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, October 14, 2008

38. Edgar Allan Audobon

Sometimes I wish a Baltimore oriole had visited Edgar Allan Poe--an oriole instead of or least in addition to a raven.

Encountering the oriole might have influenced Poe to take a break from the relentless blacksmithing, the grim hammering out, of stories and poems.

All theoe tombs, mansions, cellars, casks, ill-fated crushes on cousins, demonic practical-jokers--all of it burying whimsy alive behind bricks of and mortar of gothic obsession.

Or better yet--a red-winged blackbird. Just that dash of scarlet--there, as the blackbird glides over a marsh, alights on top of a tall reed, retracts its wings, sings.

--A line of red on a black wing, red that does not signify blood. Death missing its train, unable to attend the masque, RSVP, regrets. A bolt falling out of the pendulum: and the adolescent fixation on garish imaginary torture grinds to a halt.

--A garrulous cop, whistling and talking as he helps the drunk, chilled, disoriented musty-coated writer home to a warm bed, a stove, a week's worth of rest and hearty breakfasts.

I imagine Edgar, still alive at sixty-five, lifting binoculars, finding the bird in magnified view, evermore. Dupin! Voila!

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