Sunday Snippet, Poem, the wind bottle by Bill Chance

“A little muzhik was working on the railroad, mumbling in his beard.

And the candle by which she had read the book that was filled with fears, with deceptions, with anguish, and with evil, flared up with greater brightness than she had ever known, revealing to her all that before was in darkness, then flickered, grew faint, and went out forever.”

― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Civitas, Audrey Flack, 1988, Patinated and gilded bronze with cast glass flame and attached marble base, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

the wind bottle

The candle wax drips down
the wine bottle
wine and spaghetti
fuel
lighted matches
spent, still
smoke on the tabletop

The smell
Grandma and her doilies
light and fire
hot
Watch the kid burn himself

I blow
and watch the smoke
the darkness stringing streaming out

Sunday Snippet, Poem, Warm Water by Bill Chance

“You love me. You ignore me. You save my life, then you cook my mother into soap.”

― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Dallas Arboretum

Warm Water

Complex salts
and surfactants
change the surface tension
make the water smoother
One end loves water
the other oil
The molecules line up, sticking one end in
the other out.
billions and billions in line
to make one tiny
bubble
one unit
of foam.

I know too much
that there isn’t much difference
a chain here
a conjugated double bond
a COOH group there
between lilac
(bath soap)
and the stench of death

maybe that’s the point

Sunday Snippet, Poem, Dust Crew by Bill Chance

“All happiness depends on courage and work.”

― Honoré de Balzac

Heat
Heat

Dust Crew

Six men sleep is a star pattern
feet, boots in against the tree
heads out
the only way
to pull a little shade from the mesquite
tree, thin green lacy thing
hats pulled down over eyes

What rough dreams stream
from such meager shelter?

A pickup brakes up
throwing dust
dirt stringing streaming out
brims tilt for a peek

Everyone jumps
at the boss
OK, off yer asses, y’all’s ten minutes up!”
one yells
in a futile excuse

Sunday Snippet, Short Poem, Pumpkin by Bill Chance

“I will defend pumpkin until the day I die. It’s delicious. It’s healthy. I don’t understand the backlash. How did pumpkin become this embarrassing thing to love but bacon is still the cool flavor to add to everything? I don’t have anything against bacon; just don’t come after pumpkin like it’s a crime to love an American staple.”

― Anna Kendrick, Scrappy Little Nobody

Pumpkin Pie Soda, From RocketFizz, Deep Ellum, Texas

Pumpkin

(short poem fragment)

PUMPKIN

I saw a car
an old car
paint faded, worn to
a flat pumpkin seed color
written in the windows
with white shoe polish
FOR SALE
800 DOLLARS
RUNS GREAT!!
a tattered frazzled worn woman sat
in the front seat
broken down
on the freeway
at seven in the morning

Sunday Snippet, Mall from Hell by Bill Chance

“Civilized life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.”

― J.G. Ballard

Toad Corner, Dallas Arboretum

Mall from Hell

He dreams of a shopping mall from hell
At the center, the intersection of walkways
Is a lobotomy kiosk
Crowned with a shiny silver
Ball peen hammer
Youths with untied shoes
Line up in front of the food court
Where the famous
Deep Fried Toad Dicks on toothpicks
Are cooked and served up by
Lolita in a paper hat

Short Story Of the Day (poem?), Convenience Store Fined For Being Inconvenient by Bill Chance

“When we have to change an opinion about any one, we charge heavily to his account the inconvenience he thereby causes us.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Creepy scene through a shop window, Denton, Texas

I have been feeling in a deep hopeless rut lately, and I’m sure a lot of you have too. After writing another Sunday Snippet I decided to set an ambitious goal for myself. I’ll write a short piece of fiction every day and put it up here. Obviously, quality will vary – you get what you get. Length too – I’ll have to write something short on busy days. They will be raw first drafts and full of errors.

I’m not sure how long I can keep it up… I do write quickly, but coming up with an idea every day will be a difficult challenge. So far so good. Maybe a hundred in a row might be a good, achievable, and tough goal.

Here’s another one for today (#36). What do you think? Any comments, criticism, insults, ideas, prompts, abuse … anything is welcome. Feel free to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading.


A long time ago I went to a poetry reading at the Richardson Library. The poet passed out slips of paper with outrageous (but real) headlines on them and each of us were supposed to write a poem based on their headline.

Mine was 34. JAPAN BREEDING ARMY OF GODZILLAS!

You can read my poem at this blog entry.

I did some web searching and discovered the headlines he passed out were from the fine publication Weekly World News and they are a cornucopia of outrageousness and hilarity. When writer’s block strikes I pick a headline and write a poem.

Some of today’s gems:

BAT BOY NAILS COGNITIVE TEST!
August 7, 2020 by Frank Lake
PERSON, WOMAN, BAT, CAMERA, WINGS! President Trump challenged his competitors Joe Biden and Bat Boy …

56-YEAR-OLD MAN WINS ANIMAL CROSSING
August 7, 2020 by Rusty Botttoms
Game Over.  Millions Around the Globe DevastATed.  Nintendo Stock Price Declines 30% on the News. …

BRUTE TAMED BY PIXIES!
August 5, 2020 by Brick Rivers
“I WANTED TO CHANGE MY LIFE BUT…PIXIES? SERIOUSLY?” HE SAYS By all accounts, until recently, …

CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PEOPLE AND PUPPETS?
August 4, 2020 by Boyce Day
THE OTHER PANDEMIC Do you think Kermit is a real frog?  Do you think Lamb Chop is …

WOMAN MARRIES HER TEDDY BEAR!
July 31, 2020 by Brick Rivers
“UNLIKE MOST MEN, HE LISTENS WHEN I TALK.” After being kicked in the head by …

BARNEY GETS JACKED!
July 31, 2020 by Adam Peacock
DATING CARDI B? Barney, once popular chubby children’s show icon, fell out of favor and …

VAMPIRES LEAVING LOS ANGELES
July 29, 2020 by Brick Rivers
“THIS TOWN SUCKS,” SAYS LEAD VAMP. “NO PUN INTENDED.” For decades, the Los Angeles chapter…

DOLPHIN SIGHTED WEARING OLD CAMPAIGN GEAR
July 29, 2020 by Boyce Day
He Likes Ike! A trio of friends out fishing on the Atlantic Ocean recently spotted …

NY TIMES REPORTER EATEN ALIVE BY 80-FT. DINOSAUR!
July 27, 2020 by Frank Lake
“He was on assignment in Yunnan Province, China.” American scientists captured an 80-foot dinosaur in …

AMERICAN BEARS VOW NOT TO ATTACK CAMPERS WEARING MASKS!
July 27, 2020 by Brick Rivers
“WE HAVE TO PRESERVE OUR FOOD SOURCE!” DECLARES GRIZZLY “It really is an environmental first,” …

Today the headline I drew is Convenience Store Fined For Being Inconvenient.


 

Convenience Store Fined For Being Inconvenient

 

The police came with blue helmets. The door was locked. They had to knock on a window to wake the man up.

“Your sign says ‘OPEN 24 HOURS.’”

“Not in a row!” the man replied.

“Your milk is all out of date,” they said.

“I thought that was more of a suggestion,” the man replied.

“Your bread is stale.”

“Carbs are bad for you.”

“Garlic toothpaste?”

“No accounting for taste.”

“Your lot has a ‘NO PARKING’ sign.”

“Keeps the riff-raff out.”

“Your batteries are all dead,” they said.

“But they are marked down and clearly labeled as such.”

“You have back pain medication on the high shelf.”

“There’s a grabber available.”

“What is that machine?”

“It’s soda shaker – very popular with the kids.”

“Your newspapers are all days old.”

“History is important.”

“Your microwave has no door.”

“So you can check your food and it won’t burn.”

“Your fire sprinklers are leaking.”

“Why wait until the last minute.”

“Why are you selling snow chains and ice scrapers in the desert?”

“You never know.”

“That sign, ‘NEW STOCK TOMORROW’ – has been here for a year.”

“It’s not untrue.”

“That sign says, ‘TEN CENTS EACH, TWO FOR A QUARTER,’ “

“Still a bargain,”

“Your pencils – there are only numbers 1 and 3.”

“A unique selection.”

“Your lottery tickets are already scratched off.”

“Nobody wins anyway.”

“Your gum machine only takes foreign coins.”

“A service for our immigrant population.”

“That sign says, ‘EXACT CHANGE ONLY.’”

“Keeps the checkout line moving.”

“That sign says, ‘NO CREDIT NOR DEBIT CARDS.’”

“That keeps the prices low.”

“That sign says, ‘NO COUPONS ACCEPTED – EVEN OURS.’”

“Especially ours. They are no good.”

“We are going to have to fine you. There have been complaints.”

“Complaints! How is that possible? I have no customers!”

“No customers? How can you have a store with no customers?”

“My goal is a very exclusive clientele.”

“Be that as it may, we will have to fine you.”

“How much is the fine?”

“It depends on how much business you do.”

“But I don’t do any business.”

“Well, then we will take you to jail.”

They handcuffed the man and put him in a squad car. They explained he was being charged with running an Inconvenience Store. He asked them to make sure the door was locked.

“I don’t want to be robbed,” he said.

“We’ll keep an eye on it,” the police replied.

Short Story (Poem) Of the Day, Coffee by Bill Chance

“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.”
David Lynch

Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

I have been feeling in a deep hopeless rut lately, and I’m sure a lot of you have too. After writing another Sunday Snippet I decided to set an ambitious goal for myself. I’ll write a short piece of fiction every day and put it up here. Obviously, quality will vary – you get what you get. Length too – I’ll have to write something short on busy days. They will be raw first drafts and full of errors.

I’m not sure how long I can keep it up… I do write quickly, but coming up with an idea every day will be a difficult challenge. So far so good. Maybe a hundred in a row might be a good, achievable, and tough goal.

Here’s another one for today (#27). What do you think? Any comments, criticism, insults, ideas, prompts, abuse … anything is welcome. Feel free to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading.

 


 

Coffee (from an old Turkish proverb)

Black as death

Hot as hell

Bitter as lost dreams

Thick as love

She liked her women like she liked her coffee

Dark, Bitter, and Colombian

 

 

Short Story (Poem) Of the Day, Rich Women Shopping by Bill Chance

“Buy what you don’t have yet, or what you really want, which can be mixed with what you already own. Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping”
― Karl Lagerfeld

Main Street Park
Dallas, Texas

I have been feeling in a deep hopeless rut lately, and I’m sure a lot of you have too. After writing another Sunday Snippet I decided to set an ambitious goal for myself. I’ll write a short piece of fiction every day and put it up here. Obviously, quality will vary – you get what you get. Length too – I’ll have to write something short on busy days. They will be raw first drafts and full of errors.

I’m not sure how long I can keep it up… I do write quickly, but coming up with an idea every day will be a difficult challenge. So far so good. Maybe a hundred in a row might be a good, achievable, and tough goal.

Here’s another one for today (#25). What do you think? Any comments, criticism, insults, ideas, prompts, abuse … anything is welcome. Feel free to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading.

 


 

Rich Women Shopping

Their legs are so long

they reach all the way to the ground

their bags small

and shiny

sparkles and bright colors

logos

hunters

of wild and gorgeous efficiency

 

 

Short Story (Poem) Of the Day, My Pen by Bill Chance

“You want to be a writer, don’t know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen.”
― Paul Simon

I have been feeling in a deep hopeless rut lately, and I’m sure a lot of you have too. After writing another Sunday Snippet I decided to set an ambitious goal for myself. I’ll write a short piece of fiction every day and put it up here. Obviously, quality will vary – you get what you get. Length too – I’ll have to write something short on busy days. They will be raw first drafts and full of errors.

I’m not sure how long I can keep it up… I do write quickly, but coming up with an idea every day will be a difficult challenge. So far so good. Maybe a hundred in a row might be a good, achievable, and tough goal.

Here’s another one for today (#23). What do you think? Any comments, criticism, insults, ideas, prompts, abuse … anything is welcome. Feel free to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading.

 


 

My Pen

I hear

there are boutiques where

people buy pens

from expensive European designer’s

designs

exotic wood

and space-age metal

 

Mine is cheap bilious plastic

translucent tube generic refill

but it does say

“#1 DAD”

in bad printing

on the side

bought at a PTA sale

 

It’s a good pen

and expensive

I worked long and hard

for it

.

 

The Girl With Many Eyes

The Girl With Many Eyes
One day in the park
I had quite a surprise.
I met a girl
who had many eyes.

She was really quite pretty
(and also quite shocking!)
and I noticed she had a mouth,
so we ended up talking.

We talked about flowers,
and her poetry classes,
and the problems she’d have
if she ever wore glasses.

It’s great to know a girl
who has so many eyes,
but you really get wet
when she breaks down and cries.”
Tim Burton

Tattoo Parlor Window, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler – from Bishop Arts Mardi Gras Parade – 2013