Category Archives: prose poetry

In the Stillness, poem from Left Handed Notebooks, Vol 23

In the stillness

The snow heart

Slipped off the roof

An angel’s missive

From the dead couple

Whose home yet remained

In a limbo of lawyers

While from on high

These suffering souls

Sent down to the living

A valentine of blizzards

All is well, it said,

Love is all


We are happy again.

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Infernal Regions Report: Scribe in Purgatorial Revision Spirals

Let us now praise the gods & goddesses of revision.

Long accepted is the law of writing, reading, rewriting…putting away…(after a period long enough for amnesia to set in, reopen the text)…read, rewrite, read again till sick of it again…repeat ad nauseam…[test the manuscript on poor “friend” victims, get feedback, please be patient with good readers]…and so on it goes, until the Author gives the creature a push out of the lab and good luck to that orphan…but always remember, authors in their heart of hearts love all their children, however suspect in terms of ideal standards of literary finesse.

By way of prologue, this is currently a period of revision, two novels in advanced revision yet not quite ready to release into the sink hole of despair & hope. Yes, Authors must dream too about their creatures of the imagination.

In brief, two novels in final prep…and a clamor from the Idea Pile…for new works to start. Meaning, the Author is in a betwixt & between (liminal) state. A most delicate transition between imaginary worlds. Steadying this uncertain phase to the next work in progress are those tortured texts under final tweaking. You get the point I’m sure, especially if you’re an obsessive compulsive writer who must scribble or type something everyday or else you start to suffer withdrawal nausea usually accompanied by rock emotional swings. Strange business. Don’t wish this scribe habit on anyone. Count your blessings if you can write and put it down for a few weeks, months or years. Please, I hear you, enough.

Oh, almost forgot, I’ve joined up with Author Central out of the Amazon Tribe of Scribblers. They’ve given me a very nice website with great links for the tentacles in a postmodern writer’s life. Check it out my twelve current works of fiction, hopefully a little something for everyone (what a nice man, the author is):

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Filed under American popular culture, erotica, fiction, first thought, prose poetry, works in progress

Follow us at Witts Inn Writers Retreat: Summer 2010

On foggy Monkfish Island somewhere off the Maine

Coast Near Portland (sometimes adrift it’s thought) is

Witts Inn Writers Summer Retreat (2010):

follow the fun goings on of a scribe tribe on a spooky island

 & listen to the gossip as they learn how to battle their uncertain

writing & social skills.


Go to:

Begins May 27/Memorial Day weekend & ends after Labor Day

******More to come here on blog after Labor Day

a spontaneous Twitter novel by Jim Stallings



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Filed under American popular culture, best thought, erotica, fiction, first thought, flash fiction, flash poetry, literature, literature and movies, poetry, prose poetry, troubled people, works in progress

At Witt’s Inn: Twitter novel-in-progress

So just by accident I happened to start a narrative on Twitter from the phrase overhead “at wit’s end”. But I heard it also as “at Witt’s Inn.” And so, for a while at least, I’m having some fun improvising installments or dispatches from this island writer & artist retreat on mysteriously foggy Monkfish Island. It’s exact location off the coast of the U.S. is in question as it seems to move about along the various coastlines. The important thing is that we seem to overhear the meditations and concerns of resident writers & artists in Twitter’s 140 character frames.

The experimental dispatch novel is now only a week or two old but we’re hopeful our link to the island will remain viable and that we may learn a few things about the introvertive universe of writers in residence. Below are a sampling of recent communiques into the cyberspace void. Drop in at

and read the latest.

Here on the Weblog we’ll continue to post other works-in-progress & literary commentary.




At Witt’s Inn Island Retreat, literary writers clean communal bathrm; news fr NYC: vampire novel earns 6-fig advance. Gnashing of eye teeth.

Male residents of Witt’s Inn artist retreat think Al Gore’s breakup aftr 40 yrs of marriage is only way to reclaim unsown oats. Go Al!

At Witt’s Inn female residents argue Peace Prize went to Al Gore’s head & drained his tiny bit of Jack Daniel charm & thus estranging Tipper

At Witt’s Inn Island Retreat when the fog lifted & the sun emerged, writers knew the island was all too real w/ absurd real estate prices.

At Witt’s Inn on foggy Monkfish Island, rumors started w/ resident writers that the “island” was really a boat & they were being shanghaied.

On Monkfish Island at Witt’s Inn for Writers & Artists, guests sit in small rooms & listen to rain tapping a hideous message fr the Gulf.

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Filed under American popular culture, best thought, erotica, fiction, first thought, flash fiction, flash poetry, literature, literature and movies, poetry, prose poetry, troubled people, works in progress

Poem: “My Old Friend”, fr. Notebooks 2003, Jim Stallings

My old friend

Lover playmate

Joy person

We skated

On the frozen canals

And drank libations

At parties on the shore

We hugged

We kissed

We united

Till your boat

Rock solid

In ice tied

We entered

The cozy warmth

Of naked embraces

Under your covers

Kept secure in arms

Loving smile

Tender laughter

Nights passed

In spring thaw

Freed from ice

We bade loving farewell

A kiss & a ring.

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Poem: “The Zombies Pounded”, fr. flash poetry notebooks, Jim Stallings

The zombies pounded

At the doors

Pressed ugly faces

To double pane windows

They stripped naked

Humping rain spouts

Splashing in the bird bath

They ate the arbor vitae

Like tossed salad

Poked sticks up their asses

And raced about the lawn

The police fired

Rubber bullets

Canisters of tear-gas

Brown outs of stun guns

And still the zombies

Cavorted about our American Dream

Our lovely suburban bungalow

Flinging themselves insanely

Against plastic siding

And air conditioners

Chewing off chunks of

Of  mid-size SUVs

Like just so much hard candy.

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Poem: “So Cold Brains Cracked”, fr. notebooks, Jim Stallings

So cold brains cracked

Noses stuffed with cotton

Knees corroded with oxides

Backs frozen in Velcro

Feet stiff like brackets

An assurance hung like wires

Wrapped to nails in ceilings

The cluttering mess a puzzle

Of blocks & fragments of cloth

Awaiting an electric current

And a copper spark

Like fire from the Heavens

To activate this puppet

In its weird dance

Of simulated life

A shoe worn & sad

Flying toward the audience.

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Filed under first thought, flash poetry, poetry, prose poetry, troubled people, works in progress


So it came to pass, lo, a mountain of electronic “books” were published worldwide each year. Hardbacks, paperbacks, all that former sentimental physical press history shrank into a tiny drivel of archival preservation. The blunt new truth was the so-called “book” was now an electronic text read on an electronic instrument. Everyone in the world could publish text. Almost everyone did.

The challenge for writers of electronic texts was to find an audience and build on it. Especially for writers of text who wanted to be paid in electronic credits deposited to their electronic bank accounts. After all, that was the definition of a ‘professional writer’…getting those currency credits. Herein are the tortured guts of the market consumption of texts: those who want to be paid social money credits (and a few intellectual credits tacked on for good show). But keep the chow train going. A scribe has to eat and so far, electronic food, well, it’s a mean lean meal.

E-Sluch Pile.

The electronic web at this soon to be reached point of publishing…well, you can imagine: it’s going to be a nasty war out there to make a paid living for writing and transmitting e-texts around the globe (maybe into colonies on the Moon and Mars).

For the radicals and anarchists and hermits, it probably won’t matter much who succeeds financially. They will reject such crass concerns. Writing into the ever expanding E-Slush Pile is a moral right and privilege, not to be denied by anyone.

Once denied by publishers, editors and critics, the slush pile publications, the great unwashed, the geniuses, freaks, schizos, world conquerors, puppets, psychotics and undiscovered talents, all in fact, the whole sum of the e-publishing networld, this will be the undifferentiated Mass. And who, may we gently ask, who will play gatekeeper and rater of quality of these billions of text issued worldwide each solar day/night? Who will step up and play critic? Who will find the so-called sweet two percent that justifies news about publication? Who will accept a corps of critical texts that serve to rate and rank the writers and texts in terms of worthiness?

These islands of recommended quality, more e-text themselves, will be those critical surfaces where favored texts are modeled for all to read. Cliques. Favored status. Elites. Tribes of good taste.

But these will come and go and meanwhile the tsunami of e-text publication will wash away at the limited exposure of one group’s favored, fair-haired. Literary class warfare.

And it will lead to self-erosion and a greater drift toward anonymity and freedom to write when and how you want.

So to all those writers out there struggling with the old trade book dilemmas, hung up on “making it’ in the paid, commercial fashion, take a deep breath and get ready to enjoy the freedom of nonattachment. Step back and watch the fishes play!

a crass commercial from this author still caught in a marketing age : see my latest BOOK: “Difficult People: Flash Fictions”: 172 short short stories for adult storybook reader. Stop on by and climb Slush Mountain!

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Poem: “As He Grew Frail”, notebooks, Jim Stallings

As he grew frail

She seemed to bloom

Not in spite of him

But in fulfillment

Of a unique journey

One of the heart & soul

Which in its flowering

Later than mid life

Gave proof to her theme

That patience and kindness

Were the basis of wisdom—

And the fount of joy,

Meanwhile her mate

In his exhaustion

Stood about and stared

As if there were nothing

Left to be seen.

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Poem: “The foul stench”, notebooks, Jim Stallings

The foul stench

Of soul meanness

Those who spoil

As daily sport

Joy of put-down

Envy of success

Of the real kind

Requiring heart & passion

That staring into horizon

The gaze that frees

And waits on knowledge

The shape of things to come

Like cloud masses from Canada

Weather of a changing kind

Sending the faint-hearted in doors—

There to await their polar fate.

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Filed under flash poetry, poetry, prose poetry, works in progress