Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sittin’ around

There you are, young man, 
you keep leaving without notice.
So where were you today?
No, don’t answer that,
I don’t want to know —
better to sit here on the stoop
smokin’ my cigarettes,
seeing the same ol’
I ain’t interested in chasing down fires
I see my fair share from right here, you know
Good to see you, though, young dude
You get yours,
but come back soon.

School, The Place

Signals to Attend

Amanda-Fire-Alarms-768x1024As I’m on sabbatical this year, I’ll be missing the opening day of school for the first time since 1962 when I was three and not yet old enough.

Because I’ve been through 32 school starts as a teacher, I know what will happen. Students will lope down auditorium steps, dressed in new clothes to fit their continually new bodies. They will talk excitedly without being obvious… or at least only to the point of being properly obvious. Some will look left and right for the safety of faces that will beam back recognition, then wave.

Teachers, they’ll largely ignore. Teachers will line up somewhere seen, maybe along the sides, or will shepherd students as they’ve been instructed and pretend to be unbothered by another year of conspicuous invisibility.

The hubbub will resist a few attempts at quiet, but the initial syllable of the initial solitary voice will assert that…

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A Fifty Word Horror Story by Lori Schafer

Back Hair Advocate

The zombies crashed into the house.

“Brains!” they moaned.

The family was gathered around the television, watching. None of them moved.

The zombies scratched their heads. The parents were staring at the screen. The children’s mouths hung open.

“No brains!” the zombies moaned.

And moved on to the next house.

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Lori Schafer’s flash fiction, short stories, and essays have appeared in numerous print and online publications. Her first two novels, My Life with Michael: A Story of Sex and Beer for the Middle-Aged and Just the Three of Us: An Erotic Romantic Comedy for the Commitment-Challenged, will be released in 2015. You can find out more about Lori and her forthcoming projects by visiting her website at http://lorilschafer.com/.

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I want to write an Old Song

I want to write an old song

so old that immediately after it’s finished

it’s clear that it doesn’t belong in the right now

 

so old only ghosts can hear it

 

so old the house I live in quietly recedes along with the street outside that leads to it

 

 

so old dead trees spring up and plants too

 

so old ancient beasts materialize

with gunk in their eyes

 

everything returning

like a hurricane operating in reverse

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Norah Jones singing a Tom Waits song

Norah Jones singing a Tom Waits song

makes me feel like I’m getting clean

not on purpose

like a bath by force

or

a hard-won heartache replaced too fast by a movie love

it’s pure and sweet

and wrong

or good news

that turns out later

to be false.

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My anxiety and I go home

Last week when I went back to New York

after a very long time

I was good

I saw my friends and their new babies

my face birthed stupid, wonderful grins

I made apologies for not going to weddings

and meant them

I went to places that made me uncomfortable

I didn’t fake a single stomach ache 

I rarely lied

I spoke to my brother, and it felt normal.

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Car Park by Shawn Van Tol

new story at BHA about the adventures of a self-driving car

Back Hair Advocate

The car rolled up to the curb and stopped. Bob quickly hopped out and walked around the back side of the car to Catherine’s door. She smiled to herself, touched by the small act of chivalry, blissfully unaware that Bob was using those precious seconds to release gas pressure that had been building to dangerous levels over the last four minutes of the drive. He allowed the breeze to carry his flatulence away and then opened the door with a cool smile. She took his hand, extending lovely legs onto the sidewalk, and exited the car. Bob closed the door and pulled out his phone.

“Now watch,” he said, tapping at the screen. “The app tells the car where to park and how long to wait based on the time of the movie.”

Catherine snuggled in close to his body and peered at the screen. “That’s so cool!” she said.

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The Gift

Gram sits beside me in the stationary elephant-gray Camry that used to belong to her. It’s her 85th birthday.

“Do you know where you are and who I am?” I ask, checking in.

“Of course, we’re in a vacant parking lot. And you’re my grandson, Josh.”

Josh is my older brother. Close enough.

She grins.

“I’m going to drive.”

Trading in her grin for a look of jaw-clenched concentration, Gram then gives the car a little too much gas and we fly off about fifteen feet before she applies the brake.

“Just nudge the pedal Gram, and press more lightly than you think you should,” is my advice, and I can hear my father in my voice.

“Are you ready to try again?”

“Yes.”

This time, it’s a smooth departure. We pick up a little speed, avoiding the empty parking spaces, and the Camry remains on the cruising path. Gram’s expression softens some.

After we cruise the entirety of the parking lot a handful of times, I check in again.

“Grandma, how’s it going?”

“Fine, Josh, but would you like to go anywhere?” she queries, eyes still on the vanishing concrete in front of her.

“No sense in driving around here all day.”

“Well, we really shouldn’t leave,” I answer, avoiding eye contact.

“Nonsense. I insist, boy. Let’s go somewhere.”

I don’t have the heart to speak the word “no,” but I stay firm.

Gram slows the car to a stop. Puts it in park without glancing down at the gear shifter. She looks square at me. Her ears are glowing red.

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8/8/14: Time Lost

haiku streak

I learned

a clock’s arms can

wander

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The Water Bottle

A Word Of Substance

water bottlePhotograph by Tom Haynes  https://tnhaynes.wordpress.com/author/tnhaynes/ 

Name: Water Bottle

Age: Timeless

Sex: Female

Location: Your apartment

Strengths: I’m adaptable and can conform to any situation. Whatever holds me, keeps me.

Weaknesses: I move around a lot. A bit of a lush. I don’t like a lot of excitement.

Three things I couldn’t live without:

  1. Plastic
  2. Purity
  3. Transparency
  4. A thirst for knowledge

What I’m looking for: Someone that melts my rough edges. A drifter. A free flowing poet. Someone who won’t drain me when I’m already down.

Turn Offs:

  • Dry sense of humor
  • People that can’t go with the flow
  • Impure thoughts

Perfect date:

I like long hikes in the woods and sunny afternoons outside.

Favorite Movies:

Drowning Mona, The Great Flood, Water for Chocolate, Rain man.

Favorite Books:

The Perfect Storm.

Favorite Quote: “I’m not looking to be your flavor of the month.”

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