Stories tagged literary-fiction

To See the World in a Grain of Sand

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What’s it like, sex? I ask her. You see that picture? she asks, nodding to the large canvas covered with a film of dust propped up against her bedroom wall. That picture’s the only thing she never sold. She hocked it a few times but always got the

Smoke

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We both lost our appetites, her sense of taste destroyed by the tide of smoke sweeping across her tongue, wiping out her taste buds. Mine was limited to the four tastes the tongue alone could discern,

What I Did on My Summer Vacation…600mg Twice Daily

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I didn't realize it at the time, but my favorite summer vacation was the 30 days spent as an in-patient at a psychiatric unit for teenagers. I was fed, watered, medicated and entertained. It made me who I am today.

The Great San Francisco Poetry Wars, 10

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It was Warren who introduced me to this bouncer fellow named John O'Toole. Warren met O'Toole and his wife, Angelina, through the dark prison poet Eugene Forcer. Forcer and O'Toole were the best of friends until a riff erupted between them one…

How The Sixties Ended: or, The Great San Francisco Poetry Wars, 4

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We woke up at a rest stop on a knoll overlooking the Platte River, somewhere in Nebraska. Deborah and I were under a blanket on our mattress when Greg and Steve peered in the door. “Psst! Janov, you awake yet? The sun’s been up for like a whole hou

The Great San Francisco Poetry Wars, 1

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I lived for a time on Red Square in Berkeley. You may have heard of it. It was run by Von Rotten (that’s just plain Von), who was considered the Vladimir Lenin of the Foul Language Movement of Poetry (FLMP, pronounced “Flimp,” sometimes “Flump,”

Welcome to Space Island

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He was still dozing when his father yelled out in joy at seeing the faded sign, complete with a cartoon rocket ship flying through the starry blue sky. It read "Welcome to Space Island! Home of the first monkeys in outer space!"

Scoundrels and Street Preachers

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As Clyde was walking by, the preacher turned his attention to the ragged soul who strolled before him. The sad sight sent him into even more of a fury; he chose not to hold his tongue. "What is not permissible by God is a man who seeks out drugs and

Doobie Brother

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"Now he was just wearin' his regular clothes, and as I was walkin' in the store I said 'Hey Daddy Lonzo, how you doin'?' We talked for 'bout a minute or two, then I asked him if he knew where I could get myself a fat, left-handed cigarette."

Snow Storm

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"I'm going to go home now, the weather is supposed to start getting worse in an hour. Do you want a ride?"

Crooks and Liars

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"Crooks and liars I say! What does a man have to do to get himself heard around here? How much does he have to spend on a lobster dinner Mrs. Callahan? Or how many drinks do I have to pay for Mr. Sanger?"

Around Town

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The world around him had just woke up - the street lamps dimmed and flickered off, kitchens filled with activity as parents made coffee and children sat in living rooms and stared at Saturday morning cartoons.

Bonfire

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The answer sat right in front of Daniel’s eyes, but they were only in the sixth grade. They hadn’t learned that if they focused a lens in the sunlight it brought forth fire from light.That would be a lesson for another day.

The Great San Francisco Poetry Wars, 16

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Von Rotten had us all go out and paint this huge red square around the Red Diaper Baby factory. Then he held a big naming rally, at noon, during our lunch break. We weren’t allowed to eat our sandwiches. There was all this pomp and circumstance. We were

Boxcar Blues

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Last night they found his cousin Johnny with a bullet to the back of his noggin on Ezra Church Road. He took the dope from from those Guatemalan boys, so they found him and picked him up and before they shot him they took a baseball bat to him. Just like