Tag: Pensive

The Bird in the Cage of my Heart by John Tustin

The bird who sits in the cage of my heart
Won’t stop singing his off-key off-kilter
Out-of-it songs
And the dog who is tethered to a leash in my head
Won’t stop barking at the bird that sits
In the cage of my heart.

Karl’s Hellmouth by Jonathan Gourlay

The backyard s’mores party for the neighborhood kids on the last day of school was the perfect time for Karl to show off his new fire pit. The pit was tubular, silver, and more than a little phallic. Smoke got sucked into the sides of the contraption and kept it from the women’s hair and clothes. (Which, Karl thought, they would appreciate and compliment him for.) Karl could see his convex reflection on its’ shiny, perfectly smooth surface. What a man he was.

It was one of those backyard parties where, in a movie, everyone would start sex-swinging or be secretly in a coven or perhaps be complex robots unaware of their own nature. It was the way of the suburbs to imagine that the exotic and chaotic lurked beneath the quotidian surface. The blandness was sinister. Like, clearly sinister, evil, horrible, a desecration of the earth itself to live like they did — destroying large swaths of prairie to install big box stores, extra wide parking spaces, and identikit houses that wanly gestured toward an imagined, vaguely feudal, European, past that was pure fantasy.   Yet people fled here from the city because they felt it was safe for their children.

Idle Hands by Molly Andrea-Ryan

“This is not acceptable behavior,” she said as the cat pawed at the carefully painted skeleton. “That isn’t yours,” she said as the cat knocked the skeleton from the shelf, sending it skittering across the floor. She picked it up and put it back, shooing the cat away, knowing it was a game, knowing that playing the game once meant playing the game again.

His miniatures were part of a game he never played. Skeletons, goblins, witches, sirens, dragons. He bought the kits, built the models, painted them. He placed them on a crowded shelf, organized and reorganized by size, color, and assigned skill. “I’m sure the game is fun,” he said, “but it isn’t what interests me.”