Archive for July, 2017

Quoted in the Grove:

The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.
~Henry Ward Beecher

I don’t ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful.
~Pete Hamill

The day will happen whether or not you get up.
~John Ciardi


Posted from the Grove:




Platform Favorites:

Love’s Wanting Its Own
~Sophie B. Hawkins: Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover   (4:32)

~Edie Brickell: Good Times   (3:12)


Prewritten for Thurs (08/03) @6pm PT/9 ET is: One or more original knock-knock jokes


@Writers Platform:

Prewritten: furnace, wrangle

~Piffin: July 27

This epic romance
Cold as a furnace in June
Pain wrangles a kiss


~Greymane: Furnaced Apartment

Mandy was finally back in her hometown after more than 4 years away at college. She had lost her parents at a very young age and been raised by her grandparents. Pappa had passed about a year before she left and her grandmother just last year. She was alone now as far as family went, yet she returned to the small town she had grown up in. She hoped the familiar surroundings would help her settle into a new life of her own. She had almost run out of money by the time she landed a decent job at the hospital just outside of town. Finding a place to rent had been difficult. The only places she could afford were not to her liking, run down, bad neighborhoods, or too far from work for her.

At last she had found an ad in the newspaper. She was hopeful, the description sounded very nice and the rent was way below her budget. The building was a very nice old brownstone in surprisingly great shape for its obvious age. It was in a part of town she was not familiar with, oddly surrounded by overgrown fields of rubble. It stood practically alone on the block and she felt a little uneasy.

The owner Bernice was a bit old fashioned, it seemed, but very sweet. She loved the place and moved right in. The very first night, somewhere around 2 am, she was startled awake by the heavy smell of smoke but saw none. It was so strong she was almost choking. Out in the hallway and the rest of the building she saw no signs of a fire or any commotion at all. She went back to bed satisfied nothing was wrong. It happened again the next night and the night after that. She asked Bernice about it after a week of the same and all she would say is that it must be a fireplace on the breeze and that she had smelled nothing at all.

Mandy was finding it harder and harder to get any sleep after that as it happened every night at around 2 am. Smoke she could not see, heat from no visible source and fear that she could not explain save for her ever increasing confusion. Her work began to suffer and she lost her job as a result. Bernice told her she would always live there, always, and not to be concerned, she would find something else soon.

She began to lose her mind after a few more months had passed with more of the same, experiencing the same thing every night at the same time, even when she was wide awake. Voices began to accompany the heat and the smoke, frantic, muffled voices, then the faint sirens almost indiscernible.

She was sure that she had gone crazy. Weary from no sleep and weak from not being able to eat, she collapsed on the bed overcome by exhaustion. She saw the date on her clock and noticed that the next day was the anniversary of her parents passing as she drifted into a deep heavy sleep.

At 2 am as always she awoke to smoke and heat and fear but this time the voices were loud the sirens and the commotion outside surely had to be real. She could hear it plain as day. She went out in the hallway and it was blackened and hot, It was wet and smelled of burnt everything. She saw no one. She turned back to her apartment and saw that it was now as black and burned as the hallway. She ran toward Bernice’s apartment and saw that the whole building was a burnt ruin. There were holes in the walls and ashes and water puddled everywhere.

She made her way outside and realized there was no one there. No frantic victims, no firemen … no sirens. She sat, reeling, confused and scared. On the ground, in the gutter, next to her an old yellowed newspaper caught her eye. The headline read “Brownstone Fire Claims Family of Three” Curious she picked it up and read the story. A furnace had blown in one of the apartments and had taken the lives of a young couple and their daughter. There was a picture of Bernice standing in front of the very same scorched ruin that stood before her across the street. She turned to the back page for the rest of the story and there it was, a picture of her and the parents she remembered. She was terrified. The article had mentioned her by name and said that she had died in the fire with her parents. She didn’t know what to do.

She wrangled up the courage and got in her car. She had never been to the cemetery. Her grandparents had never taken her. It took her three hours to find her parents’ graves. Her own she found between them under a smaller headstone. With her realization she turned to smoke and dissipated quietly into everything around her, finding her freedom at last.


~BarTalk: Admonitions



Impromptu: used tissue,  empty pen

~Piffin: “Locust Avenue, 1996”

Every memory a used tissue
Every corner full of think
Every turn an unsolved issue
And our pen was out of ink
Our love letters
Empty glasses
In the sink


~Greymane: The Write Way

Writer on the window seat
The world down below
Another story incomplete
but closer than I know
I cursed my empty pen again
and told it things I knew
I called myself a writer but I limit what I view
I tried to paint a picture of a place I’d rather be
I tried to tell my tale but my voices don’t agree
I wrote my epic novel in the creases of my mind
Wrote on shreds of tissue that my life had left behind


~Jessalee: jessa impromptu

in a dim-lit quiet room
months and years now took minutes
and played out the life dream
of the son he was meant to be-
yesteryear visions
of the child’s loss and child lost.
as the letters spelled out
a deafening crescendo,
the end was near.
she let her mind go free
and focused not on the page
but her bony, frail aching hands.
then it was she felt nothing
but the cold wet used tissue
and she saw nothing more
than the pen that had run dry.


~BarTalk: kuku

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Quoted in the Grove:
I know the world isn’t fair, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?
~Bill Watterson

Reality continues to ruin my life.
~Bill Watterson

To make a bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible.
~Bill Watterson


Posted from the Grove:




Platform Favorites:

Guitar Magic
~Don Ross: Crazy   (2:46)

~Peter Drake: I’m Sorry   (2:15)
Talking steel pedal guitar


Prewritten for Thurs (07/27) @6pm PT/9 ET is: furnace, wrangle


@Writers Platform:

Prewritten: needle, ballet

~Piffin: “Recital”

Needle white pirouette
Fire kissed glissade
Wooden splinter
Agony ballet


~Greymane: Echoes Weight

Features formed from shattered glass
Her distance on the breeze
She buries dreams in meadow grass while dancing on her knees
She battles who she thinks she is and who she wants to be
She spirals down on things she found in her umbrella tree
She speaks of truths a bit removed beyond the reach of time
She colors out beyond the lines of every silent crime
Alone between the place she left and where she needs to go
She cries behind her laughing eyes and rides the undertow
The sunset stroking every wave but needles on the beach
Everything she tries to save is barely out of reach
The grand ballet of every day that echoes in her fate
Running for the train again, another day won’t wait


~BarTalk: Quartet



Impromptu: ballistic, pedal

~visitation: Pedal & Ballistic!

There I saw her, standing on the side of the road, hitch-hiking to who-knows-where, and something inside me told me not to stop.

I knew all the rules – be careful of hitch-hikers, especially around prisons, watch your back, use good judgment, etc; but I had nothing to do, and I was feeling dangerously carefree that day.

So I gently stepped on the brake pedal.

Nothing could defeat me that day; I was feeling too good – and was determined that would not change!
She was pretty, slightly untidy, but that added to her appeal; still I knew it was unwise to trust her, even when I saw the sudden glint flash in her eyes as I pulled over.

But nothing was going to defeat me .. nothing!

I was still carefree but still determined, when half an hour later, she pulled out a knife on me, made demands and didn’t even wait for an answer, but started slashing and attacking – like a wild thing!

Not even giving me the chance to accede to giving her whatever she was asking for; she was crazy .. but I was determined!

In the fight that ensued, I found my gun in the glove box, meaning only to threaten her with it, but the hacking and slashing continued, and a shot was fired.


I don’t know if I ever really expected to get away with it, but I had been so determined .. I would not be defeated.

Finding out she was an escaped criminal was a bonus, as it meant anything could have happened to her.
Hiding the body somewhere, hosing down my car, changing my clothes, burning the old ones, staying a few days somewhere until my wounds had healed .. I was determined.

Trying to cover all corners that could find me out; after all, I was innocent, it was she who had attacked me .. I was determined I would not be defeated by this thing.

But the cops had other ideas.

True, she had been in prison .. but she was a senator’s daughter, probably high on drugs, and despite all my best efforts, they found a single hole and shell-casing in a rock wall, as we had sped past at high speed!

Who would believe a poor man’s story, when put against the death of a powerful senator’s daughter, while in his car?

So now I sit behind bars, ruing the day I used the pedal .. and was defeated by a ballistic!


~Greymane: Tumbled

Ballistic blown
an empty sky
Explosion sparks of light
reaching for a distant shore
too cold to see the light
Pedal towards a tumbled sky
a distance never met
Painted dreams that wonder why they never can forget


~BarTalk: Equation

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Quoted in the Grove:

Life has meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when a man contemplates it with the image of a cathedral in mind.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Let a man in a garret but burn with enough intensity and he will set fire to the world.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Posted from the Grove:

A Disturbance of Helping Hands


For Fans of Hands Fanning


This week’s discussion: Google Proof – Americans are lying about their sexual desires. A short interview long on revelations



Prewritten for Thurs (07/13) @6pm PT/9 ET is: Short story on title: The Fan


@Writers Platform:

Glass Table

~Greymane: Burdened

Some say the world is round as reason, balanced by the cracks
I like to think we live in kingdoms grown on turtles backs
Beneath a dome of waters that the Truth won’t let us see
Are castles built of tortoise shell in jungles made of sea
A promise of the painted moon in oceans made of sleep
With towers standing bright against the darkness of the deep
Turtles trudging stardust trails burdened evermore…
A sloppy romping turtle stomp from shore to distant shore


Prewritten: ambidextrous, preacher

~Piffin: Butterfly Season

I pulled the Pontiac onto the gravel lot of a cheaters’ motel about a mile off the interstate.

Low Rates. Nightly. Hourly.

No Cable. No Air.

The girl had picked it out.

Dark shades and window fans and half-assed neon. A dozen rooms; half as many cars. Bungalows up ’round back.

I parked away from the flood lamps.

We got out of the car. The moon reflected off the hood in twisted smiles.

The girl stretched.

Flying things bombed the motel lights.

The night guy looked like a preacher.

I paid cash.

He eyeballed us.

A lot of people thought I looked like a cop. A lot of people thought she didn’t.

The air was humid, dank. We took the room down the end, away from the ice machine. People were going to be mining that thing all night.

The girl swept the room for bugs. She used a motel fly swatter, carefully pushing aside towels and curtains.

I fell back on a mattress, lost my boots, my blouse, my bra.

The girl took a shower. The steam didn’t help the air in the room any. The fan didn’t move it at all.

There was a radio on the nightstand. I got lucky, found music.

Some guy singing about something.

The girl jumped onto the bed, fired one up.

The dope was good.

The girl was better.

She was ambidextrous.

She could lie with either eye.

She smoked the whole time.

She smoked, after, as she stood with the door open, looking out at the night.

I joined her.

It was hot. She wore sweat well.

There was a siren in the distance. It faded.

I glanced across the lot.

Scalici was still in the trunk of the Pontiac, but he was fine. When binding him, we had duct taped a rabbit water bottle to his head, taped his mouth shut around the sippy spout, so he could work it with his tongue.

It was hot nonetheless.

Just after midnight, we popped the trunk, dumped a bucket of ice on him for laughs.


~Greymane: ku

Congregation blessed
An ambidextrous preacher
A cross in both hands


~BarTalk: Ceremony



Impromptu: vulture, dumpling

~Piffin: “Black-tie Gala”

Apple dumpling
Spill, dress rumpling
Kill my crumpling
Sense of splash
Whore to culture
Bouquet mulcher
Stop that vulture
Camera flash
Apple dumpling
All I taste is ash


~MissMerry: MM Impromptu

Dana sat on the bridge, watching the last shreds of sunrise as it dissolved above the horizon. The sun quickly warming her chilly thin legs as they dangled off the edge.

A vulture flew over the road at the side of the bridge, looking for early morning roadkill dumplings to fill its belly, no doubt. Dana thought for a moment how odd it was to see only one.
Funny, she thought, she supposed they always were in flocks, like the popular kids in school.

Go to school, or not to go to school, that was the question.
Seemed like learning always took a back seat to the drama … you had to be a vulture or a dumpling. She just did not feel like being either today.

Standing, she stretched and brushed a bit of gravel off of her bottom. Smiling to herself she mumbled aloud “Fuck them.” Hearing a truck in the distance, she shouldered her bag and stuck out her thumb


~BarTalk: un-ku’l

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Quoted in the Grove:

I actually washed my window once, and it fell through – it was being held together by the dirt.
~Edie Falco

Mystery has its own mysteries, and there are gods above gods. We have ours, they have theirs. That is what’s known as infinity
~Jean Cocteau

Hobbes: Do you think there’s a God?
Calvin: Well, SOMEBODY’S out to get me.
~Bill Watterson

It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy . . . let’s go exploring!
~Bill Watterson


Posted from the Grove:

Platform Favorites:

~The Smashing Pumpkins: Thirty-Three (4:08)
Am I you? The answer as question?

~Bruce Springsteen: Independence Day   (4:51)
Another way to say, goodbye

~Simon and Garfunkel: An American Tune   (4:25)
Traditional July 4th song @WGP&R, this in Central Park


Prewritten for Thurs (07/06) @6pm PT/9 ET is: ambidextrous, preacher


@Writers Platform:

Prewritten: nursery, corkscrew

~Piffin: “The Wayward Pixie”

In this cold new world
With its pantomimes
There’s a tavern that remains
From colonial times
On the banks of the bay
You can visit it still
If you’ve coin for the tab
And a belly to fill
They serve Shepherd’s Pie
They still clang their bell
There’s a scar in the bar
Where a scimitar fell
Yet the place is dark
With electric light
It’s been two-hundred years
Since the lamps burned bright
And the names have changed
As they do now and then
It’s become a sanctuary
For the tired old men
Who have worked their lives
And have nothing to show
But a sigh and cigarette smoke
To blow
Where the ghosts remain
Of the songs and cheers
Of the brave young times
Of the happy years
Do they sit in their shadows
And they sit in their shame
As they wait for their Sunday
And the girl with no name
Come ’round 10 PM
She arrives like dawn
As she pads on her feet
With a stretch and a yawn
Then she takes to singing
And she starts to dance
As she wakes up memories
And she wakes up pants
With a corkscrew twirl
Keeping perfect time
While her voice rings true
As a nursery rhyme
And they forget for a while
They forget for a while
They forget
For a while


~Greymane: Painful Memories

He saw her near the new nursery. She had been pretty once but the long years had been unkind to her. She was angry and cursing at something inside her pack as if it had wronged her in some way. He considered approaching her to see if there was anything he could do to help but an angry scowl sent him in the other direction.

He finished his business inside and found she was still lingering near his truck. She asked him for money. She was hungry. She told him she hadn’t eaten in days. He reached for his wallet while she kept talking and somewhere inside him was a glimmer of recognition. Something in the way she had said thank you rested deep in his memory.

“Lisa?” he ventured

She burst into tears, “My God, …Ben? Is it really you?” She could barely look up at him.

It had been over twenty-five years since they had last seen each other. They had dated back in high school. She was the sister of one of his closest friends. They had fun together back then and he had been sure that he was in love with her at the time but her family moved away and they had all lost touch soon afterward.

He took her to his favorite lunch spot and they talked more as they ate. She was ravenous but never stopped talking, almost frantic. She said they had moved around a lot and she had run with the wrong crowd in most places they lived. She fell in love with a bad boy and before she knew it had been in and out of jail several times. He had been cruel to her. He died one night in a drug deal gone bad. She had seen it all and had to run for her life. The years afterward had been hard, she had been lonely hiding and had been lost in her addictions. They had worn her down and twisted her reasoning.

He felt bad for her and told her he would help her in any way that he could. He took her to the shore and they shared some wine. She told him she was so happy that they were together again.. He explained that he had loved her at one time but now he had been happily married for 12 years and had children. He was happy he told her. Life had been good to him. All her years of anger and fear boiled in her mind. She was angry. She was crazy.

They found him in the sand with a corkscrew in his temple. The only witness a half-crazed homeless woman who said that she had recently taken up residence on the beach.


~BarTalk: Champagne Toast


Impromptu: rot, election or erection

~Piffin: [June 29]

Code of the jungle
Trees rot before ancient stone
Innate election


~Greymane: Empty Trap

A poor man lives above his means no matter what he does
Survival bleeding carnal things to nourish what he was
He paints a way to get away from things that chain him down
He follows songs of laughter from the darkness all around
He travels dreams thought too obscene by judgment of the light
He’s trapped in empties in between so close but out of sight
He reaches distant promises that beat him like a drum
He barters things so precious that he kills what he’s become
He wages wars on inner peace with everything he’s got
Rewards of his fruition leaving memories to rot
Survival of the fittest on the road to where He’s been
Electing indirection as excuses for his sins


~Jessalee: jessa impromptu

dust not yet settled
quiet, save the occasional
sound of a gun
far in the distance
but the city was dead
save a lone newspaper
flapping as it blew
brown, torn, rotted
bold black letters
a contrast on the page
that swirled down
fifth avenue
headlining the results
of the election
that the world would
not ever remember


~ReenRen: Rot and Failed Erections

She wished to foster his erection, but instead the ugly head that reared tho quite unfirm was the rot within her house. It could not be denied. It demanded eradication and so consumed all of her attention. It baffled her completely, why it should be so.
If she created her reality, it couldn’t be hell no!
She battled on her private quest, as the nation mirrored conditions. she pondered how appearances can be so damn deceiving. a random poke below surface paint was all it took to see it.
It was her primary intention to shower him with love and fine attention. But the primary showed more rot, and the mirror spoke too clearly.
He said, “All my friends and I agree you must not say that about sweet Hillary”
And that was how it ended.


~BarTalk: two unku’l


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