Anxiety Dreams

A poem by Frank Diamond A poem of mine called "Anxiety Dreams" was published today (November 2, 2021) in a little literary magazine call "shuf Poetry." Here's the link. It is interactive: you have to press on the blue words (sometimes it's just 1 blue letter) to read it through. You know you've reached the … Continue reading Anxiety Dreams


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

Unremembered Acts

a short story by Frank Diamond A short story of mine called "Unremembered Acts" was published today (May 4, 2022) in a little literary magazine called Nzuri Journal of Coastline College. Here's a link to the story. And here's a link to the journal's website. And here it is below in WordPress, as well. “You … Continue reading Unremembered Acts


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

The Anointed

A short story by Frank Diamond We were downing brews in Iffy’s when Julie mentioned that she would love me to kill her ex-husband. Of course, she didn’t say it just that way.  “Take care of Donald for me, will you Cheryl?” she whispered. In the darkness, the bruises under her eyes could have been … Continue reading The Anointed

The Shop Steward

From Damage Control, a collection of short stories by Frank Diamond. Go ahead, I’ll talk while you’re eating lunch. We only get a half hour.  This is your membership card. I’m supposed to tell you that dues will be deducted from your paycheck at the end of each month. We have a closed shop here. … Continue reading The Shop Steward


Dad and big brother, Jason, got along well — great, in fact — except for those stupid occasional arguments that any two family members can have; the kind often forgotten before they’re forgiven.

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 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

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


When I get to the cemetery, I crunch through the ice-encrusted snow as wind rumbles over the expanse. I am not dressed for this. My fingers ache, and I keep blowing warmth into my cupped hands.

One Night in Harpoon Henry’s

When my first wife died I withered and withdrew
And lonely did I scale the couloir of grief
Curling about myself like that indolent snake
Confronting that first wife with cancer’s last claim
Just an overgrown garden snake parked upon our drive

A brown arm’s-spread length of languid reptilian still
A critter I’d never seen before or since that meeting
Curled into a taunt that he hurled at my own girl
Coiling tighter in delight: “The hour’s come for you!”
She died soon after when the siege broke through
And I never really heard the music until its absence
Of delight in all creation—that’s how her voice fulfilled
So what torched despair’s fingers until the grip gave out?

One night in Harpoon Henry’s I kissed a pretty woman
A nice, friendly girl I’d been working with for years
Mouth-to-soul resuscitation seasoning bloodless sleep
That kiss—alone, apart, about. A prelude to nothing
Except the entirety of life. A kiss. That’s it.
Interceding like prayer to caulk my brokenness
Did I ever tell that girl what that kiss delivered?
I now forget (surprise!) how she wriggled off the hook
Can’t even recall the name, just drops of smiling eyes
I am deaf, now. Blind. Can’t bend to tie my shoe
A salty wind-whipped spray gentles this old wheeze
Lets me taste that kiss once more and that is what I’ll ride
You may release your servant, Lord. It is time for me to die.

Quoth the Raven

AUTHOR'S NOTE: A short story of mine, called “Quoth the Raven” was published today (October 27, 2022) in Parhelion Literary Magazine in its special Halloween issue. Here’s a link to the issue: And here’s a link to my short story: And here it is below in WordPress. Quoth the Raven a short-short story … Continue reading Quoth the Raven

So Very Much To Be Thankful For

By Frank Diamond [ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN NOVEMBER, 2005 IN THE PHILADELPHIA EVENING BULLETIN.]  As apropos for the night before Thanksgiving, something not too filling: A tale related third-hand. I don’t often pay full attention to the homilies on Sunday — a reflection more on my poor concentration than on the quality of the speeches. However, … Continue reading So Very Much To Be Thankful For


“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


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


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


Oh Modest Goddess
Let’s spill the tea
Kick up them tunes
Dance close to me
Oh Godless Goddess
Don’t make the bed
Our culture’s caving
Our soul’s unfed
Please salt the deal
When you have time
I salt the still
You salt the vine
I salt the well
You salt the line
I salt the how
You salt the why
I salt the scream
You salt the sigh
I salt the scene
You salt the high
Oh Modest Goddess
You make me smile
Come lie with me
For just a while


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


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.