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  • Endless Joke
    Endless Joke
    by David Antrobus

    Here's that writers' manual you were reaching and scrambling for. You know the one: filled with juicy writing tidbits and dripping with pop cultural snark and smartassery. Ew. Not an attractive look. But effective. And by the end, you'll either want to kiss me or kill me. With extreme prejudice. Go on. You know you want to.

  • Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    by David Antrobus

    Please click on the above thumbnail to buy my short, intense nonfiction book featuring 9/11 and trauma. It's less than the price of a cup of coffee... and contains fewer calories. Although, unlike most caffeine boosts, it might make you cry.

  • Music Speaks
    Music Speaks
    by LB Clark

    My story "Solo" appears in this excellent music charity anthology, Music Speaks. It is an odd hybrid of the darkly comic and the eerily apocalyptic... with a musical theme. Aw, rather than me explain it, just read it. Okay, uh, please?

  • First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    by Sybil Wilen, P. J. Ruce, Jeffrey McDonald, John Page, Susan Burdorf, Christina Gavi, David Alexander, Joanna Parypinski, Jack Flynn, Graeme Edwardson, David Antrobus, Jason Bailey, Xavier Axelson

    My story "Unquiet Slumbers" appears in the zombie anthology First Time Dead, Volume 3. It spills blood, gore and genuine tears of sorrow. Anyway, buy this stellar anthology and judge for yourself.

  • Seasons
    Seasons
    by David Antrobus, Edward Lorn, JD Mader, Jo-Anne Teal

    Four stories, four writers, four seasons. Characters broken by life, although not necessarily beaten. Are the seasons reminders of our growth or a glimpse of our slow decay?

  • Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited

    I have two stories in this delightful compendium of every 2012 winner of their Flash Fiction Challenge—one a nasty little horror short, the other an amusing misadventure of Og the caveman, his first appearance.

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Entries in John Donne (2)

Friday
Sep282018

Adamant

"Thy grace may wing me to prevent his art
And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart." — John Donne

You following that slat-ribbed coydog down the interstate right now?

Ain’t no towns for miles, just fences and cattle, while the sly grey dog lopes west, lost as the sun.

Semi-trailers and campers, pickup trucks and seekers, late in the summer, pass the dog however hard he runs, his loose pink tongue a ribbon soliciting some secret charity. Pay him some mind if you happen to pass by.

Don’t matter his type or breed—wild, border, working, bright as fireflies, resolute as night. Salute him, greet him, unearth the kindness from the dark ore of your heart, show him something virtuous as you pull away, as you catch a glimpse of his desolate grin in your rearview. He has forever to catch up, a whole lifetime to contemplate his banishment. 

Ain’t ashamed to tell the world I love that mutt. He’s earnest as an abandoned dream in the wake of a long gone carnival. Sad as an old candy wrapper blowing across a field. More fearful than feral.

Lung shadows and rain squalls appear like arrow falls, the whole land opens its gullet, and distant ranges echo with yipped laments for countless absent place names.

After some time, you can’t help yourself. You pull onto the fractured shoulder, oh sweet Montana sky, crack the window and breathe the grass-stem purity, and you wait, and you wait, until the tireless adamant blur in your bug-spattered mirror resolves itself into something alive—this wild insistent dog, heedless of pain, hopeful for your love, loping your way, bringing its torn ears and matted fur, carrying its lonely wet ardor, its road stink, here with you now, believing in some kind of reckoning. 

Friday
Feb202015

By Nectar Neglected

See him. He is the walker.

The kinked arrow of his wending takes him past the fitful sleep of murky settlements, past the stitched brows of crepuscular forests, his gaunt and stringlike frame a hauntscape for the murmurs of night guilt and uncompromising schemes.

No one has ever seen him in the glare of sunlight, and even during the darkest hours most sense him only as an inkling, like they might a brief visit by a lone black hummingbird in some forgotten back field, by nectar neglected, by nature abandoned.

His kindred, his compañeros, whose fugitive trails he here and there crosses and even more rarely shares, are lonesome castoffs too, exiled coyotes bereft of their pack, silent, unmoored, whether from fear or shame no one knows. Or likely cares.

"I run to death, and death meets me as fast,

And all my pleasures are like yesterday"

says the poet.

"That's why Monday, when it sees me coming

with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,

and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,

and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the

night"

says another.

Yet there is more. Under clear Iowan skies he's a mere whisper, a momentary flash when a sunflower blinks. Beside dire mangrove swamps his brows tangle amid roots. Along lovers' lanes he watches expressionless from shadows, awaiting the secret puzzle word. In lost caverns where the world's heartbeat can be heard (after which you will hear no other sound), he licks the slime from shuddering walls. He climbs towers of ancient skinbound books in forgotten libraries and recites random fragments, calling Twain a charlatan and Steinbeck a liar. He interprets the raw dreams of bats so marauders might understand.

He enters your quiet towns and your silent villages, his jointed shadow angling over facades, his cantilevered insectivore jaw pensile, and wherever cracks and crevices present themselves, he slips inside, breathless as ice in your hallways and corridors, caressing the handles of silent bedrooms…

…where upon entering he places the spatulate tips of his long arthritic fingers on the velvety lips of sleeping children to hush their unspeakable dreams, though he be their source.