OLWG# 279- Sorry, I Couldn’t Sleep

Written for OLWG# 279

Marty woke up cold.
It was still dark out.
“What time is it?”


She threw the blanket back,
sat up, and spun on the edge of the bed
to pull on her slippers.

POP                      POP                      POP

She could see the glow of the kitchen light down the hall.


“Damnit, Pat!” She yelled,
“You went back to that discount firework stand, didn’t you?”
She padded down the hall and there sat Pat.
Eating white powder doughnuts and drinking beer;
lighting Black Cats with a punk and tossing ‘em out the window.

POP, POP,POP                  POP

“What time is it?” Marty hollered.
“Donuts? Did you buy doughnuts?
What the fuck?”
Pat lifted the box of doughnuts and offered ‘em to Marty
Tossed a few more Black Cats out.


Marty reached for the box of pastries,
“Don’t you have any whisky?” she asked.
Pat’s head shook – side to side,
“No hard stuff left.
Only beer. You wanna play?”


This week’s prompts were:

  1. soft liquor
  2. discount fireworks
  3. when I’m fast asleep

ZOZO- 22.Sep.2022 Cowboy Burt

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

Burt got down from his horse, Ranger, and untied the canteen. As he drank he walked to a point of land that afforded a panoramic view of the valley that stretched below. Nothing but rocks, dirt, and cactus as far as the eye could see.

Goddamn, this stinkin’ desert, he thought outloud, speaking to no one in particular, merely pronouncing the fact.

He returned to Ranger and pulled some hard tack and jerky from the saddlebag before walking back to the point, where he settled down beneath the spreading branches of a large Cholla. He leaned back and made himself comfortable and looked up at the empty sky. Only the contrails of a couple fighter jets, long ago vanished over the horizon, and a flock of buzzards circling nearby, to the east.

Burt fell asleep in the mottled sun that made its way through the branches of the large cactus. He dreamed.

In his dream he shared a bed with Consuela, they made love and then lay together. He studied her bedroom eyes and ran his hands across her smooth and supple body.

“I wrote a poem for you, Burt,” she whispered, as she nuzzled her lips against his neck. Her breath warm on his skin.

In his contentment Burt could only manage a rumbling, “Hmmm. Let’s hear it, Cariño.”

Consuela sat up and leaned back against the cactus. She pulled the bed sheet up and held it beneath her breasts. Then she stared at the empty sky, cleared her throat, smiled, and recited softly, “There was a cowboy from Nantucket…”

“I like it already,” Burt interrupted her.


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. bedroom eyes
  2. made up and written down
  3. an empty sky

OLWG# 277- Dante’s Adventure

Written for the 12.Sept.2022 meeting of The Missing State Group and OLWG# 276

Dante got up that fateful morning, took his breakfast and started walking into the sun.

He was heading to the horizon on a fool’s adventure.

After what seemed like hours he happened upon an apple tree where he stopped to rest.

He plucked an apple, or two, or three, and when his belly was full he leaned against the trunk of his provider, the tree and closed his eyes.

He slept. When he awoke the sun was high and he was hungry again.

More apples. More sleep.

Upon awakening the second time it was dark and Dante feared he had been transported to a faraway land, fraught with dangers that he could only imagine. Disoriented, he stood and began walking again and after a time he came to a farm house.

It looked just like his father’s house. Dante advanced and knocked on the door; surprised when his father answered.

“Father,” he exclaimed, “I have returned after my journey around the world. You know, I am truly surprised that the world is not bigger than I have found it to be.”

“Come inside son and rest.” His father opened his arms to embrace Dante. “You must be exhausted after your journey and circumnavigation of the globe. I’ll grill some burgers and we can have a couple ‘a beers.”

Dante smiled and vowed to record his epic adventures for posterity.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. a fool’s adventure
  2. everything’s broken
  3. in a hotel some place
  4. horizons

ZOZO- 07.Sep.2022 An Exercise in Writing

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

He staggers forth from The Dew Drop Inn
drunk on the heady perfume of whiskey, country music, and whores trying to earn a quick buck.
Daringly he ventures into the darkness, all alone, and
puts slow moving lampposts to good use as props.
Walking sticks to keep him upright.
Unseeingly he passes the night bugs as they fly towards the lamps like screaming Zeros.

Crawling bugs who move across the pavement and along the walls.
He cannot see them but intuitively he knows that some will be be rolling silently in the mud that lies curbside.He slides up the street to where his truck awaits, and
a buttery crescent moon, holding water, floats lazily overhead.
It looks like Cheshire cat, or
the grin of a fool.
Or maybe, maybe like the expression on the face of the magician whose newest illusion
has just worked perfectly.

The crowd is amazed.     


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. a buttery moon
  2. Is that all
  3. crawling the walls

OLWG# 276- Regrets? We’ve All Got ‘Em

Written for OLWG# 276

“You missed her by a couple of days, Dad,” Carmen said. She smiled sadly, leaned forward to put her arm around my waist and gave me a quick peck on the cheek.

I handed her the rosebud I was holding, “I’ll give this to you then.”

I saw Luke come into the room behind her. He raised his hand in greeting but said nothing as he retreated, leaving Carmen and me standing awkwardly together at the front door.

“Afternoon, Lucas,” I spoke to his back, but he didn’t respond, just faded into the gloom of the darkened hallway.

“I tried to get here sooner, Carmen, but…”

“I know Dad, it’s always something, huh? Mother was expecting you. She’s been saying for the last two weeks that you were coming.”

I turned on the stoop and pushed my worn tweed cap back on my head. I studied the road and tried to tamp my need to move on.

Carmen, “You know, she never quit loving you.”

“You’re not gonna let this be easy, are you, girl?”

“Stay, Dad. Why don’t you stay a while? Stay for dinner. Stay for the night?”

I turned and looked at my little girl, so grown up now. So much the same as I always remembered.

“It was peaceful for her, Dad. She passed in her sleep.”

I reached out my arms, and she fell into them, just like she used to do. “I’ll see you around sometime, girl.” I sniffed and pushed her back so I got a good look at her. Her eyes were beginning to brim with tears,

“I’m no good, you know,” I said as I backed down the steps and across the lawn. I waved, pulled the brim of my cap down low, turned, and walked toward the sun. At the corner, of Elm Street, I glanced over my shoulder. Carmen had moved down to the pavement, and she was watching me leave.

That’s all I ever gave to her. That’s all I’d ever given to her. Goodbyes and lots of words, always left unsaid.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. a single flower
  2. Carmen
  3. Mother was expecting you

Yo soy Diego y esta es Frida


My attempt at an englyn penfyr – written for Chelsea’s Terrible Poetry Contest

I first wed the girl – nineteen twenty nine
her hair was dark, loosely curled
she was fairest in the world

she gave me a shove so I pulled her hair,
accidentally fell in love
fit together, hand in glove

married now, at least a couple of times
love we’ll sometimes disavow
me, Frida, her unibrow


OLWG# 275- Life Beneath The Universe

Written for OLWG# 275

Cheryl looked at me with her eyes wide from across the table. She had her lower lip clenched between her teeth. Her salad fork was tight in her left hand as she sawed the New York Strip Steak with a serrated knife secured equally tightly in her right. In front of her plate, random piles of julienned carrots lay scattered where they had been pushed onto the table by her aggressive meat slicing.

Cheryl had swiped right on my photo, and tonight was our first date. She had suggested dinner at Barrow Island Steakhouse. When we met at the restaurant, I recognized her immediately. She looked just like her photo; tall, with long straight red hair, and thin, almost painfully thin. I thought she was beautiful.

At the table, we got to know one another. Cheryl was a local girl, born and raised in White Oak. She was currently a paralegal in one of those law offices downtown. Billboards lined the motorway with photos of her boss, looking stern and pointing at the camera.

She struck me as too meek to work in that type of atmosphere. I told her that I slept most days; and spent my nights volunteering at a mobile soup kitchen that usually set up beneath the 14th street overpass. I might have mentioned that I had been an actor when I was seven years old and had snagged the part of Roger in the network television show – Roger’s Life.

Cheryl set down her knife and fork. She twirled her red hair around and around the index finger on her right hand.

“Really?” she asked, “I used to love that show. My brother would pretend to be Roger,” she paused, “and I was Selma.”

“You’re much prettier than Selma ever was.” I blurted out.

Cheryl’s face reddened slightly, she smiled and looked down at her plate. “Was that really you?” she asked.

“That was me,” I tried my best bashful smile.

Cheryl held up her arms, “OMG,” she said, “I’ve got goosebumps. Look at them.”

In the morning when I left Cheryl’s apartment early, I felt a little guilty about lying to her, but it didn’t last. I’ve been lying to girls like Cheryl for a long time. There is probably a name for people like me, some medical diagnosis. I don’t know what it would be called, though.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. falls right off the page
  2. It’s not about what you lost
  3. that was me

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