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

Monday, January 31, 2011

157. Will There Be Anything Else?

"May I get you anything else?" said the waiter to Hiram.

"Yes," said Hiram. "A Turkish carpet, large, woven from silk and cotton; a woman wearing nothing but red copper bracelets; a private room; and then, if you will, send my thanks to God."

"More water, sir?" replied the waiter.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

156. "Barefoot for a Scorpion," by Alan Dugan

please click on link to Youtube:

"Barefoot for a Scorpion"

from Collected Poems, by Alan Dugan (Yale, 1965).

Monday, January 17, 2011

155. The Sword Thing

I never wanted to live by the sword. I mean, some swords are nice to look at, and up until about age 6, you can have pretty good sword-fights with sticks.

But swords are heavy, awkward, and up to no good.

I certainly don't want to die by the sword, hacked to bits and splats of blood and waves of pain. Who wants to die by the sword?

I think swords now should be reserved mostly for Olympic fencing, museums, and locked display-cases.  I think it's best if people live and die by other means.

If someone challenges me to a duel, I might agree to play along, but not with pistols, not at dawn, and definitely not with swords. Ketchup-bottles--at three feet, and at around, say, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

154. May

May may mean you've come to
the end of a durable winter.
May encourages vines, stirs
hope in the vintner.

In May you might soon see
red buds and blossoms
but also mourn in sunlight
the heavy loss of loved ones.

On May Day if you're a laborer
you may march to a red flag,
which might be misinterpreted
as a communistic gag.

May's a good month for those
who feel they don't belong.
It's neither spring nor summer.
Alone, it listens to bird-song

and withdraws from June and April,
both too garrulous by half.
It prefers to cogitate, may-
be to share a mild, ironic laugh.

Copyright 2011 Hans Ostrom