xprmnt alwyz n nevr stop th attmpt to kreate sumthng new this has bn th point of my 70 books of poetry n now th site yer eyes r winding throu alwyz turning identities into taktile sumthings, a groop of people to party with perhps, meening twistd arownd nw spellings to new momnt of you

    ive xperimneted stroumboulouboulopoulis styl wth peepole im knot 

    njoy

 


 

Would You Rather I Write You a Love Poem or Clean the Bathroom?

 

    Gabriel and Gretta hug their last goodbyes to the bride and groom and walk ten minutes under the crescent moon to the Howard Johnston Hotel. “Aren’t these wedding favors cute?” Gabriel says, holding up a miniature wedding contraption. Gretta is looking up at the moon and says, “Are they ever,” but to be honest neither of them know what these little devices are. The bride is an engineer and the groom is an avant-guard sculptor and so there may or may not be some use to the little mechanical doodad in Gabriel’s warm hand. “I’ll never forget the time I made a volcano for a science fare,” Gabriel explains and tries to turn three or four memories into an interesting story. Gretta remains distracted by the moon.

   Once inside their hotel room, Gabriel lands with a bounce on the king sized bed. Gretta goes into the bathroom. “What’s on your mind, Gretta?” Gabriel says loudly, finding intimacy easier at a distance. He gets up and opens the curtains to reveal the half-moon. If he carried a half-disc in his pocket he could always create a full moon he thinks and wonders why he isn’t an avant-guard artist. He’s a little drunk. He goes back to the bed but then thinks better and closes the curtain. They’ve never once made love by an uncurtained window.

   “I’m thinking about somebody who made something for me a long time ago.” She comes out from the bathroom with a glass of water and sets it by the night-stand.

    “And who was this somebody?” Gabriel asks, smiling.

    “It was somebody I knew in Ireland.” She stretches out on the bed.

    The smile drops from his lips. A vague anger sloshes back and forth somewhere in his body. His lust is in tangles.

     “You were in love with him?” he asks ironically.

     “It was a boy named Michael Jordan. A short, little Irish boy. He built this contraption for me. Something made out of computer parts and monitors and it was definitely strange but he said that it would do everything I needed. It was a joke of course and he was such a nerd – really awkward – and there was no way I was interested in him but then the contraption fell on him the day before the science fair. It kept asking one question while it was laying on his little crushed body.”

    She weeps into her open hands and the previous accumulation of feelings flee Gabriel’s body. He struggles to find the right words to say.

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     I woke up this morning and read in my inbox an off-kilter request to add to a list of 108 other stories on this blog. In the email I was told that if I didn’t write an introduction along with a story, 10 of my friends would “explode to death.” (Can exploding lead to anything else?) Well I’m not a superstitious person but I of course looked up the site and read through some of the stories which are for the most part ridiculous. Some of the stories are kind of funny but a lot have just been thrown together. Imagine a drunk Salman Rushdie writing an episode of the Family Guy. But what else can you expect from a random group of people? At least it wasn’t a novel written by the internet.

     While I’m not superstitious I do want to ensure the safety of my friends who happen to work in the explosives industry. (Go figure. I mean what would you do?) So here’s a story but I promise not to pass this chain letter to anyone else. It ends here.

    Unless you’d like to add a story.

 

The Little Love Gift

On a cold Wednesday night they met in a flurry of introductions – Amanda, Dawn, Lisa, Kevin – but with her black toque pulled low to her fierce blue eyes she stood out as unique. For her part, ever since he’d stepped in through the large glass door of the small cinema, a warning signal had been flashing at the back of her mind: “I’m never dating him.” One month later they walked out the door of a party together. Five blocks down the street, he stripped the tip of a cherry blossom branch of its petals. She leaned into his cupped hands. Six years later – at last – they were married, telling this story again and again with different parts deleted depending on the listener.