Polyga-me

September 18th, 2016

by Richie Shiers Jr.

as read by Steve Garland

 

 

Polyga-me

1. someone once whispered to me

that two is better than one

so I looked into the idea of polygamy

and that hit hard, suddenly:

3 (or more) pillowed beds

3 (or more) weddings rings

3 (or more) times the happiness

 

2. I pray that my girlfriend’s girlfriend

and my girlfriend

and myself

can all enjoy each other’s company

and kiss and frolic

in the shape of a triangle

with nothing but smiles

and equal angles at each point

 

3. if we don’t pay attention

then we won’t have to acknowledge

the world’s blistering shuns

we don’t need anyone to

capsize our everlasting love

so we’ll hold hands on the beach

and you can avert your attention somewhere else

because I love these girls to the bitter death

 

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And Her Name Was Morphine (intro to 2nd half)

September 16th, 2016

by Richie Schiers Jr.

as read by Steve Garland

Steve’s intro

 

[ed.’s Note: These poems are published unedited, as Ricki had them in his manuscript when he left us.  However, the order of the poems is rearranged, here, with a cohesive meta-narrative apparent in the sequencing of the second half.]

 

Sept 18th: “Polyga-me”

Sept: 25th: “730 Days Ago”

Oct 2nd: “the Beast Around Here”

Oct 9th: “the Tracks on God’s Arms”

Oct 16th: “the Lonelies”

Oct 23rd: “Ash is…”

Oct 30th: “Periodically”

Nov 6th: “Seasons of Heaven”

 

hear the first 11 poems of “And her Name was Morphine” by Richie Schiers Jr, as read by Steve Garland, including “In Certain Sunlight“.

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September 11th fifteen year anniversary Musings

September 10th, 2016

i.

He read my poem, ten years later, about that day, and said the death of Michael Jackson effected him more than the falling of the Twin Towers, and the attacks on the Pentagon.

I wanted to cry at that, still, ten years later, but didn’t hold it against him: too young to remember.

 

ii.

I was in Pre-Calculus class, at Saint Albans High School in Washington, DC, in the Math Lab learning to use a computer to graph equations.  When Hakim the senior prefect burst in to each room, saying “something has happened”– not yelling, not afraid, but out of breath and concerned– we turned on the internet and tried to reach a news site.  They wouldn’t load: too much traffic.

When we finally realized we were under attack, I looked at the tiny clock on the lower left of the PC.  Perhaps the numbers were too small; perhaps my vision worsened in the moment; perhaps I simply can’t remember; but I believe that, in that moment, I forgot how to read.

 

iii.

People used to say that the whole World changed with September 11th, 2001.  We don’t say that so much any more.  But I changed.  Of course I changed, I was 16.

I still believe the whole world did change, that day, five years ago.  Not because a nasty man planned vengeful terrorism; not because three buildings and four planes were destroyed; not even because of the lives lost.  I believe the whole world changed that day because all of humanity spent so very much time talking, thinking, praying and fighting over the events of that day.

 

iv.

From the hill by our school chapel, I watched the Pentagon burn.  The smoke was black, blacker than any smoke I’d ever seen.

Traffic stood still; no one get home.  The President and V.P. were whisked away and safe, but we Washingtonians were left to go it alone: afraid and at a standstill, unable to move.

We had no leader that day, no one to rise to the occasion, no one to take us home.

 

v.

My friend A.L. guessed who done it.  That evening, still light enough to see, we were sneaking cigarettes by the little league field.  The game was still on.

A.L. was outraged, rightfully, that they hadn’t canceled the game.  But I knew enough to know how important that the game must go on, especially for people younger than we.

We both realized we weren’t children any more.

 

 

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Fan discussion forum: 2016 !Short Story Contest!

September 5th, 2016

Winners now announced.

To comment, please Sign-in, screen left,

or simply email PNRENTERPRIZES@gmail.com

that’s PNRenterpriZesATgmailDOTcom

Opening Questions

Billy Luck:

-How do nuanced depictions of unorthodox lifestyles and/or marginalized body-types, (Carnival workers, Side-show workers, Little People) broaden all readers’ of this story understandings of such life-styles and body types?

-In what ways does Daisy’s gender, femaleness and womanhood effect the story?

-Does a story with such confrontational Otherness (or minority status) necessitate that the author be of such a minority?  In other words, should it matter if/ that the author is or is not a little person, and should this or should this not effect our reading of the story?

By the River:

-How does humor and the most light-hearted voice of this contest effect our reading?  This story demands to be taken seriously, how does humor force us to think twice about Capitalism, human kindness, pregnancy, human intelligence (“too valuable to lay off”), and the disastrous effects of lottery jackpots?

-This author is published twice on defenestrationism.net .  In what ways does Post-modernism demand readers take this author seriously, when the material is so light-hearted, humorous, and seemingly flippant?

-Did the speaker of the story actually win?  Does this matter to the story, to the character, to the author, or to the reader?

I’ve Got You:

-Is this story a work of fiction, or creative non-fiction?— in other words, did it happen in history?  Do such distinctions matter?  Why or why not?

-Early 20th century air-combat may be the most dynamic, picturesque, difficult, deadly… and awe-inspiring form of warfare in human history.  What could this specific form of warfare symbolize in the story, and how so?

-How do multiple cultural references (songs, to name but two) effect the story?  These references are so important to the author that it features in the very title, WHY THAT SONG, so specifically?

Circe’s Bicycle:

-What an incredible title— sorry to devote so much time to it, but we’re a bit obsessed with titles, here at defenestrationism.net.  What the foosball does this title mean?  Who was Circe?  Why doesn’t she appear in the story (at least, if read in this way, why does the Homeric Circe character not appear in the story)?  If the bicycle of the title is read as nothing more than a circular object that spins and takes you somewhere, what does that mean?

-Unicorns, insects that grow large, islands of the dead: is this a realistic story or a dreamy story?  Put differently, does the mother character die to achieve these unending visions?  Or a dream that never ends?  If either, then prove it with quotations from this text.  There is a difference between dreams and death, what is it?

-Importance of gender and gender roles in this story: discuss.  How does gender tie into motherly roles, daughterly roles, back to that dang Circe of the title, and bodies (or lack-there-of) in the story?

Surveillance:

-Is the speaker being spied upon?  What difference does that make to the story and characters in the story (the fiction), the political statement of the story (the authorial meta-narrative, if you allow us to still use the term), and to the historical reality of the present?

-The internet is crucial to this story.  In what ways do the give and take of internet publication (on facebook, but also comments on defenestrationism.net) effect the story, the message, and historical reality?

-How is internet publication a dynamic movement away from the literature of the CODEX (or book with pages) and how does this tie to the change from the literature of the MANUSCRIPT (or pre-modern scrolls with no pages)?

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Winners now announced for 2016 !Short Story Contest!

September 5th, 2016

We are pleased to announce the winners for the

2016 !Short Story Contest!

 

 

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Fall Schedule: 2016

September 1st, 2016

Join us all Autumn for weekly postings at defenestrationism.net .

First, multi-media poetry readings of relapse, overdose, and a youthful death with

“And her Name was Morphine” by Richie Schiers Jr.

 

followed by multi-media poetry video of sobriety and recovery, with

“Songs of Sobriety” by C. Steven Blue

 

Sept 11th: a 15 year anniversary musing, by Paul-Newell Reaves

Sept 17th: introduction to the second half of “And her Name was Morphine” by Richie Schiers Jr.

Sept 18th: “Polyga-me” by Richie Schiers Jr., as read by Steve Garland

Sept: 25th: “730 Days Ago” by Richie Schiers Jr., as read by Steve Garland

Oct 2nd: “the Beast Around Here” by Richie Schiers Jr., as read by Steve Garland

Oct 9th: “the Tracks on God’s Arms” by Richie Schiers Jr., as read by Steve Garland

Oct 16th: “the Lonelies” by Richie Schiers Jr., as read by Steve Garland

Oct 23rd: “Ash is…” by Richie Schiers Jr., as read by Steve Garland

Oct 30th: “Periodically”by Richie Schiers Jr., as read by Steve Garland

Oct 31st: Re-publication, “Halloween Nights Lyrics” by Paul-Newell Reaves

Nov 6th: “Seasons of Heaven” by Richie Schiers Jr., as read by Steve Garland

Nov 13th: “Songs of Sobriety: Chair Dreams”

Nov 20th:   “Songs of Sobriety: 3:44”

Nov 27th: “Songs of Sobriety: On the Edge”

Dec 4th: Begins the 2017 FLASH SUITE Contest

 

 

experience the first 11 poems of “And her Name was Morphine” by Richie Schiers Jr, as read by Steve Garland, including “In Certain Sunlight“.

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Last weekend for fan voting: 2016 !Short Story Contest!

September 1st, 2016

Thanks to all who have commented, this year, we are pleased to be hosting a discussion forum thread on Labor Day Monday (US), to dissect all the nuances of these compelling and diverse stories– of course, only AFTER the Winner and Runner-ups are announced!

 

!This is the final weekend for fan-voting, so have your final say before Sunday!

Looks like we have one clear fan favorite with over 40% of votes (NO HINTS, don’t ask), but the second fan favorite is so wide open that hyperbole does not do justice to how close this contest is…

!VOTE NOW!, only at defenestrationism.net

 

and remember us next time, lovers of literature,

read all the stories of the 2016 !Short Story Contest!

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Yellow Grass and Swift Waters

August 21st, 2016

by KenAllan Dronsfield
Spring storms and tempests rage
 
Black clouds, winded trees falter
 
Dry deserts, now rain on the sage
 
Yellow grass and rising swift water.
 
Neighborhoods covered, lawns gone
 
Basements full of snakes and fish
 
Small boats troll flooded town roads
 
Flowing yellow grass; swift water rising. 
 
Desperate weep as waters run deep
 
humidity on the rise, the waters fell today
 
misery and stench foul air and grounds
 
Yellow grass is still, swift water’s gone away.
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Breathless Heart

August 14th, 2016

by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Cherish a flamboyance in a chaotic festoon;
surrounding the bloom of a December rose;
a final heaving exhale of a weighted chest;
the cries of the heartless sobbing out loud.

Lost within this lifeless, black and white life
Vowing silence through the weathered piety;
grounded by a charcoal black moving strife;
my impudent world of unshackled safety.

Follow sweet justice tolls the final brass bell;
Shaving some ice for a frosty tequila sunrise;
Dances and glances circling the lofty despots;
vultures of consciousness devour my eyes.

Ravens working magic using pastel paints.
Insolence inspired by a day long since gone;
Walk a pathway standing, never kneeling to faint.
Renew a warm light within your breathless heart.

 

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Surveillance

August 7th, 2016

By Don Noel

Ernie’s first awareness of the government’s spying was through the late news.  It disturbed his civil libertarian sensibilities, but not his slumber.  The government was monitoring people’s e-mail.  Outrageous.  Still, not a personal concern:  He and Susan had agreed from the start never to e-mail each other.  There would be more detail by morning; he punched off the television and spooned up next to Penny, who was almost asleep.

He thought of himself as an ordinary man.  Happily if not always faithfully married for twenty years; two ordinary teenagers; an ordinary law practice in wills, trusts, real estate; occasional pro bono work for the American Civil Liberties Union.  An ordinarily busy man:  Too little time for morning newspapers, relying mostly on National Public Radio news during drive time.  Occasionally, if something awaiting attention at the office demanded thought, he tuned instead to classical music.

Next morning, it was exactly eight when he backed out of the driveway.  NPR devoted a whole five minutes to the eavesdropping, a report apparently drawn from a Washington Post blockbuster.  Secret data disclosed by some former CIA operative.  It wasn’t only e-mail they were prying into:  text and telephone, too, focusing on communications to and from other countries.

That got his attention.  He stopped at the commuter-station newsstand, bought the Times, Journal and Post, drove a few blocks to the park and turned the radio off to read.

It was worse than he’d first thought.  The Fourth Amendment — to be secure against unreasonable searches — suddenly became intensely personal.  The government was looking for patterns of contact between Americans and people overseas.  Not reading or listening, officials insisted, just looking at something called metadata — unless a pattern was detected.

He and Susan posted Facebook photos occasionally, sharing with each other by sharing with the whole world.  They scrupulously refrained from ‘liking’ each other’s posts.  Carefully discreet, unlikely to attract attention.  Their guarded, long-distance correspondence and conversations would heighten the physical explosion when she came home on leave in a few months.  They would find ways to spend a secret night or afternoon or morning together now and then. He felt himself aroused just thinking about her body.  He willed himself to stop. 

Circumspect.  Seeing the kids through to adulthood was important.  The last time, Penny said she’d dump him in a minute if he strayed again.  And he loved her, really.  Wouldn’t want to hurt her.  Let alone provoke a messy divorce.

But he and Susan talked almost daily.  Never landline calls: always on Skype, from his office computer after his secretary left for the day, calling her cellphone at daybreak in Hong Kong.  A pattern that must surely have been noticed.  Intimate calls.

Would the government listen in on longings, on loving words?  In J. Edgar Hoover’s day there would have been a file on him.  Liberal lawyer, fancies himself a civil libertarian.  Indiscretions?  Put ‘em in the file.  We might someday want to persuade him to back off a case.

Who was to say there weren’t such files nowadays?  He put the newspapers in his briefcase, tuned to classical music, got onto the highway.

They would have to stop calling.  How to tell her?  Not by phone:  One more call could be the straw that broke the camel’s back, triggering devastating attention.  Not by e-mail or text, either.  Still, he must explain a sudden silence, lest Susan try to call him.  That could be really disastrous.

Facebook.  Some veiled posting only she would be able to translate.  By the end of the day, he had it:  Begin an innocent-sounding trivia quiz for friends.  He Googled.  Perfect!  “What Gershwin song,” he posted, “did Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers make number 34 among all-time film hits?”

By the next morning, his old college roommate Warren had posted the answer: “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”

Anything on her wall?  He checked. Yes.

“What 1964 song,” she’d posted, “reached number 9 on Billboard?”

It took him less than a minute to find the answer:  “It’s Over.”

Damned government spies.

–End–

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