Heated arguments can weaken the facts, put more dirty water under the bridge, and leave the aftermath of a long dry spell in a friendship.

A frivolous thought:  Something kept buzzing around my head today. A wasp. A nuisance, yes, but I less dislike them than resent them for being always armed and much too negative.

Mental clutter may be my normal state, a sign of not always being on my best behavior, but I long ago gave my house an enema. Those things accumulated (mostly due to immature decision-making), those things that looked big when I bought them but have since shrunk because when everything you own is special, nothing really is.... everything that does not signify a certain vitality, serve a useful purpose, or move me emotionally--- is gone. I don't even have a welcome mat, but that is, well, for a totally different reason--- moodiness and a predominately reclusive personality.

The Sex or Something Else Short-Short Series


The Olla Podrida Hotel stood like a sack of potatoes- old world stone, next to the red brick of the Fools & Duels Saloon.  Above it, serpentine curtains twisted in the blustery haze of bloody sundown. It was deep summer in a district of debauchery, in flogging heat.

Fifteen bucks and the questionable judgment of cousin Rex put sixteen year old Dustin on the second floor of the hotel, Room 222.

Dustin was a victim of genetic stunt,  and had a third-generation broad bottom. In all his sixteen years, a girl had never looked his way any longer than it took for her to shove him out of hers.  He had not been kissed, nor even hugged, unless you count an old grandmother who smelled like peanut butter.

Today, Dustin was being prodded by his cousin into his first sexual experience. The damp washcloth of his genitalia was freshly scrubbed and neatly folded for the occasion.

A woman in an Oriental robe answered the door.  Big eyes with stained blue lids dipped heavy lashes as she checked out the chubby lad.  Her mouth was a judgmental plum, an attention getter, as much so as Dorothy's ruby slippers.

Dustin stood agape.

Where time was money, no time was wasted.  She tangled around Dustin, and within a minute, and without removing her satin cover or shucking much of his, she shocked his little member into-and-quickly-out-of-action.

Dustin flopped as weak as a calf in a blue birth bag to the floor, and labored there to breathe.

When the jungle tattoo of his heartbeat calmed, and his limbs were drawn again to purpose, he wore affection like a party hat, and though he had been tested to a remarkable IQ, he never looked more stupid.

The woman was immune to emotional response.  After all, isn't the the stock and trade of successful prostitution removal of the heart?  I think it's in the handbook.

Although it was obvious she knew Rex rather well, she was weary of the sight of both of them. She folded her take into her poke, the left cup of her bra, and she waved backwards, a wordless, but definitive directive.

As they left, Rex cackled, patted, and asked, "How's it feel to be a man?...."

and the younger, weak-kneed, still half-dazed, blubbered ,"I love you, I love you, I love you," to the worn-white, wooden floor.

Put a Corky In It

I'll start by telling you Corky is a beautiful woman.  We all know that is often sufficient reason to hate. And they do hate her.

Some  townspeople put Corky's origin under rocks or in the flow of sewage. Some wish her back to where she came from, without having a notion of where that is. Businessmen sneak a peek at her and cover vulnerable parts of their anatomy, the heart, and, well,  you know the other. Jealous wives "pooh-pooh" Corky from the sidewalk.  Extended reasons are the usual:  Envy, fear, suspicion, lack of information, gossip of "funny goings-on in an old man's bed."

In specific case, it is also because Corky regularly enters the local newspaper office to generate new copy.

Today, the clerk wobbles like a dung beetle between desks and avoids Corky's eyes as if there is poison in them. Joey Feebs is there too. He's the newspaper carrier she caught last week, sneaking into her modest apartment to steal her swim-suited photograph. Joey ducks his head and moves quickly past her with his bulging sack of redundant copy.

Corky holds her back straight and breasts high (a good-posture thing, not posturing) as she waits to hear the cost of two classified ad submissions.

Number 1.--
'Home care provider.  Massages. Cold packs. Warm soaks. Skill in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  A healthy diet of low-fat, low-salt meals.

Number 2.-- 
Garage sale.  Household goods.

Those goods, by the way, were previously owned by a geriatric patient who recently died, without family, with warm feelings for Corky, so he left her everything he had. Not much.

But there was just enough to perpetuate the legend of "finicky- buggering" beneath the sheets, conniving ways and greed, and to keep her, by whatever means, perceived as being of lesser value, so separate from the good folk









Sometimes still when winter branches strike across a misted windshield, she locks on a scarred memory of a face twisted into something ugly.

She met him at a dance.  He was older and must have seen her as a woman.

She was flattered, deceived, and took the ride he offered.  She let him take her away from a father who didn't like her out of braids or trees, into a world of grownups.

The man liked her long hair.  He stroked it. (No longer does she wear it loose), and he twisted both hands in it and held her down when she was just seventeen and the Beatles sang it from the dashboard radio.

She pleaded, cried for her father, but her father was at home, quietly asleep, trusting that she had not sneaked out again.  He was then, and always, unaware of what struck her stolid and kept her home.

Her father always gave her too much credit and called it maturity.




Winter, unwithered white,
Locks life with purity and ice.
Wind sweeps a muted plain.
One jut, a hollow log complains
And is quickly gagged with snow.

(From a Clothes Basket)

In years past and pale a child
    rode a white sail
Through trees and a cathedral of light,
Stationary, staying in sight
Of a young mother stretching sheets
  in the half-shade of meadowsweet
Broken out white in the heat.
Innocence...simplicity, not knowing.

(Another Spring)

Sweater wind sweeps the white
        dispatch of winter
                   from the rusty thatch of fall.
A bitch dog with bellied sides
tastes odors where thawed death
         into twigs for nesting.
Snow in satin, sequined slide. 
   descends the ash tree, northern side, To startle a brassy, feathered dame
To call the season by its name,
Spring cracks the buds to hatch
to leaves
to rustle round the limbs
     like sleeves
raised toward the God-faced sun,
And the bitch dog with bellied sides  sniffs loose boards and crawls inside
a shed to scratch a spot to fit her,
and bears, and licks to breath
her mottled, Springtime litter.