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…

Schizo

Logic told me that Bart hadn’t poisoned the gum, but that didn’t mean that he hadn’t. He had offered to it me, after all, and had never offered me gum before. I felt my heart twist and grow black, the paranoia sliding down the slip in my chest, down into my bowels, my intestines. I…

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.…

Weeping

Government institutions are funded by the public, which forces them to throw their doors open to the public, ALL of them, the destitute, the homeless, the mentally-ill and -challenged, those that can’t keep their heads above water in the free market. Those that would be chomped down by the sharks. I experienced this first-hand in…

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…

Legal Drugs/Man vs. Swan

IN my experience, swans are assholes. Just THE worst. They’re like the pretty girl in high school who knows that she is attractive enough to forego the formalities of socialized ethics, so is just a raging bitch until she enters her twenties and realizes the rules are different out there. The problem is, being swans,…

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…

The Stoop Princess

The Stoop Princess crashed into our living room by slamming her body through the unlatched door. She skidded to a stop on bare feet, her multi-hued dreads continuing with the momentum, flying past her head like rockets until they reached the end of their give and were yanked back into place. “Hey! HEY!” she greeted…

Mission: Ronin

I looked up from my phone with that scientifically-inexplicable feeling you get when someone is laying their focus on you. There was a lady standing about 5 feet diagonal from me in the direction of Mission Street. Now, I feel it’s pretty rude to assume someone is a prostitute. So I’m just going to say…

Motel Party

The torn sheet from a real estate catalog floated downwards, flipping its corners on the eddies of air until it drifted onto the frizzy hair of the kid sitting across from me. He didn’t notice it at first, but then snatched it off his head, tore it in half with disdain and deposited it on…

Strange Sex

Fully cocked, 6 or 7 Olympia brand dollar-beers in, I tipsily swiveled back and forth on my bar stool with temporary abandon. 30 minutes till the end of happy hour, which, at the downtown gay- and homeless-friendly pub, stretched from three to nine. I swiveled again and almost tipped off. I looked up without embarrassment…

Scenes from Yosemite—Pt. II

Scenes from Yosemite—Part I The hybrid shuttle’s engine whirred down to a hum as it reached Stop #16 outside Yosemite’s Nature Center at Happy Isles. I could see several people already standing over the seated passengers, gripping the overhead rail, and there were more than a dozen people waiting with me at the stop. Room…