Beauty and the Beast

“It’s taken,” she said. “What is?” he asked. “The title,” she said. “It’s been taken.” “I don’t care,” he said. “What do you think?” “I think you better ask yourself if that’s the smartest idea you ever had before you go asking me.” She stood at the bar, a very over the hill woman with all the equipment she used to get up the far side rather sad now with puffy cheeks from crying and a red mark about where her thigh started to get tender above the knee where he hit her, not the man she talked with now, the man she left who stormed out but not before he hit her, called her a name and told her not to tease if she didn’t mean to please. She cried a while in the Ladies room, then came out to finish her beer and that’s when she got into the conversation with […]

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The DDD

DDD originally meant Dead Dead Dead. I dwelt on defeat, depression and despair. Those made me sick. I determined DDD must stand for any three better words beginning with the same letter in any order. It’s my choice.   Dignified   At the senior prom I took wine, a red rose and two stemmed glasses from my parents’ china cabinet in the dining room. I also took a red and white checked tablecloth, a white linen napkin to place over my arm like a waiter, an etched decanter for the wine before I poured, a crystal bud vase for the rose, a tapered candle with a sterling silver candlestick from the same cabinet in the dining room of my parents’ house where I lived with them and all I took secretly with great care and forethought. I planned to return it all before they knew anything had been taken. They tended […]

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Recitative

Recitative

This piece is introduction to The Shady Grove, based on my experience as a resident of the trailer park by the same name in Van Nuys, California. I lived with the gypsies. I fought with the Philistines. I lived with them three years, seven months and twenty-eight days. They taught me a lot. John

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The Homeward Angels

In which the hero Delbert Bonner college age drops out to hitch hike across America with his friend Alexander Carmichael in the 1960s. To Hell with Life on the Mississippi.

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