Farley

a short-short story by Frank Diamond AUTHOR’S NOTE: This short-short story originally appeared in my short story collection Damage Control, which was published in 2005. Reynold’s Bubble Gum factory. It wouldn’t be so bad if me and Farley worked on an assembly line that turned out cars or air conditioners or refrigerators.  You wouldn’t believe … Continue reading Farley

Marty

a short story by Frank Diamond As the taxi pulls away from the bus depot we almost hit a jogger. I mean, this close. I can smell the burning rubber while the car’s still rocking. And you know what? This guy stops, jabs his fist at us a few times and then runs on.  “Fake,” … Continue reading Marty

Therapy Dog

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This short story, “Therapy Dog,” was published July 11, 2021, in a little literary magazine called Sincerely Magazine. The magazine can be purchased here https://www.sincerelymagazine.com/volumenineserendipity. About 10 years ago, when my daughter Allison attended the University of Pittsburgh, she’d periodically call home with updates. Her college experience—you’d be surprised, astonished, and amazed to … Continue reading Therapy Dog

Assurance

“You stay your age forever.”
Sign now, sit back, watch
These premiums will not change
As indemnification unfolds
October leaves drift like embers
Each snapshot freezes, then evolves
Moral hazard roils and regals
As outliers in mid-orbit pause
Dodging regression to the mean
“Love stays its age forever?”
No, it’s different looking back
That’s no stranger in the corner
Slowly waking from her nap

The Chase

I reach into my back pocket, unfold both copies of the formula and hand them to him.  “Here’s the Fountain of Youth,” I say.  “Golden,” Jake says, squinting at the figures. “Cheryl, you’re amazing.” “Careful,” I say. “Looks like rain.” He leans against his car, gives me a look. He places his hands on my … Continue reading The Chase

Insomniac

Outerbridge voices
Reach from rest
Nothing lays still
In nether fog

Spread blankets
Over graves
Burgundy sipped
As midnight rises

Bloated at world’s end
Fold newspaper
Horoscope out
Dead swamp, dark layers

Save for future
Space in the attic
Like one more box
Where dust descends

Wait for deliverance
As purgatorial voices
Gather in layers
Outside rotted doors

1968

A friend’s dad is a ward leader and we get to be on the advance team for Robert F. Kennedy and that means Secret Service clearance and other privileges. When RFK arrives in Philadelphia in late March, we ride in the motorcade out to Our Lady of Czethochowa in Doylestown. Because we have college kid … Continue reading 1968

Noggin’

Your hair, that hair of yours
No, of course, it doesn’t define you
Curly, bouncing, bold, boyant
Light brown with tints of red
That’s what I said (you set me straight)
People pay to look that way
You didn’t even go to a hairdresser
For ten easy years. Remember?
Perfect prelude to cascading laugh
Sways like a searchlight’s pivot
Lets your eyes shine hope, joy
Toward the children you’ve taught
To old people drawn to warmth
Never like the other girls
Wouldn’t bother carrying a purse
One — that’s right — one pair of shoes
Of the earth, by the sun, to the sea
But what feeds on you eats at me
Right here in Buddy’s Barber Shop
Where photos dim every inch of wall
Tumble down, down like a pyre’s end
“I’m not going to let this beat me. Watch!”
Not if have any say it won’t. (I don’t.)
Love discovers from now back to start
As your beautiful noggin’ steals my heart

All Right, Then, Damn It: A Love Poem

Old man next door
Dying from love
45 years married
Wife gone (what?)
About 45 minutes
We say he lost his love
But he looks for her still
Shakes out the laughs
She’s not there
The sunsets, and rain baths
Not there either
Moments of “glad grace”
Jeez, not a friggin’ trace
He stands by the memory chute
But they’re no substitute
I catch him in his car
Staring beyond the driveway
Ask him, “You OK?”
Tells me it’s day-to-day
I know what he means
Man wants to die
Dark hands his only hope
Of seeing love again
There’s nothing that rhymes
Or explains away the unending,
Sharp-stabbing grief —
Which leads me to us
That’s right, you and me
You’ve never asked
What you mean to me
If you did I’d just point
Across the way
You never asked
But for once I tell
You are air and water
And, yes, “shadows deep”
So, now, can we
Get something to eat?
And then later maybe catch
Some serious Zs by the fire?
And murmur, softly murmur,
Our incommunicable joy

Holly Bush

Outside the bay window
This gift to my late wife
Given to her by her sister
Years ago plopped in a hole
No bigger than a shovel scoop
Man, has that thing grown
Cardinals sometimes peck the branches
Pulling berries from icy weaves
And my late wife’s wonderment
Gentles me down corridors of dreams

Flip

The world has lost its beauty
Once filtered through your eyes.
Sunset, sunrise, falling fall leaves
Shift now into a dimmer space,
But I still seek cohesion
With evidence of things not seen
And the scales that fall will weigh.
Do I really need these videos?
These unnecessary glass totems?
Memories swoon, drift and die
Then rise at the oddest moments.
My tickets on the River Styx,
But everything else needs to go.
How do you weigh stuff against spirit?
We were both such able thrower-outers,
But look here at this refinancing pack,
Long ago digested by other deals.
“I won’t ever let you go!”
I think as I dismantle
Rooms, chimneys and the backyard fence.
“I just … just cannot stand it!”
Echoes against walls that used to be.