About Red Tales

Here's an evolving electronic collection of short prose pieces, with a poem contributed occasionally. Brevity guides. Although sometimes a piece will run to 900 words, most pieces are much shorter. Here one may find erotica, flash fiction, brief observations, and modest improvisations. Another rule is that each piece must have something to do with"red"; at least the word has to appear in each piece functionally. . . . All pieces are numbered and titled, so there's a de facto table of contents running down the rail below, under "Labels" (scroll down a bit). Browse for titles that look interesting, if you like. Thank you for stopping by. Look for some red today, tonight.

"Flaming June," by Frederick Lord Leighton

"Flaming June," by Frederick Lord Leighton

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

230. Arguing About a Couch

As the two people argued warmly about whether to purchase a red sofa they had been examining in a store, the terrestrial sphere on which they stood whirled in infinite space. Such energy the two directed toward their contest of wills concerning red furniture, a decorative and functional mass! Where, oh tell me where will the red couch be in a thousand years? (In ten?)

Monday, April 21, 2014

229. Pecking Disorder

The smallest chicken listened
again to the rooster, spikes
on his ankles, red gristle
below the throat. Again

the rooster seemed to be
throating things like
I'm a dictator, I'm boss,
a movie star am I, a
celebrity, a CEO, a pastor
of a mega-church, a
full professor, a senior
partner, a Wall Street
broker, a stand-up joker!

The rooster's crew then
came over to pick at
the smallest chicken,
who took it, and who

after they finished,
amused itself by picking
at the chicken-wire,

until, one night, a
hole appeared and a coyote
entered.  In the morning,
the smallest and only
remaining chicken
picked its steps through
what bones were left
and feathers and blood,
gristle and spikes and
beaks. It walked through

the hole, proclaiming nothing,
and was picked up by
the soft hands of a god
from that place the smallest
chicken had always thought
to be a bigger chicken-house. 


hans ostrom 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

228. Love-Equation

Let a big red L stand for Love, a set of arbitrary elements. Multiply (L) by p, where p is equal to or greater than 2 (persons), and the result is equal to or greater than complicated.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

227. My Love Is Like a Red, Red Something

Oh, my love is like a red, red onion: it's purple, not red. My love is like a red, red dog without a collar, sniffing its way down an alley, smelling for some leavings, lifting a leg to mark what's verticle. My love is like a red, red car--rusted out, sitting on flat tires in blond weeds and armored thistles. My love is like a red, red stone in a load of blue river-rock: out of place. My love is like a red, red scar worn by Robert Burns on a night of drinking: likely to get left behind.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

226. Mixed Mist Emotions

The woman with the red handbag said to her friend, "I like the mist. I love the mist. Except when it--. I have mixed emotions about the mist." In there in the mist, emotions mix. Which ones? Fear, nostalgia, depression, desire, elation, maybe even infatuation? Infatuation, yes. For out of the mist might walk a face, a body, pinning the woman's desire to an image, one person's unwitting self-advertisement. Mist is water. Add emotions. Stir. Then: what? hans ostrom 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

225. Fawning

Reclusive genius Annie Gerkinmew agreed to a rare interview. She spoke to worshiper and journalist Erich Nodmore at her reclusive-genius apartment in the Soho District at the center of the universe. The apartment foregrounds tones of rust and cinnamon, as well as contours of ineffable brilliance. Ol' Annie allowed as how she was indeed a genius, reclusive, special, diffident, ineffable, rare, and open to have her photo taken--by a highly paid pro, black-and-white, lighting to be directed by her. Annie spoke at some length about the burdens of genius and the rigors of being represented by the most powerful literary agents, managers, and lawyers. She alluded to the fact that no one has seen the trouble she has seen. She is considering crossing Jordan River. She identifies with Black people. The interview provides a fascinating glimpse into the manufacture and maintenance of literary celebrity, which is not so different as plastic cups or car-bumpers. One urges one to read the interview. Listen to me: Annie Gerkinmew is an important writer. She has won prizes. Her back-cover blurbs are written by angels and sub-contracted to cherubs. Annie Gerkinmew is an essential voice in our world. Therefore, shut up! Be respectful! She is remote and talented. She is a rare genius, and she went out of her fucking way to grant an interview. Okay?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

224. Happeningness

The happeningness of reality never pauses. No wonder wonder tires us. And no surprise we like our invented constants: coffee or tea; known routes; the expected deployment of red in certain aspects of couture and home-decoration; music imprinted on us early; and now visits to the same illusory places on something we happen to call the Web. The happeningness of the Web mimics that of parental reality. Electrons constantly lay new eggs, which constantly hatch. What is or seems to be (now there's no difference) quickly joins a rank and a prioritized state of being, a stasis with a status; or not. One and Zero, baby, and infinite combinations thereof. It was and is a shotgun-wedding of the simplest and the most complex, and the offspring are the feudal overlords of us all. hans ostrom 2013