Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Favorite Soup

He walked quickly past the corner deli. They were making their Friday soup special, shell noodles with V8 juice. It was his favorite. He didn't know how they got the idea for it but he knew it was quite similar to the soup he ate as a kid. The soup was named "My Favorite Soup". When his friends came over to his house growing up, his mother would make the soup for dinner, serving his friends. He would insist that all his friends called it "My Favorite Soup" despite their actual preference in the hot stuff. He just liked the sound of it. "Hey, do you want some of My Favorite Soup?" I'd ask. "Sure, I'll have some of My Favorite Soup." Or if they hated it, he'd make them reply and they'd say "No! I hate My Favorite Soup!" He got a kick out of that one.

Today was the day he was going to meet himself. What a day! He couldn't wait to talk all about himself! Did he love the shell noodles with V8 juice just as much as he did? Did the smell of the savory combination of tomato, carrot, peppers, and assorted spices bring back the memories of building snow forts and coming home after riding a bicycle all day on dirt hills?

Himself was waiting on the park bench. He was easy to spot with his dark beard and wavy hair. "Just like him." He though. "Uncanny."

Monday, November 21, 2011

six-word novels

Example: New baby shoes purchased. Never used.

You will die after this. Probably.

“You could be injured”. Meaning clear.

Man shot in face. Still alive.

For Sale: Dad’s old liquor bottles

A town full of wooden tables

*Chair finds out it’s not wood.

*Travels world twice. Can’t find home.

Lab report protocol in Bowling Alley

*Vaccination needed to pass. Forgot certification.

Boy searching dumpster for food. “Freegan”

*Super Highway built. Takes side roads.

*Stops on red light. Starts crying.

Book shoved into satchel. Never read.

*Wolf saves boy. Boy cries wolf.

Huge smile on his face, dying.

Butterfly lands in the same place.

American Sandman

The city lights seemed extra bright that night and the shadows extra dark. It's as if hidden glow worms inked themselves out of the crevices of buildings and inched their way towards those incandescent light bulbs, then shriveling up into the filament in which the sparks begin.

Tonight in Upper State New York, the artist was just finishing up his grand masterpiece for his show on West Broadway and 23rd Street. The Times just labeled him as "The Newbie Artist to Look Out For" and he e-mailed the article to at least half his graduating class at Columbia. He was finally going to make it big. No more of those days stomaching 3-day-old salad in a plastic container he found in a local bistro's dumpster, just to get by that week. No more being queezy over student loans and the disapproval of his father. He had it!

After the artist had worked on his masterpiece until 2 in the morning, he decided to call it good. The angles seemed just right and the juxtaposition of the littered cat box and the rising American sandman seemed just ironic enough to allow him some relief. It made sense to him, anyways. He remembers being a young artist and not allowing anyone to see his work. He kept it to himself like a well-guarded secret and when he exposed the work, he couldn't help but expect some reaction from the observer.

Tonight he'll leave it out on the atrium where he needed to build because of the project's size. He thought this would allow him ample space to get over his fear of exposure and allow himself a little breathing room before the big show. People might look at it on their way out in the morning and give him feedback. Just what he was looking for so he wsn't so bombarded by the opinion of the crit.

The owner of the apartment complex couldn't wait until the artist was done with his project. The neighbors have been complaining about endless noises of saws and hammers mixed with loud bass music and the random shouts and swears. A cacophony of what the owner hated about the youth culture. Loud, loud, loud and total disrespect for space. He saw a big heap of crap and sand in the atrium and couldn't wait for it to be gone in the morning for that day was inspection day.

Early morning came and the owner heard a knock on his door. "Hello." he grumbled, opening the door ready as he always was at 7 am. It was the night patrolman just getting off his shift. "Just to let you know, the city office called and will be sending the inspector in half an hour instead of the original noon time scheduled. There was some sort of mix-up and that's the only time available."

The owner walked out frantically and went straight towards the atrium. The artist's project was still there. "Remove this right away!" He screamed at the patrolman.


The artist woke up after a curious dream involving a childhood version of his self being ripped violently away from his father's grasp. An idea for his next piece? He wrote the idea down. He poured himself some coffee and breathed it in. Today was the big day. The day of his show. He tried ensuring himself that he was, indeed, living in the moment. Deep breaths of coffee, sunshine coming through the blinds, an ant crawling out of the pantry. The ant had a tiny morsel of food in its pincers. It looked cold and orange-gray, like the sand he has been using over the past four months. "The Sand!" He thought. He ran outside his room and straight towards the atrium, where he expected to find his newly created masterpiece.

It was gone. He was being ripped further from everything he had envisioned for himself.

The artist ran barefoot to the man he knew would be responsible for its departure. The ground was cold and remnants of sand stuck to his heel. He could feel the clumps of the substance starting to form and they were distracting his stride.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Personal Obit (Draft One)

Brandon Henry Patterson

His pocket had approximately six cents, one nickel and one penny, upon finding his body amongst the base of the aspen tree forest. It smelt like his mom’s hair that day and the ocean tide was at its highest in centuries. Bees were buzzing round his face and the grass was growing tall. Butterflies were clambering about the weeds, landing on his old mud-covered boot.

He once told someone that he was going to be something great. He enjoyed sketching on Sundays and taking generous amounts of pure maple syrup bottles from the super market. He would ship them off to friends he knew in faraway places along with a little hand-written card and a leather-covered journal. He would tell the truth slant and promise things to his step-dad in that same slanted way. He rode his bike many places because he liked the way the earth seemed to slow down. He loved love and loved his family most of all.

Mr. Patterson died at the Age of Aquarius.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Zombie Test

"Clear!" Bolts of electricity sprang out of rods of iron and jolted the chest of the body. Nothing...nothing... "This ones a goner." Moments later, a finger began twitching, an eyelid pulsating, the body, claimed as dead just moments ago, began to rise. "BRAAAINNNNSSS" moaned the dead body.

The wind was howling outside the window as the autumn leaves ran upon the ground. The fire was crackling as the pumpkin pie lay freshly baked on the stove top, cooling and releasing its spiced smells of nutmeg and cinnamon. All the while, a young boy acting as a zombie chases his mother around the living room. "Again!" the boy cries as he props down on the floor. "Clear!" Mother shouts as she goes in for the tickling bolts of electricity, her fingers catching his ticklish spot to give him a jolt. The boy lay down as if dead, his chest rising and lowering as he tries his best to close his eyes and lay still. "This time I'll make sure he's really dead. One final test!" She announces.

She leans down and plants a kiss on his forehead. "EEWWWWWW!" The boy shouts. "You don't kiss zombies, Mom!" The boy wipes his mom's kiss away as she says "BRAAIIINNNNNSSS!" and attempts to go in for another big smack of a kiss!