OLWG · writing

OLWG# 280- Shame about Ms Chetham

Written for OLWG# 280

Don’t go pokin’ around under the clematis.
There’s a nest of rattlesnakes and firebugs under the pergola.
Ms Chetham found ‘em last week,
She’s still out there.

I called the sheriff’s office, but Sheriff Ventura, well,
he’s at some kind of lawman convention upstate.
Marge tole me, on the phone, that he’s due back in a couple days and
she’ll dispatch him out to investigate first thing, he gets back.

All we can do now is wait. Shame about Ms Chetham.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. rattlesnakes and firebugs
  2. she slipped away
  3. pieces of one another

And because we were owed some prompts:

  1. I’ve lost my St Christopher
  2. change the words to this poem
  3. I guess I do


The House at #4

Harvey moved to Rush Street in January of this year. He had bought the house at number five. It was a good-sized two-story home with three bedrooms and 2.5 baths, a great neighbourhood. An expansive “green belt” out back provided a view of manicured parkland that he could see from the back. The house next door (number four) housed an attractive thirty-something lady named Tessa. Tessa lived alone and liked to bake cupcakes. A different batch each week.

She made red velvet cupcakes, gingerbread cupcakes and chocolate chip cupcakes. She made Caramel Apple, Mint Oreo, Lemon, Chocolate Berry, Churro, and on and on. It was a seemingly endless variety of flavours. Tessa delivered cupcakes to all her family members, friends, and neighbours.

The first time that she delivered to Harvey’s house, she brought Snickerdoodle cakes. The next time was Devil’s Food with Coconut. By the time she brought him the Lemon Raspberry cakes he knew that he was in love.

A whirlwind courtship preceded a quickie service in Vegas. complete with Wedding Cake cupcakes – Iced with Vanilla Buttercream and monochromatic Confetti Sprinkles. They stayed in Nevada for three days after the service for a Honeymoon. They visited bake shops during the day. Places like La Belle Terre Bakery and Café, Patisserie Manon, and Le Macaron. At night they would retreat to their hotel room for an evening of sweet pastries and debauchery.

They returned to Rush Street and the newlyweds sold the house at number five. They moved in together at number four where all the baking supplies and tools resided.

Harv put on almost 75 pounds in less than two years and Tessa found it more and more difficult to look at him. Their love palled. Tessa tried to breathe life back into their marriage, they had been so happy. She changed the way that she dressed, and she cut back on her baking, but it was all to no avail. She had lost him. Tessa filed for divorce and plead, “Irreconcilable differences.” The judge agreed and granted the request. Harv moved out of number 4 and agonized over where to move next, Pie Town New Mexico or Cookietown, Oklahoma. Eventually settling in Oklahoma.

Tessa, for her part, moved to Maine and bought an island in Piscataquis County. She changed the name from Witham Island to Cupcake Island. It has its very own zip code (04414). If you find yourself up there, stop by “04414 Cupcakes.”

Any flavour is wonderful but I usually order anything with Lemon. I love Lemon. And, give my best to Tessa.


Zozo- 29.Sep.2022 Breaking the Ice

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

They say that you can’t go home again, and it’s true. I tried it once and wound up sitting with all my family members talking over the rim of my coffee cup to anyone who happened to be sitting on the other side of the table. It sucked. I couldn’t think of anything to say. I had nothing in common with these people anymore, and I somehow lost my ability to relate a story. Any story.

That first evening, I started telling my cousin Renee about a time when I had the flu and she didn’t really seem interested at all. I figured out why when I learned she wasn’t my cousin, Renee. She was a friend of my cousin who had stopped by to pick Renee up and go to a concert at the Event Centre.

I asked who they were going to see and she told me the name of an artist I had never heard of. She added that they were going to be late if my cousin wasn’t ready soon.

“We’re going to miss the opening act!” she complained.

“Who is that?” I asked.

“Some old group I never heard of.” She told me. “Fleetweed something or other…”

“Fleetweed Mud?” I queried.

“I don’t know, maybe. They’re supposed to be pretty good though. My mom used to like them.”

“Tell you what,” I suggested. “Why don’t you and I go? Renee doesn’t seem that interested, she’s not even here, and I used to like Fleetweed Mud. If that’s the opening act, I wouldn’t mind seeing them.”

“Let’s go then.” She said, and then she introduced herself, “I’m Marie.”

“You want me to drive Marie?” I asked. “I’ve got some weed in my luggage, Let me get it.”

“Oh, not for me, I don’t smoke that stuff.”

“I know, I have some homemade mescaline. I’ll get that instead.”

She smiled and jingled her keys. “I don’t mind driving.”


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. have some of this
  2. a dog wandered
  3. had the flu
  4. talking over the cup rim

OLWG · writing

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 · writing

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 · writing

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