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

Saturday, September 25, 2010

130. "'View From the Golden Rooms,'" by Tammy Robacker

Poem read + video:

"On 'View From the Golden Rooms ' "

The painting is by Trinda Love.

Friday, September 24, 2010

129. "Cherry Ripe," by Robert Herrick

Reading and video of "Cherry Ripe," a short poem by Robert Herrick:

Cherry Ripe

128. Red Flag Over the Fort

I'm flying a red flag over my fort today.

The fort's what you might call imaginary.

The trouble is, for some people a red flag is something of a red flag. So I expect some people will come up and interrogate me: What does it stand for? Are you a Communist or a devil? Aren't you a patriot? Are you a nut? Would you like a punch on your nose?

I'm preparing some answers: It stands for red and for flagishness. I'm probably not a Communist, but please define "Communist," and then we'll be sure, the both of us. I'm definitely not a devil. My red flag's not a national flag because I never got my license to be a nation unto myself. I hear the preparation-course is awful. Even my fort's pretty weak in spite of being imaginary. Because of, some might say.

I'm what you might call a sane nut. Think hickory. I would not enjoy a punch on or even near my nose, and by "near" I mean anywhere on my body. Plus, you don't punch people when you are a guest in their imaginary fort. Please use your manners and good sense. The red flag not only represents red and flagishness, but it also represents manners and good sense.

I'm going to walk along the interior perimeter of my fort now and look up at the red flag every so often.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

127. Seeing Bukowski Read

When I saw and heard Bukowski read, late 1970s, I recognized him as a shy, frightened man similar to red-faced drunks I'd seen in bars, High Sierra. Life kicks the shit out of people, some of whom re-emerge in bars, mostly to drink quietly but occasionally to boast and insult; to observe astutely; and even to prophesy. Thus Bukowski.

If such men and women should bark or snap sometimes, or if a mist of rage should cloud their eyes momentarily, there's nothing to fear in most cases. It's only (only?) the result of pain.

Bukowski came close to draining a six-pack of bottled beer as he read for an hour or so. He tipped both the bottles and his head back, as if blowing a horn. His face was craggy, pocked, flushed, and interesting. It was Bukowski's face. It belonged to Bukowski. We liked what he read.