Kandahar 24

One boot: apply pressure to the ground, slightly shift the sand-silt away from the heel, the sole presses to the earth’s center (way down there, oh way down below)—the earth pushes back and the body overhead moves upwards. Right foot: lift it, quadriceps kneeing the desert air. The arid heat descended down from the stars…

Poor Man’s Cocaine

An extremely short conference table squats in the middle of a cavernous corporate board room. Three men in their early 30s, Carter, Binwald and Vince, enter, all wearing stylish suits with the collars open. They are all coked to SHIT. Vince: …so I says to the stripper, ‘you should be tippin me!’ The three men…

The Short Ballad of the Live Brothers

Live Pete was in trouble with the authorities again. Whether they were the City of Newburgh cops, the Group Home monitors or the Social Services people, authorities were always giving him shit. The current shit that they were concerned about involved his little brother, Live Deshawn, who had recently gotten into heroin. Though the authorities…

Back-Page News

“Fear is stronger than love.” -Tupac Shakur ~ He had read it in the paper this morning, black-print letters as moribund as a funeral gong: Suspect Nabbed in Drug Bust in Kingston But the real slant of the article, the bit that caused Sean’s mind to start whirling with sad prophesies was the name below:…

Dreaming in Death

The leaves were turning brown once again. They say the seasons cycle: winter is stasis, when the earth lies dead and still, but autumn is moribund, the down-chop of the scythe, when chlorophyll bleeds from the leaves, when the warm moisture is sucked, shrieking from the air, and only ether is left. Duck the death.…

Employment Opportunity

As Siobhan and I crept up the gravel driveway to Ken Chang’s house, we couldn’t help but notice the multitude of very vocal cats blocking our path. They looked perturbed that a giant metal who-knows-what was accelerating into their territory, so opted to start mewing and hissing loud enough to penetrate the Talib Kweli I…

Withdrawal

Thomas tried to punch the number into his smartphone, but his hands were perspiring so badly that a drop of sweat slid down the screen, side-stepped onto the key pad, tip-toed beneath one of the buttons and shorted out the phone. He was not having a good day. Thomas, who traditionally coal-housed two packs of…

Laptop Lifted

  Full “Laptop Trilogy” with additions and alterations Oscar scanned the lines of foot-commuters, their pneumatic legs pistoning them up and down, driving them forward with whooshes and hisses of steam, their geared joints clicking and whirring like subway doors.  Dogs usually had some dog in them, but a purebred bionic Doberman Pincher slinked past…