Friday, October 26, 2012

Penny Bloom Throws the Ball

Penny Bloom set the rubber ball on her chipped white desk when she got home. She sat in her uncomfortable chair and stared at it. Why did she take it? It's not like she particularly needed a rubber ball. Penny wondered why she did a lot of things. She stood up and opened her bedroom window. It was dark outside and everyone seemed to be inside their homes. Penny grabbed the rubber ball and threw it as hard as she could out the window. It dropped from the second story and bounced when it hit the ground. And bounced. And bounced. And bounced. Soon enough, the rubber ball left Penny Bloom's line of vision, probably bouncing from rooftop to rooftop forever.

She looked up at the night sky and thought she saw a shooting star, but decided it was only an airplane.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Honey in My Hair

The grass beards
were full of ants.
They marched up

and down
our faces
as we
and laughed.

Let's not race home.
Let's not care.

Monday, September 17, 2012


The past popped out like a giant monster, pulling her hair and covering her eyes with its dozen tentacles. She couldn't see the present. She couldn't see the future. Just the past's slimy skin pressing against her eyelids. Its breath stunk of regret as it whispered the names of people she hadn't seen in years. "Get off me!" she screamed, thrashing back and forth, attempting to throw the past off her back. "But I'm unresolved. You can't move forward!" it said. She dug her fingernails into the past's clouded eyes and it let out a whimper. It tumbled down and fell to the ground, whispering, "Remember, remember, remember when..." She flung her closet door open and tossed the past inside, saying, "You'll always be unresolved, you're the past!" She slammed the door and walked away, glancing back once or twice.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Living on the Outside of Your Skin

crumpled underneath stars
lost in the monstrous desert
we never knew this would stop
believed we could live forever

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Room

The room was trembling as she walked in. Tears rolled down the chartreuse wallpaper, landing on the floor with a great splash. She jumped across the large puddles, not wanting to ruin her penny loafers. The ceiling fan hung crookedly from the ceiling, making a sound similar to sobbing as it spun slowly.

“What’s wrong?” she asked the room.

“Everyone left,” it replied.

“I’m here.”

“But I don’t know you.”

She grabbed a dirty towel off the floor and wiped the wet walls in small, circular motions. “Shh, it’s OK,” she said, pressing her cheek against the wall. “I’ll never leave you.”

“I don’t believe you, but what else is there?” it said.

The trembling ceased and the fan stopped spinning. The tears continued to run, but eventually they might stop.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I love our little home. Renewed the lease yesterday and it feels comforting; I wasn't ready to let go. I'll know when it's time. There are still things to accomplish here.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Thomas Brimm Meets the Dead

The dissolving bath bubbles resembled faces. The faces of the dead, the boy thought. But who were they and what did they want with him? He was only eight, after all. He poked one of the faces right on the nose, and it disintegrated. There was a faint howl of pain. The boy stuck his ear in the water and jumped up almost immediately after, hearing small voices whispering "help." He pounded his fists into the water, into the face of each dead person. Water splashed everywhere, hitting the walls, the tiled floor, and even the ceiling. "I can't help you!" he screamed.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Penny Bloom Meets a Helmeted Boy

Penny Bloom took a step to the left as the rubber ball whizzed past her head. She looked over her right shoulder and only saw a tree. She looked over her other shoulder and saw a head sticking out from behind the tree. It quickly retreated. She picked up the ball and walked towards the tree. "I know you're there," she said. "You don't know anything," the tree replied. Penny walked around the tree. A short boy in a football helmet stared up at her. "I'm keeping this," she said, holding up the rubber ball in her hand. Before the boy had a chance to protest, Penny ran off with the ball. A small "No!" followed her all the way home.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


As they drink
Sweet coffee
Out of old
Dingy shoes
The powdered
Sugar air
Stings their lungs.
The drab girl
Standing at
The counter
Is picking
Moths out of
Cookie dough.
Above them
The ceiling
Stained with milk
Begins to
Crumble on
Their slick heads.
The old floor
Coated in
Cake batter
Gives up hope
And the girl
With the pair
Drop forever
Into pure

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Cats of Boyfriends Past

The cats in Caroline Jackson's apartment smelled. They hardly ever cleaned themselves, but when they would, giant hairballs would litter the hardwood floor. These, as well as pebbles tracked from the litter boxes and pellets of hard food, were stepped on regularly by Caroline. She hated the whiny animals, but she couldn't bring herself to get rid of them. Previous boyfriends had given each one to her, and consequently, she saw the various men's features within each fur-covered face. Carl, the Siamese, had a thin mustache that he habitually licked when caught in anxious situations. Simon, the Manx, jiggled his double chin when laughing. Peter, the Calico, squinted his eyes most of the time, due to never acquiring a needed pair of glasses. But Xavier, the Sphynx, was the worst of all, always furrowing his brows in disapproval of Caroline's actions.

Caroline had realized Xavier had become a problem after she opened her front door one night to find the feline sitting at the top of the staircase, yellow eyes staring down at her. It was almost three o'clock in the morning. Sure, she had jokingly told the cats she would be home before one, but of course she didn't think they really cared. Xavier held his gaze, as if punishing Caroline for missing her curfew. She slowly shut the door behind her and began walking towards the stairs. The cat hacked twice, looked at Caroline again, and turned around, prowling into the darkness. Caroline made sure to close her bedroom door that night before falling asleep.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I ran through the overgrown fields brown with drought all afternoon, my dirty clenched fists swinging here and there, my ripped dress twisting behind me. The tears formed two white lines running down each of my brown-stained cheeks, like war paint. I had buried it, and now it was gone. Gone, like I promised Henry it would be. I trust you, Dorrance, he had said. I trust you.

The men in heavy boots and torn jeans stopped chasing me after a good while, calling out all sorts of bad words and saying, “Just wait ‘till we tell your daddy about this!” I didn’t care if they told my daddy or not, I wasn’t going to stop running. I could run for hours without getting beat. One time, I ran so long I ended up in a different county. I had to call daddy to come pick me up and he wasn’t too happy with me about that, hollering, didn’t you know how far you were going, and saying with a sigh, sometimes I just wonder about you, girl. Sometimes I wonder about me, too. Like, what ever made me get involved with Henry Gibb.

Henry Gibb was a year ahead of me at Winnsboro High, which meant he could drive. That’s probably why when he talked to me that day in the parking lot I decided to talk back. That, and he said I had the shiniest hair he’d ever seen. I guess we spent almost every day together after that, drinking sodas on the hood of his car, parked in front of the Pic N’ Pay. We usually didn’t say much, maybe a “the weather’s nice” once in awhile, and an “I’m bored” some other times. Sometimes he would reach out and touch my hair, smoothing it underneath his fingers, as if comforting me. At first, I thought it was a pretty weird thing for him to do, but I started to like it after awhile, feeling a sense of security beneath that pale hand of his. As long as Henry Gibb continued to pet my hair, I felt somewhat safe around him. So that’s why, when he asked me to do a favor for him, I agreed to help.

We’d been sitting on his car one unparticular night, Henry’s boney arms bent behind him, his head rolled back upon his shoulders, gazing at the black sky. I was picking at the small burs stuck in my knee socks, thinking about all the different things we could say to one another but didn't have to. He cleared his throat all a sudden, which startled me a little, and asked if I thought we were friends. I said, “Sure, we are,” and asked him why he would wonder a thing like that. Without a word, he jumped off the hood of the car and went around to the trunk. He came back holding a large, ancient-looking key, letting it droop from his fingers as if it were too heavy to carry. He explained that no one could know he had that key and when I asked why, he wouldn't say. He wouldn't say a damned thing about it, not even what it was for. I should've known at that very moment that there was something fishy about Henry and his mysterious key. I definitely should've known, and I definitely should've said I didn't want nothing to do with it.

After I laid eyes on that spooky key, it stuck in my mind for a good while. I was fascinated by the rusted curve of the handle, and wanted to find out where it belonged to more than anything. However, after I did find out months later, I really wish I hadn't. Everyone seemed to be after that stupid key and Henry Gibb knew it too, that's why he pawned it off on me like the weasel he was. Soon as I knew it, I was hiding that key in the back of my closet, telling Henry it was safe. Boy, was I wrong. That key was no safer there than it was out in the wide open, and I was no longer safe under the lanky fingers of Henry Gibb. I had to get out of there, and so did that dumb key.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Sometimes I can't breathe--

Other times I can't breathe--

The honey to my fry bread,
coat me in warm confections.

I'm stuck

to your adherent personality,
keeping all right.

A Midwest mindset,
a tenacious Texan.
Chili with beans,
chili without.

Now you are (a part
of) me. And I am
(a part of) you.
Who is to say

who is who?

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Schlepping down uneven cement, this woman wants to believer
nothing is following her rickety shadow. Snot tendrils
travel south over the ridge of her rouged upper-lip,
chillingly seeping into this woman's mouth

she trips.

I do not move the maple branch strewn across the way or call
this woman's name. I merely watch as the stranger lolls
over, eroding appendages clenching for something.
Expansive jaws agape, this woman is quiet

he feasts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dangling Feet

Strung above the unsteady coast, the crepe-paper clouds
ripple with a pull of thread, resembling waves...
we drift away in our clothespin bodies.

Earth is lost beneath us and we peer only skyward,
not wanting to say, "We might regret this."

The comfort lies only upon our chiffon ship
and the lasting bond laced between our tender fingers.