He would often take up
residence at the Cafe Intermezzo–
a palace where cadres of quixotic
Gen-Xers would spend their cigarette
money on coffee, and once-a-month
pre-atrophy middle-aged couples would
rove for over-indulgent desserts that
would make the lactose intolerant faint —
where he would wax poetic, Nay!, regale,
rhapsodize even, concerning the joys and
infernal simplicity of past lovers. The
in-depth palaver could last for hours and
be heard over all other conversation, over
even the hiss and clang and wheeze of the
industrial capuchino machines.
It was enough to set off a continual
vibration in my skull — right behind the ear,
in the mastoid, bitch of a headache —
making the task of bilking the wanna-be
coffee connoisseurs out of another
five-plus-tip next to impossible.
In the corner the violist played in
obscurity — thinking to put herself
through medical school on a talent
no one here appreciated, and tips that
never matched her skill — with a half smile,
as she imagined the spindle of thread and
the dull needle she would use to suture
the blowhard’s lips together.
(Photo credit: Curtis Cronn)
For her Monday Melting, Shawna has selected a set of evil, wicked mean sadistic…umm, excuse me, ‘challenging’ words. Check them out and play along. FYI, there is a Cafe Intermezzo in Atlanta (and I am sure elsewhere), this is not that place, in the poem or pic.
It was not the job
she wanted —
no woman would —
on display on a French
But she ate, had nice things,
rare for a girl around here.
Her, on the perch, was the
madam showing off,
she did not take clients
that way; no, she was
special, commanding more
than some passing sailor
She wore yellow flowers
in her auburn hair,
but never when she worked,
only on the days she could
get away from the city.
They were fresh and pretty,
reminding her of what she
once was, and hoped to be
again some day.
She rarely gave in to tears,
and never, ever, where
another could see, but
sometimes when alone,
and the loneliness, emptiness,
was too much to bear,
and there were no yellow
flowers for her hair.
The pewter-grey clouds look ominous,
dark horizon where a sunset should be,
sending tourist indoors.
I wander the empty lanes, indifferent to
to imminent rain. The cries and beating of
seagull wings follow me into
intractable flocks undeterred by
the oncoming storm, their only concern
to accomodate perpetual hunger,
never ones to squander opportunity —
haunting reminders of a sea
close enough to salt my skin,
blue-green waters I dare not
gaze upon for fear I might see
the color of her eyes.
Written for The Sunday Whirl wordle. Also posted to Sunday Scribblings.
The taste that was once so appealing
had lost some magic,
though the rush was still there…
the power that accompanied the
sudden spurt and flow of
another lives liquid.
The typical, inevitable outcome
of the hunt had even lost
most of its thrill,
shrill trill of screams no
Occasionally, that last look
in a victims eyes —
full of fear and final acceptance —
provided a small amusement.
The taking of men’s souls
had become tiresome,
bereft of joy and lifeless
as the husk of bodies
she left behind.
I’ll see your Dante and Raise you a High Bartender listening to Hotel California
It was a hazy room,
to the extreme — almost cloudy indoors —
masking the crowd of
incoherent, murmuring babble
overrides the hum of
those fluent in
abnormal, sexless dancers
grind on poles
a slow death to
fallen and found clump
together in loose knots
faith shaken like the
cloudy drinks made of
the doormen guard the velvet
rope against the walls
there are exit signs
everywhere but no
Profile of Dante Alighieri, one of the most renowned Italian poets, painted by his contemporary Giotto di Bondone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My fantasy short story Racing the Hand is featured today on The Book Times. It is the story of a twelve year old orphan providing for his siblings by being a ‘runner’ in the rough streets of The Hand. Fast paced and fun.
Give it a read a let me know what you think!
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)