Sheep Can’t Talk Peace With Wolves (Short Story)

“Anger is an acid that can do more damage to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured” – Mark Twain

The searing sunlight broke through the thin and devastated curtains. He couldn’t get rid of them though. They were Anna’s curtains. One of the only reminders of her that he still possessed. He couldn’t stand to stay in the same house with constant reminders of his failure to protect her. To protect them both. Every day he asked himself the same question: why? Why was he still here perusing a pair of curtains that did nothing but remind him of what he lost? Of what was taken from him. And every day he answered his own question instantly. He perused these curtains because they reminded him of what kept him going for the past year – revenge.

He thought it ridiculous how oft vengeance was talked about as a poison: he saw it as a sustenance – the only thing that kept their faces in his head day and night, night and day. (more…)

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Your Call (Poem)


There
is
a
telephone
helpline
on the
Golden Gate
bridge. Dial
the number or
succumb to the
itch. What is there
to say except
life’s a bitch
& the sea’s a
cruel mistress:
I’m in the middle
of it. Hang up the
receiver, take hold
of the wire, wrap it
round your neck;
tease the funeral pyre
– or tie it round your
ankles and free-fall
to the waves; let
the
spittle
flick your hair
and by tension
be saved.

Theodore J. Inscoe

The Man Who Thought That Love Couldn’t Kill (Short Story)

The thinning edges of the suburbs, far north of the border. John stepped from the doorstep and closed it swiftly behind. It took a final tug but the latch clicked into place. The wind whipped his face until it stung, and he turned up the lapels of his old leather turncoat like a barbican raised. He backed into the wall beside Russ, his friend’s sharp nose lit by the streetlights, pock marked by the fleeting snow.

“Found one?” Russ asked.

John delved into his coat pockets like digging through gravel and emerged with a small metal lighter, already soaked as he presented his flat palm. Russ pulled out his pack of cigarettes, and flipped the lid. The one he dragged from the cardboard was already transparent by the time it reached his lips. He grunted a “thanks” through the tobacco and raised the lighter to his mouth. A small flame was batted back into the fuel by the wind. “Can’t believe Lucy won’t let me smoke in the damn house.” He grunted.

John smiled beneath his shirt buttons, reaching for a cigarette of his own so Russ could put his packet away. “You’ve got to think of the resale value Russ-” he teased, “those draperies are a sponge for your filth…”

“I own the place!” Russ said, waving the lighter. “A lifetime of working class aspiration, denied to my father, denied to my mother, twenty nine years old and I’m here already – just the small matter of a mortgage to pay and wham! But can I smoke in it? No. The next fucker up might just take a whiff of the bed sheets in a decade’s time-” (more…)

Junkyard Poet: Nick Cave’s The Sick Bag Song Reviewed

Nick Cave is a punk-rocker from Victoria, Australia. Now living in Brighton, he got his start in music in the early eighties in a filthy punk band named The Birthday Party. After a few years he mellowed out and gained infinite sophistication as frontman for his band The Bad Seeds – producing albums packed with love songs, Greek tragedies and homicide (featuring Kylie Minogue.) The wordy musician has also written the screenplays for western movies Lawless and The Proposition and his first two novels And The Ass Saw The Angel and The Death Of Bunny Munro were lurid affairs dealing with murder and mortality. The Sick Bag Song is his third novel but, as the title might suggest, also acts as an elongated poem: a confusing mix of fact and fiction which tones down the murder but ratchets up the mortality to a deafening degree. Cave describes it as “the SCUM Manifesto meets The Shropshire Lad meets Apocalypto meets Kanye West meets PornHub…” and so on. I’d describe it as a freshly trawled shell. Difficult to grasp and hard to break: but if you can crack it, there are pearls to be revealed within.

(more…)

Love Letter To A Sorry Scholar (Poem)

Fire stains the Citadel floors. Coliseum creaks beneath the breadth of their paws. Tired walls wain as cathedral doors fall. Never since Nero was a demon born quick. Never since Jehovah did the sun look so sick. Long since gone and once again here now a tired man crows to the morning sew and long since over was the Emperors show. His woman bore a deprived child, never abdicate only to dictate and mistake. Drug dealer kissed his son a good night, then dusted his hands and prepared for the fight. Blasted and blown his heir now flown. Clipped and callused tips of his wing, peasant hears the confession of a king. Satchel of a Prince on the mongrel’s back. From the balconies of Verona dukes launched their attack. The chime of St. Paul died a humble death. The world’s oldest candle breathed its last breath. Pope Pius blessed the viper’s venom, cast back the angels from where God sent them. Ways of saying that in the day pressed and played a thousand ways the timeless sayings dwindled and hindered a hundred kindred spirits from the inward looking songbird of the hours gone past. Cast out were the blessed child and his father thou art in heaven. Never been a greater weapon, since the burial of Jesus, torn up thesis caught venereal diseases. Smash a stereo to pieces, accapella releases masterpieces telekinesis eases them mentally, gently, sentimentally, instrumentally, splendidly, detrimentally to the rise of her legacy. Long live the infinite. Prison of the author long did he abhor her adore her cherish her fail to support her. Rodger Rabbit stashed the pistol in his drawer full of toys.  Seductive were the dimples of Adolf’s cherished boys. Walls enclose Ceaser’s hound, confounded the priest and the nun now deceased. Dedication to the cause these snide snoozing serpent shears souls sold so short set so solemn stretched so softly towards an inevitable symphony. Pause for effect. Analysts beget but soon forget the true poetic meaning, true prophetic meaning pathetic meaning. This great masterpiece of wondrous phenomenal hyperbole, admirable adoring awesome always alliteration of which the creator failed to see but we see just as much as he. Pondering phenomenon of the Patriots Pastry. Mistaken meaning in the Martian’s Soul. Paper and lyrics assembled within it. Ambiguity shields doubted credibility. Made to enjoy used for weapons to deploy, imagine it’s fun; cock another gun. Criminal credulity paid credence at last from under the mask which the poet did cast. Saw I from the beginning, passed it at the last this unchanging, blaming, never saving war waging pressure gaging craving paving the path for days gone past rushing racing pacing embracing slowly tumbling twisting twirling head first inexorably towards its end.

Theodore J. Inscoe