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, August 25, 2012

212. Cocktail Bar Monologue

No, he was my ex-husband, not my father-in-law. I called him, it was my birthday, and he didn't sound right. So I went over there. He strangled me in the bed. He didn't choke me out. I woke up, and he said, "What are you doing?"  I said, "I'm going to the bathroom."

So I got up, and I went to his daughter's room, she wasn't there, and I covered myself with her red bed-spread and her stuffed animals and stuff, and I heard him out there, saying, "Where am I?!" And he was like destroying shit and he put a fist through a wall.

And a neighbor came over, and I stayed there the whole night.  I was in shock, so I couldn't call the police until the next day.  He got like third degree assault, and he spent time in jail, but he makes a hundred and fifty grand a year so he got out on bail.

Anyway, he gets to see our son, he's four, every other week. I have full custody.

I wouldn't be able to get health-care for my son except that I'm going to school, and Obamacare you know pays for that. I want to open a doggie-daycare center. My son's name is Lucas. He's four. Here, look at this happy face he drew, it's on my iPhone.

I live with my mother now. My dad died, so I moved in with her. I sold all his stuff in a garage sale. I made three thousand bucks. He was an electrician for thirty years, and if he didn't have a tool, he'd buy two of them.

You see Roger down at the end of the bar? He wanted to sell his Ford 500, so I put it on Craig's List. .  Then some guy called him and said Hey, I can advertise that, special.  So the guy took Roger for $500. And the thing sold on Craig's List the next day.  I think Roger was just drunk.

I'm impressed. Most people don't  know how to spell "Erin."  They spell it like the Bible, "Aaron," but I tell them, Hey, I have different parts.

My friend is in a Rolling Stones tribute band, and he's playing tonight, but I don't know where. He's supposed to text me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

211. Erik the Red and Poetry

You know what
Erik the Red said
about poetry, don't you?

Nor do I. Maybe
it was something like
"Just get the fucking poem
written, okay?"

Leave the theory
to physicists and detectives 
in crime novels. A poem
is a made thing--spoken,
written, or both. Poet,

make it easy on yourself:
make that poem. Poet,
make that poem.

--Hans Ostrom 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

210. Let Them Have It

Sometimes the shuffling of playing cards sounds like the tearing of lettuce, my friend.

And sometimes the tearing of lettuce sounds like the crunch of snow underfoot, as you walk, fuzzy from drinking all night, on a ghostly white winter road.

And sometimes the weird smoke and light of a forest fire reddens the moon, making it look like a single blood-shot eye, the eye of a sad jeweler examining a ruined emerald.

And often people ask "Why?" when they know the answer, or when they know the one asked can't possibly know the answer.

And sometimes you just want to lie down, don't you?, in a room and have done with it, have done with it all, the infinite mess of the here and the now.

"Let them have it, let them have the mess," you may say to yourself, my friend. "I am going to rest here alone."