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Mattie & Viola–There’s A Story or Two Here for Certain Sure


These are my great aunts on my mother’s side who lived in South Georgia. The picture turned up recently, probably taken in the early 1930s. They were loyal loving sisters all their lives. They passed away in the 1980s. There’s so much in a picture like this that kindles a storyteller’s imagination. I hope I can write something inspired by my memories and affection for them one day.

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Haiku November


November 1

Dig out of this hole,
Without a shovel or pick,
Get your nails dirty.

November 2

The veil is still thin,
Between the living and dead,
Time for a party.

November 3

Woodwinds are for thoughts,
Strings help to tell the story,
Drums time, brass color.

November 4

Office doors too small,
Like stuck in a concrete pipe,
No fore, no reverse.

November 5

Breakfast with the Boss,
Don’t take more than you can eat,
Keep a happy face.

November 6

Okay, give it up,
Why bother with things so hard,
You prefer soft foods.



November 7

Tell us the bold truth,
Shock us with reality,
We can take the pain.

November 8

Humidity climbs,
Thick clouds ride up from the gulf,
We wait for cold fronts.

November 9

Stunned by miracles,
Zombie masses wake to life,
Blood courses through brains.

November 10

Round about midnight,
On lawn a doe samples grass,
And nods approval.

November 11

She lost her baby,
Before it came to her world,
But in dreams they meet.

November 12

Lost count of clock time,
Gave away a day for free,
Quite the plutocrat.

November 13

Cold front drops off Plains,
Wind moans through windows northside,
We sleep like fence posts.

November 14

Don’t worry yourself,
They treat me right in prison,
Walls don’t bother me.



November 15

Ballast in the hold,
Kept the sad freighter afloat,
Till rust ate clean through.

November 16

Chained at the ankles,
Slaves made all the food and drink,
While masters kept watch.

November 17

Time off overdue,
Staring into sunsets red,
Solitude as friend.

November 18

Sniff this live virus,
Snort it back into your head,
Fear not snot nose kids.

November 19

Great bees buzz outside,
No, they are men with blowers,
Devolving past rakes.

November 20

Is it saleable?
Brothel culture aroma?
Then it may have legs.

November 21

No call no letters,
Clouds scudded across the sky,
Something was amiss.

November 22

Break up your schedule,
Astrologer said to me,
So I stayed in bed.



November 23

First they rob our graves,
Cape Cod rain gave them a cold,
Illness filled their ship.

November 24

Black Friday it’s called,
Turkey sandwiches and gas,
Hit the malls full blast.

November 25

Stuffing news in skull,
A parade of nonsense danced,
Giving us migraines.

November 26

Three days of kindness,
No excuses time to go,
Guests must hit the trail.

November 27

She was always late,
Lost in a maze of mirrors,
But thrilled to see me.

November 28

We wait, no one speaks,
As the days count down on us,
Fourth quarter job blues.

November 29

You got a future?
People looking after you?
Take another glance.

November 30

On the dotted line,
The pirate made his black X,
Seek not the treasure.

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“Last Dance”–flash fiction from “Difficult People”

Last Dance



          Dappled gray light, spilling across the street where Tobias Farmer lived in comfortable seclusion. The time had come, the day was approaching, the letter was in the mail, all the signs were in place. The cistern out back had run dry, the weeds of summer were swept down, twisted in whirlpools of agony, flailing until now…yes, the clouds voted an opinion sympathetic with the general drift of things sui generis. The furnace ticked, the old dog rolled over and yawned and then, farted audibly in tuba register. My, my…retirement had its quaint moments, the energy of youth, the pulse of creativity, to jump to your feet and in a blind fury to spin round to the blasting music. Oh, that had been the case once…he himself a real flash point for all the quick-stepping firm young single women of his village, Lakeside, NY. Ontario’s blue waves lapping at the canoe as he asked Ginger or Edie to dance one more round. He had seen the old clubhouse bulldozed, replaced with a biotech lab years later, heard the crunch and splinter of old dance floor boards. He could still catch the rustle of their skirts; the laughter as they swept like flower corsages in bunches to the restroom. Tobias lit his pipe and his dog opened his eyes and watched the blue wreath of smoke circle his head, he gave a nose wiggle and sneezed gently in protest. An old widower at his leisure watching the gray afternoon December light fill the slow moving sky…and standing to his full height, Tobias Farmer motioned to his partner and swept slowly round the room.



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“Corn Hairs”–flash fiction from “Difficult People”

Corn Hairs



          The contempt Josh Clark felt for Sandra Stone was off the human scale. Not only had she rejected him, she then spread the word that he was gay: “Well, Josh,” she was reported to have said, “he’s at least bisexual.”

          Remembering no doubt the jungle fucks they had in her friend’s apartment in the City—those “nooners” she tagged them in honor of her philandering philatelist of a father, his rare stamp store only a brief walk from where she was roundly possessed from the hallway to the kitchen table. The high vaulted pale light of Manhattan winters cast a pall of other days, other lovers, other lives.

          The fact was Sandra Stone was an incurable Daddy’s girl and would depend on his musky five o’clock shadowy beard to arouse her desire for new men…men doomed to failure in comparison.

          Josh let out the rumor that Sandra in climax screamed “Daddy! Daddy! Harder, Daddy…Harder!” and the other associated verbalisms issuing from her little deaths of maddening orgasms.

          Josh knew she’d never escape paternal possession of her unless she left Manhattan and that would be like saying: Go, enter the Great American Desert, never to return. Once in fact she tried to take a train to the West Coast to prove her freedom. After hours of endless farming vistas, by the time Sandra hit Chicago, she’d booked a flight from O’Hare to Kennedy.

          “The nightmares of all those yellow corn hairs wriggling against the train windows! I was quite literally suffocating. Oh Josh by Gosh…I’m so happy to be home in dear dear Mannahatta, darling!” etc., in ever greater flourishes of Big Apple theatrics.

          Josh could take no more. He was living in the shadow of the great man with his tiny, expensive stamps. Still, occasionally he longed for Sandra’s Rubenesque curves, her maddening spasms of lust; but with time, Josh found other lovers and came to thank Big Daddy and the silky corn hairs.


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“The Truth”– fiction from “Difficult People”

Difficult People is an adult storybook of nearly 200 flash fictions that I want to publish here online in serial fashion for free. Maybe later an ebook and hard/soft book edition will come forth. Flash fictions are short short stories written improvisationally, the equivalent of short jazz pieces. Note the “adult” modifier in the title; some of the difficult people in these tales take us into erotic, raw and troubled zones. Read on and enjoy. I welcome reader responses. A hearty welcome to agents, book editors and publishers looking for new material.



Story 13

The Truth
 Shit it ain’t that hard. Doing time. Yeah, I’m a threat to society. I know that. I’ve done some bad stuff. Most of it the cops never knew. That girl that drowned in that heist. The water was too swift. I couldn’t be convicted of negligence. But I was a coward…she was underage and they woulda charged me with statutory, her father tried to shoot me right after her funeral. Came right up to the car, me at the wheel, and put a fuckin’ forty five slug in the door.

Thank God it was an old Lincoln, the kind with the backward doors, suicide doors they called them, bad habit of sucking grandmas and kids out the side, no seat belts, hell nobody wore seat belts. How stupid were we in those days?

But that poor girl’s father, he knew we’d been together that summer down in Texas near Corpus. She was maybe what? Fifteen? Pretty little thing, part Mexican, nice skin and a great set of boobs. She sure liked to fuck and she thought doing crimes with a jerk like me was the hots, already a two time loser with the state reformatory, already stabbed a couple of assholes, been cut too, that time in Piedras Negras outside that fuckin’ cantina…thought I’d bleed to death. Stomach wound, that was a sonofabitch to heal. To think back then I had a crazy sense of right and wrong, still gave a shit.

Can’t remember that girl’s name, part Mexican, something like Romona Alice or Roma Angel. Naw, that’s still not it. Terrible at names but I sure remember her face before the water took her down, she was dog paddling like a whirlwind, beating the water and that face looking at me to save her. I never saved nobody. Now that’s the truth.


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Literature Is Humanity’s Deep Gossip

Jim Stallings is a cultural anthropologist with a deep interest in ritual, myth and narrative. In the 1990s he started writing fiction after learning to ghost write and book doctor novels and scripts. He’s published a number of original works of fiction since 2002 using iUnverse; he sees POD publishing as a way of creating demos just as music groups do; it’s an expression of independence and originality and he hopes helps him reach a larger readership through partnerships with major trade publishers.

Here’s his published works to date: Tales for Commuters & Other Time Travelers (stories); Hunters in the Fog: Diary to Screenplay (my father’s fighter pilot diary from WWII plus a screenplay adaptation); Neon Nirvana: A Romance of the New Age (novel); Devil’s Hopper (literary mystery); The Latest Bloodshed (mystery); & Getting To Know You, thriller; most recently, Dispatches from Tumbleweed (haiku poetry).

See website http://www.jimstallings.com or buy at bookstores like amazon, barnesandnoble.com or booksamillion.com/




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