The Plaid Onion Victor


Well muscled, booted, coated 
Victor with pajamas
One arm free
Onion in hand.

Stares out the door
Makes his dent
Bite bite.

Shredded  and tangled up with the onion

Big Victor
Big onion

Big dent in the floor

Pajamas digesting

Well heeled, muscular onion
Big plaid Victor.

Winter. Summer.

No wind, no hair.

Strife eyebrow.

Lay Victor, lay.





You promised me.


What did you say to Kathleen?


Come downstairs I want to talk to you about what Thomas
said to you.



Tell me what Thomas said to Kathleen.


I don’t believe you.


You’re all going to stay in this room a very long time.

Barbara, why do you look so glum?
Kathleen, get away from that.
Thomas, have you had anything to eat today?




Thomas, help me wrap them up, they’ve got to be microwaved.

Barbara, and Kathleen.


Barbara, I miss you now.

Kathleen is living in Las….

I don’t give a shit about Thomas.

But Barbara… I miss you now.

Barbara- Ha- Ha-


It. With Pets.

Illness had broken the security of the neighborhood
They all coughed
or they vomited

They wretched together
and alone, robotic

They worried and worried
Then nothing.
They did nothing.

They each had a cat or a dog.
They were saved by their pets.
Nothing sucked then.

Nothing was horrible.11091257_10204029385479167_1037285025_n



Aggressive glare
shadows describing the buildings

Who loomed above, around the Bench
where an unremarkable man worried
and stared at the pavement

It was too bright
He did not raise his head

The birds were loud with their wings

They landed, and took things.


A sandwich that he forgot to eat.

His hands chewed it.

He worried and mangled it.

Birds landed
Ate the crumbs.

He wrung it out like
a wet rag he might place
at the forehead
to calm the worries

He worried into his sandwich
and looked awkward sitting
the bench got dirty
crumbs and bits of meat,
veggie shrapnel,
droplets of the sauce,
pieces of cheese,

the crumbs had their way with his lap
and the bench
and the pavement

the cold cold birds
munched them down
no empathy
no evil

the man worried harder
because of how ominous the birds seemed.

Before long the sandwich vanished completely
carried off by a thousand eager, ominous

Then he wrung his hands with worry
there on the bench
so long that seasons passed,
the children of the first birds
fed their own children now

They gathered pieces of him that fell away
while he meticulously erased himself

Worrying on the bench.

Nobody knew him, nobody investigated.

Birds flew away with the evidence.


Melon and Cauliflower


It was not simply a man standing there on my porch, in the middle of a snowfall, with the plow going by behind him liberating the right of way and leaving defensive mounds at the fresh shoveled lip of each driveway.

It was not simply a man who offered his pamphlet and said something he had memorized.

But it *was* just some dude canvassing, and I answered the door mainly for my own enjoyment. I put on a show for the toiling beast.

Later in the week there was a ripe melon on my front porch. I took it in, cut it apart. There were pamphlets inside just like the one the creature had vomited into my lap earlier in the week. I started to have an idea.

Then: Cauliflower…

The very next week several large and sturdy boxes, vented with bullet holes,  in neat columns, like three strange men pretending to visit, stood suddenly in the very same spot on my porch. They were filled with Albino Broccoli.

Cauliflower Hell.

The week after that, the man came back, or rather seemed to materialize right there on the porch, knocking and eager, dressed “To the Nines.”

It was not simply a man standing there on my porch though.

Again he wielded pamphlets, but rather than invite him further into my life, I cautiously demanded he provide me with a melon.

Taken aback, he made a question mark of a face, nearly by accident, and froze.

Gaining confidence, I demanded he bring me a melon after first spending one week locating the proper melon to bring. My demand had interrupted the reassembly of his sales-face, his face was stuck in an abominable half-baffled/half-glamorous, door-to-door-salesman expression, and an implied question mark throbbed boldly above his head.  I gave no conditions, I answered no unasked questions,  I merely assured him that if he did truly go browsing melons throughout the week, he would know what to do. If he failed, I threatened to harm the offending melon.

While I said all of this, I made sure to look very suspicious: slit-eyes, paranoid glances, and a subtle moon-walking of my feet, so that I gradually faded back into my door as I finished speaking.

I said something similar for the week after the requested melon, but I made it about cauliflower. I gave him fewer details, knowing he would not find me a proper melon anyway.

To save myself another week, I said he should bring the cauliflower and plan to visit with me, instead of waiting a whole week beyond that date to do so (I had originally planned to mess with this guy for three weeks).

I paused inside my door and focused on his catastrophic face, I whispered that he should scrap the whole plan if he found that harm had come to the melon, and I shifted my slit-eyes and glanced around paranoid-like while the door slammed.


I waited for a melon, one week. He left a melon, but it was clear that he really didn’t know, so I left it there…ish.

When he returned a week later with cauliflower, the melon was festering and rotting away, I had pounded a wooden stake through it, and encircled it with garlic.

He turned on his heel, did a bride-like bouquet toss of the cauliflower, crashing it into the steps with glory, its waxy bleached tasteless nodules splashed all over the mailbox and the welcome mat, and they probably wondered why they had even been born.. He frisbee’d his handful of pamphlets out to pollinate the street, got in his car, cranked heavy metal music, and didn’t ever come back.

Somewhere, people printed thousands of pamphlets, and other people brought them to people who had paid for them… and those people issued thousands of them to other people who had read previous pamphlets and been stirred to the bizarre servitude the pamphlets offered.

This man had been one of that last group… and this man liked my way better.

He drove home, and never again went back to the place that the pamphlets had come from.

He changed phone numbers, and he eventually moved to a new home.

Years later, he would step out on his porch with his newborn in one arm, and gently slide a wooden stake through a melon, sprinkle garlic in a ring around it, and whisper to the newborn in a cutesie tone, “Salesman are like Count Dracula!”


Victor and the Merchant

The Smoker

Victor looked at his basket.

The merchant looked at Victor.

The merchant wore suspenders. He adjusted them for no reason. He wiped the counter top with a napkin that was falling apart.

He pretended not to be looking at Victor.

Victor took a bite out of an apple, and walked to the back of the store chomping the bite of apple loudly, and winking into the mirrors the merchant had hung all over the ceiling.

Victor took a gallon of milk from the shelf, opened it, and drank from it.

Victor set 65% of the apple, and 85% of the gallon of milk before the merchant, right on some pieces of wet napkin, rolled into nano-cigarettes by the feverish wiping of the merchant..

The merchant gave Victor five dollars.

Victor walked outside stuffing the $5 in his pocket, and the door closed behind him in time with the chomping and glugging of the merchant.

The next customer would think the counter was dirty, and probably would not think of napkins.

The next customer would probably give money to the merchant, and leave with merchandise.


–Todd and the Storm–

Todd the deckhand straightened his back for a brief stretch, then hunched again and pushed the brush across the deck. The ship tilted and he adjusted. He stretched again, weary, but then he crouched with a focus and determination, scrubbing. Todd ran on batteries, and they were wet. He was dying.

Captain waved me over, I knocked the rest of my pipe into the boiling sea, and resisting the urge to hold my hat, I tried to look casual walking across the see-sawing deck toward his great Wheel to hear him. I felt my hat fill with wind and start to lift…but I faked an itch and tugged it down firm as I reached him.

“That deckhand has a ripcord!” Captain yelled to me, whirling his wheel, holding his Captain’s Storm-Hat to his head with one mighty arm that was highlighted each time the clouds crackled, as though a gathering of the press were already chronicling the Great Storm and the Great Ship. The Great Captain who steered her home…

The deck lurched, and a dark gurgling happened. The boat got heavy, and it felt horrible.

“Lifehead!?” I yelled, understanding him fully. The Captain towered at the wheel and nodded fire.

The boat was sinking now. But I could follow orders.
I knew.

The Captain was ready.

I walked, casually as if shopping, to the deckhand Todd and timed my strike with the lightning, the sound of the Captain leaping to follow, and the scrape of his Todd Brush.. I saw the ripcord, dangling from his temple, with a big red handle the said LIFEHEAD on it in bold white letters. Then Todd stopped scrubbing, because his battery was dead dead dead, I took the ripcord in my hand and I ripped it.

Todd the deckhand made a hollow “Whoomp!” in his last breath, his body was ejected like a shell casing. A cartridge of C02 in his brainstem unloaded into his skull, stretching his Todd-Face until it was a lifeboat with cold eyes, a long nose, and a grimace. At one end there was a fringe where the horseshoe of Todds pattern baldness was distributed in a decorative flourish.

I wondered how it might be to have a battery.

Captain and I made Todd the deckhand a hero in our stories.

We burned the lifehead on the surf, drinking bottles that washed ashore from the wreck, and agreed he really was a hero. Then we waited.

The homing pigeon saw the Captain’s shoulder the next morning, and landed there. We were awakened, and the pigeon carried each of us from our island to the shore, leaving the Todd-Head-Ash to be licked away by the thousand tongues of the surf.