ZOZO- 20.Jun.22 Gauloises

Written in 15 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

It was barely afternoon 

It was barely September

On the outskirts of the city

In the Café Voisin


Marie, a local girl, wearing high heels, a short skirt, and red lipstick asked for a double vodka and pulled a packet of Gauloises Brunes from her bag


Jackie, who would normally have his coffee earlier in the day, pushed his cup aside, reached over, and snapped open the Zippo, he had been toying with, on the tabletop


The one with tour Eiffel engraved on the front, like a tourist would buy

Marie leaned over and accepted a light – he gasped and stared down her blouse


“Merci’” she thanked him and straightened back up blowing smoke towards the ceiling

“Sorry, I don’t speak French.” Jackie replied


Marie scowled,



time’s up – step away

The plethora of prompts:

    1. Café Voisin
    2. 1205 pm
    3. cute girl high heels red lipstick
    4. double vodka
    5. guy out of breath
    6. foreign accent
    7. double espresso
    8. sorry to be late


ZOZO- 06.Jun.22 Lorelai

Written in 16 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

Writers block sucks, Jim thought to himself, he was going to give up. He couldn’t get into the present, his mind was a million miles away which he thought should be a good thing. He was writing fiction, but he kept coming back to Lorelai who had unexpectedly announced that it was time for her to find a new mate and then stormed out on him one night last week.

He closed his notebook, set his #2 Ticonderoga down next to it, then placed the twist sharpener outboard of that. He fiddled with the spacing between each object until it was right. The desk drawer contained a small plastic bag he had bought at the Pot Shop the day before and Jim thought about pulling it out. A small pinch of that bud in a bowl might help. Or it might make him forget that he had even wanted to write.

Finally he decided that it didn’t matter what happened, he wanted a taste so he indulged himself and augmented the weed with a snort of single malt, on the side.  After a while he noticed that the twist sharpener had moved. The pencil had moved too, it was in his hand. The notebook was open and the page was filled with his scribbled words,

Jim paused and went back to read what he had written. He knew it had been him writing but he didn’t remember doing it. It was jibberish, 100 percent balderdash. In the middle of the page he spotted her name but that was the only legible thing he could see.

Maybe it was the drugs? Maybe it was the whisky.


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. spark
  2. a million miles away
  3. find a new partner
  4. maybe it’s the drugs?


ZOZO- 30.May.22 Wuss

Written in 10 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

Dude, your wife is gonna freak out

Ya think?

Yeah, I think. You can’t just dump this on her. She still hasn’t forgiven you for that time in Tenerife.

Oh, Tenerife. Yeah, there is that. Maybe we should just forget about this, on accounta Tenerife. I’m not sure that this will be worth the effort. I mean, what makes this worthwhile?

Art for art’s sake, maybe? Or, just cause we can? Or, on accounta?

Maybe it’ll turn out to be one of those things you need to see.

Probably more like one of those things I don’t need to see, but wouldn’t be averse to seeing. You know, in the broad scheme of things.

But, dude! Your wife is gonna freak out!

Yeah forget about it. It was a horrible idea and I’m not doing it.



time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. things you never knew you needed to see
  2. what makes this worthwhile
  3. yeah, there is that


ZOZO- 23.May.22 The Stars

Written in 10 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

Melissa leaned back on the grass next to Paul and studied the carpet of stars that filled the night sky.

“Have you ever looked at clouds to find the shapes, the pictures in them?”

“I have,” he answered. “When I was very young, my brother and I once spotted a dragon in the clouds. He didn’t last long though the wind reshaped him into a sailboat. We should try it with the stars.”

Melissa mused, “I think that is what those old Greek dudes did, and they came up with the constellations. Do you think we could find some new ones?”

“We should try.” they agreed.

“Look over there,” Paul pointed to the eastern sky, “That one looks like a centipede. And there he pointed a few degrees to the west. That might be a paperboy on his bicycle.”

“I just don’t see them,” Melissa said, puzzled, “I see a girl who doesn’t think she’s pretty enough, and there’s a girl with an eating disorder. Probably anorexia; she thinks she’s too fat.”

“I get it,” said Paul, “I see a wimpy boy. He’s not strong at all. He constantly disappoints his parents.”


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. the starlit evening
  2. embraced her insecurities
  3. the dragon needs rescuing


ZOZO- 17.May.22 Burma Shave

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

I glance at the gauges on the dash

110 miles per hour

temperature is good

Oil pressure – right where it should be

Getting a little low on fuel


Rain glistens on the windscreen

Charlie Rich croons on the radio


I need to start looking for that Texaco

the one with the diner, the one recommended by the sign just back

Texaco bacon sounds good about now

or eggs, over easy, perched atop a slice of sourdough.




Maybe a Sinclair 

The green dinosaur

They used to be called Brontosaurus. Brontosauri?

But that’s changed now.

Why would a dinosaur change his name?

Was a judge involved in that business?


Rest Stop 15 miles

Does anybody need to pee?


Next services 90 miles

That must be Flagstaff

It seems about right

Can I make it?

I have an extra two-and-a-half gallon can

in the boot.


I can make it

will make it

I am the master of my fate

Flagstaff is just a bump in the road.

Just a bump in the road

A bump in the road

A bump

The road


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. 90 miles to Flagstaff
  2. to be or not to be
  3. I am the master of my fate


ZOZO- 02.May.22

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

I was on the bus, heading home after my overnight shift cooking at the Roadhouse Grill when I met her the first time.

She introduced herself as Donna and said that she used to be the queen of Texas but had been unseated from that position by her sister in a coup that few people even knew about; Donna wasn’t bitter. She hadn’t liked being queen anyway; too much responsibility, too easy to fuck things up, mess with people’s lives. The sister, Anita, who was now known as Queen Anita, was a witch, “Anita deserves to be queen,” she said, “I hope the job drives her crazy; stark raving mad. I never liked her anyway. She was always my mom’s favourite, Daddy’s little girl. I had to set the table, I had to lay the fire, I had to do the dishes, and I had to mow the lawn. She never had to do any of those things.”

“Yeah,” I told her agreeably, “you’re better off not having to put up with all that bullshit. Better to be ‘Apple Girl Cinderella’ than ‘Princess Cinderella.’” I knew not the first thing of what I spoke, but it encouraged her. She nodded her head, grateful that I understood. And, who really was I to say what the better position was, but she seemed to crave reinforcement of the things she had already decided. I was happy to oblige.

“What do you do now?” I asked her, “I mean, now that you are no longer Queen of Texas.”

“I take care of the park downtown. You know; the one where they have that statue of that guy? Where all the pigeons shit? I water the grass, trees, and bushes there. I also arrange for the proper winds when people come to fly their kites. Box kites require specific wind conditions to fly properly, you know.”

I nodded, “of course.”

“Box kite conditions are not necessarily the same as those required for Diamond kites or Dragon kites. The secret to a successful Diamond kite flight is getting the proper wind for the length of the tail. It’s not easy, but I persevere. Sometimes I have to have as many as five different wind conditions at the same park, all at the same time. It’s a thankless job. That bitch, Anita has no idea.”


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. take me home
  2. stark, raving mad
  3. the witch deserves to be queen


Zozo Writers- 19.Apr.2022

Written in 15 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

“You don’t want to hear that old story again, do you? I mean, I’ve told you twice already.”

“No, we do want to hear it again. I like the way you tell it.” They shouted in unison.

“Well, now I’ll tell it, but you all need to be quiet and pay attention. I might give a test later.” His gaze took in all the children sitting in front of him. Sitting in the dirt beneath the tree, they were grandchildren.

There were the two redheaded boys, the twins. There was the youngest, who was a girl with curly blonde hair and green eyes; there was the tall boy, brown-haired, with a spray of freckles thrown across his nose; and his sister with her hair as black as coal and an eagle feather held at the side of her face with a knot of rawhide.

They all watched him expectantly, waiting for him to start. The broken toothed twin wiped his nose with a shirtsleeve. The little blond girl clung to her feet as they rested atop her crossed legs.

“OK, then,” he said, “It was a long time ago; I wasn’t much older than him,” He pointed at the tall boy. I had run away from home and wanted to join the circus, but the big top wanted nought to do with me. I had no circus skills. I couldn’t tame a lion or swing on a trapeze. So I made my way to the waterfront and signed on board a freighter bound for adventure, bound for Africa.


time’s up – step away from your keyboards and notebooks

The prompts:

  1. my own special way
  2. I’ve told you twice
  3. an eagle feather


Zozo Writers- 04.Apr.2022

Written in 06 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

Never allow yourself to become complacent. Live your life in such a way that you can pack up everything you own and leave within ten minutes.

If you live like this you will never have a need for camouflage. Camouflage helps you to hide. Don’t hide – leave.

If you have to – leave.

if you want to

The birth of one of Jean’s Paradox, or paradoxes, or paradoxi. What is the plural of paradox anyway?

Can one become complacent with the idea of, “Well, I can always leave?”


time’s up – step away from your keyboards and notebooks

The prompts:

  1. camouflage
  2. complacent


Zozo Writers- 21.Mar.2022

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

I clasped my hands behind my back and kept putting one foot in front of the other.
the all important energy of life
constant motion

I meet people make friends
I leave people abandon friends
All on account of motion
Constant motion
accumulating nothing

I ask myself why?
Why am I driven to live this way?
This can’t be normal
What makes me different?
what makes me avoid the things that others crave?

There’s a sign ahead
Too small to make out what it says
Probably the name of some impending town
does it matter?
what is the difference between this town and the next?
they will each be filled with people
some more full than others

Men to clap on the back and shake hands with
swap stories
Women to raise the bar
Make me strive to be better.

These people exist in every town
not all women make me want to be a better man
some of them make me want to run away
hide my head beneath the covers of my bed

Not all men are meant to be bonded with
many make me want to throw up.

If I get to know them better will I still want to vomit?
It’s easier to just keep moving
avoid attachment
Pass like two ships in the night.

Break bread with some
avoid others like the plague

I’ve passed the sign
I didn’t read it
I don’t know the name of the impending town
Does it matter?
Probably not.

It’s easier to just move on
put one foot in front of the other.
Seeking motion
the all important energy of life
constant motion.
There is nothing more satisfying than simply passing through…leaving
accumulating nothing


time’s up – step away from your keyboards and notebooks

The prompts:

  1. pockets full of nothing
  2. Midnight Rodeo
  3. ask yourself why


Zozo Writers- 08.Mar.2022

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

Buffalo Bill flashed his crooked smile. It lingered on his face for a few seconds longer than it needed to before he spoke, “So in summary, Miss Oakley, I want to offer you a position with my wild west show. We travel from town to town. We anticipate that you display your incredible shooting skills. Of course, you would be bunking with me, and catering to my every whim. My every desire.”

Annie began slowly shaking her head from side to side. “I don’t think that’s going to work, Mr Cody. I like the part about getting paid to be a sharpshooter, but bunking with you is not going to fly. You’re too old and way too ugly. I don’t fancy you in the least.” She watched his eyes and waited for his reaction.

“Sorry to hear that, Miss Oakley. You’re not going to get one without the other.”

She drew one of her “mother of pearl” handled six-shooters from it’s holster and pointed it at Cody. “Would you like a private demonstration of my abilities, Buffalo? May I call you Buffalo? Or, is that too familiar? It won’t hurt much.” His eyes grew large and round.

The hot smell of cordite suddenly filled the room and Buffalo fell backwards, dead in his chair. Annie had plugged him in his chest, dead centre. She was right though, it hadn’t hurt much. The legend of the Wild West had died almost instantaneously.

Annie stood, twirled her pistol and slid it back into her holster. She left Bill’s wagon, mounted her palomino, and rode off into the sunset.


time’s up – step away from your keyboards and notebooks

The prompts:

  1. dead centre
  2. town to town
  3. It won’t hurt much