You won’t remember.

Snow fell in December, flakes as fragile as love. A poet wept. Time stood still.

The world was beautiful and I felt special, knowing I’m not.

Yes, beauty is deceptive. Winter turned to spring. I learned the language of loss and how much I miss a snowflake.

~ A

draft 3

“Listen, Kid- some free advice. Let Ella go. This is messy. You stand to lose everything.”

Rummy pulled a lighter from his jacket pocket, a beautiful piece of equipment fashioned in Art Deco style. As the wheel hit stone, a flame lit darkness. I held my breath. Butane. Rummy’s eyes narrowed. He focused on the task at hand, toasting the foot of a Cuban Cohiba.

~ Rummy and Roy: Part Two

Ardua Pier


Parisian Blue

Parisian Blue sweeps across blank canvas. Jacqueline takes three steps back. Graceful, her head tilts right, then left. It is noon. She is wearing her housecoat.

Her legs are tanned, feet bare. She wears a watch, fastened tightly to a tiny wrist, an adornment she will ignore. Time holds little meaning. There are breakfast dishes to wash, grill cheese in the frypan. Later, there is dinner to prepare.

I watch as her manicured fingers lift a lit cigarette from a cut glass ashtray. She tips the filter to her lips and closes her eyes. Sunlight from an open window cascades across her face. She has the good looks of a 1950’s screen star: hair as black as night, eyes a dark shade of denim. Lately, she has taken to rolling and tucking the ends, as is the fashion.

“A chignon,” she says.

After one pull on the cigarette, she exhales and stuffs it into the heap.

I notice a trace of lipstick: Venice Red.


Summer of ’51

The San Joaquin Valley is an endless canvas. Fields of emerald stretch for miles. There’s a cow. Gone. Sheep drift and settle like clouds. Gone. Wind whips my face. Palm trees appear as if out of place. I inhale the sweet smell of citrus.


Is this Heaven? I don’t believe in God. Somewhere else there’s a war. What’s this holy feeling pressing down on me? If God exists, he’s hiding in those mountains. I’ll pray for all you suburban squares and do gooders.

This is truth. The southern sky  laces crimson before it turns dark. At this pace, we’ll roll into town ahead of nightfall. Hills bank and the road snakes on. Up and down, up and down. This is life.

My buddy Jack, shouts above the Indian’s drone, “Long, hot summer ahead.” 

At the last moment, he’d dropped his tools and joined me on the road. People don’t ask too many questions. We travel light and fast.

I nod. Freedom, man.

There’s no itch for smokes or shots. Cruising an open road is enough of a high. We’ll find a tavern where the drinks are flowing, somewhere after sunset.


~Summer of ’51, ‘tidal prose’

Draft 4

R. Jackson

aliceandmolly vintage label