recalled the thoughts and emotions that preceded his blackout at the wheel on that wintry night not so long ago.  He had awakened, after what seemed only a few seconds, with his car in the ditch, a fat lip, and a bloody nose.  Otherwise,... Continue Reading →

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