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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

94. Late Red Flowering

A few blue flowers cling to long stalks in October. The latest blooming thing, though, is an herb, a type of sage. Scarlet petals adorn its conical pods, which will release seeds on to cold November ground. I stare at the late disarray, a disheveled tableau of flowers and herbs gone seeding. My eyes water: an allergy to something, maybe, or a reaction to brusque breezes. Out comes the red handkerchief. I dab around my eyes so I can look again clearly at bright surprising scarlet petals, so vivid they're an irony as November's gray attitude approaches.

Monday, October 26, 2009

93. Sienna on Greens

In Danila Rumold's painting, Sienna on Greens (2006), we're invited to wander in color, where several bright leaves seem to hover over clay. We may stay at first impressions or go, not deeper, per se, just elsewhere or otherwise. Our eyes might focus on bluish ground-mist in an illusory distance, for instance. What we think when color occurs to us matters. It's no less futile than the rest, that is. When you see sienna, you may see clay in Sierra or nothing of the sort. A painting's like, and a painting is, and a painting goes as it stays.

Monday, October 12, 2009

92. Someone Hid Red

Someone hid red from the landscape, which remained ashen, blue, and brown all winter.

Red fallen leaves were composted instantly. Goodbye to color. Cardinals had migrated, and every rose was dead and blanched into an insufficient beige.

Finally, someone lit a cigarette. Its tip glowed red. The smoker puffed and smiled. He was an advance-man for Spring. He carried a sample-case full of possible red things. In his experience, Winter was a good customer, eager if not desperate for red.

91. Drought

Forgive us when we trespass into thinking drought's a curse. Fire makes it worse, feasting on dry grass, making us spend more water, turning sunsets to the color of blood.

A flash-flood now would slaughter each parched canyon and inundate our boulevards. We live between Too Much, you see, and Not Enough. Us: precarious. Forgive us if we speak to sky and ask to be forgiven, if we stare at baked clay and try to taste the air.

Friday, October 9, 2009

90. Writing With Students

I'm writing with students in a glass gazebo-cafe.

Four stainless steel fans overhead turn slowly like denatured propellers.

Pens sprout from the students' hands, which bunch into loose fists to spar with cursive.

An aimless cafe-song leaks from a speaker. The students get serious, leaning into writing, silently reading lines they've laid out so far, shaping this thing on a page called a poem.

One of the students sips from a green straw that descends into iced red tea.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

89. Before The 6:12 Departure

A young woman wearing a brown coat and a red beret and carrying a briefcase scowled at an approaching rainstorm, entered a metro station.

A moving, shifting group of others hurrying toward transport to jobs absorbed her. Her body was among their bodies. She walked into the rest of her life.