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Arrival

Posted by BKS | No comments
It is months, brother. Months we’ve been at this. Nigh on a year even. And are we any closer? We have searched every nook, every dark corner, only there’s ...

Free-fall

Posted by BKS | No comments
It was none of my doing. After all, what did I know? Only that it was my turn, my place and time. A chance to blaze a trail, carve my mark on the face of ...

a story in which

…because if she didn’t, there was a decent chance Bret would react precisely as her friends had, on multiple occasions, suggested that he would react, which seemed unlikely to be good. And so Melody had spent a fair bit of time avoiding Bret in recent days. She had, in fact, found his behavior of late to be borderline erratic, almost as though this whole situation wasn’t really as innocuous as he had led friends and associates to believe. And if that was the case—if Bret was harboring some misguided sense of indebtedness on her part—well, then, she was pretty sure that being around him right now was not high on her list of things to do. Still, there was the interview day after tomorrow. There was no denying Bret had made that ...

Stones

The stories that we tell one another are stones buried deep in the ground. We need only unearth them, wrench them from the moist clutching soil with pry bar and shovel, muddy our hands with the travail of protagonist and heroine.   Sometimes the stone, once lifted, reveals hidden creatures that scurry from the light, threads of a story yet untold. Other times the stone is just the stone, clean and complete. And we raise it proudly above our head like Moses on Sinai, shouting to all who will listen.   And then there are stones we do not share with others. We just place them quietly into a wall with all the others, then look out proudly across the meadow of our life as our stories roll away into ...

The Moon is Dead

Everyone says so. Just a lifeless floating orphan, adrift on gravity’s tide, clad in gray regolith dust, barren and bereft.   And yet we keep looking. Staring intently across the centuries, as though there may yet be something poised there, waiting to surprise and excite the senses, perhaps offer hope in a place where there can be none.   The light, they say, is a mirage, an illusion stolen from another, nothing but a reflection of what we imagine we see, a harsh and cold chimera ripped from us eons ago, thrust away, only never quite gone, always circling circling, gazing down in envy, or perhaps pity, at what we have ...

Hegel and Hobbes Have an Adven ...

Hegel the hedgehog rose one morning and greeted the sun. His smile was bright, and he decided, as he stepped through his front door and into the garden, that today would be a wonderful day, a fun day, and, if he was lucky, he would see Hobbes the hamster and maybe even get a chance to cheer him up. For Hobbes was not a very happy hamster. Hegel and Hobbes had known each other for a very long time, and it seemed Hegel was always trying to cheer up Hobbes. Once in a while he would succeed and bring a smile to Hobbes’ face, perhaps with a riddle or clever rhyme. But mostly Hobbes just walked about wearing a pouty face. Just as Hegel the hedgehog was thinking these things about his friend, there came a scratching sound at the garden gate. ...

Chicken Feet: poems

Seasoned writer and poet Brian Kenneth Swain knows that some seeds take longer to germinate than others. After entering a new phase of life several years ago, Swain began writing free verse that not only explored the meaning in real-life experiences, but also in the wacky and unorthodox. Swain shares truths he has stumbled upon during a unique journey from yesterday to now. In his third compilation of poetry, Swain reflects on a wide range of topics that include nature’s beauty and creatures, a confusing SAT question, the day in the life of a stone mason, the sweetness of watermelon pickles, and the morning after a party, hoping his verse ultimately sparks a younger generation to enthusiastically embrace imagery, inspiration, and ...

Barthelme, or Something

Let me begin by observing that, while I have read—and on occasion even enjoyed—some of Barthelme’s work, indeed have scrutinized it with what I can only describe as painstaking assiduousness (emphasis on the pain part), I confess here, for the record, that I understand neither the writing itself nor the ethos or personal angst or whatever it is that would drive an otherwise intelligent person to construct such obtuse stories (stories here being a term I employ in only its very loosest connotation, what with me being a rather traditional sort of guy, at least in the sense that I like my stories to have clearly perceptible beginnings, middles, and endings, which I totally get is regarded these days as rather quaint and possibly even ...

The Freedom of Ignorance

Peristalsis is the heart and soul of this poem. If you know what that means, the poem conveys one thing to you, and one thing only. If you don’t know what it means, then the poem’s intent could be anything at all. A flower or a disease. A cat or exotic foreign recipe. The possibilities are endless, bounded only by your imagination.   Far be it from me to ruin that blissful freedom by revealing what the word means. Best you swallow your pride, embrace the uncertainty, and make it be whatever you want it to be. Which will mean that, in the end, we’ve really written the poem Me the words. You the ...

I Want to Kill the Ice Cream M ...

It’s that damned cloying song again, rising slowly in the distance as his boxy white truck approaches. The tune itself varies from place to place. For me – Turkey in the Straw, but only four measures, four gut-wrenching measures repeating endlessly, repeating endlessly. Like someone pounding the blunt end of a xylophone into the side of my head with a five-pound sledgehammer.   And as that satanic vehicle wends its cursed way through my neighborhood, the insipid melody waxes and wanes in tortuous doppler-shifted tones that lead relentlessly to my house, the vile cacophony building to a crescendo that makes my eyes bulge— my head throb.   It’s all I can do to feign a smile as my neighbor’s seven-year-old peers up at the ...

As God is My Witness

The grandfather clock in the corner chimed 6:30 as Buster sat deeply and comfortably ensconced in his recliner, repeatedly belching up the taste of the spaghetti with sausage and marinara sauce leftovers he had nuked for supper. He loved the sausage, though he knew well that he would still be tasting it well past bedtime. The TV was tuned to the evening news, or at least what Buster still preferred to regard in that way. It wasn’t the evening news any more, though, was it? It was the all-the-goddamned-time news. It was just that Buster had spent most of his adult life in the era of three channels, each of which aired a half hour of local news from 6:00 to 6:30, followed by national and international news from 6:30 to 7:00. And if you ...

The Fall

On the faintest of breezes the glowing white cherry blossom in my backyard garden, final flower of spring, quivers and breaks free, twirls a time or two descending on currents unseen. It is perfect only in that moment, its ephemeral fall, set free from the nurturing branch, It lights upon the grass where already the tips begin to curl and brown, soon to become the ground, the tree, then the branch, and finally, once more, next season’s ...