A Short Story is not a Car

A Short Story is Not a Car.

At the writers’ group, the first one I went to,

we were issued a list of things to check

when we’re critiquing each others’ stories,

the usual things like plot, character, setting, dialogue.

We’d put a tick or a cross depending whether the requirements were met.

All well and good.

Yet I couldn’t help thinking of the checklist that mechanics fill out

when they’re servicing your car.

So I said,

“A short story is not a car!”

This put a brake on proceedings.

They didn’t know what I was driving at.

but I felt I was onto something.

I pushed the pedal even further.

We were heading for a collision,

the tutor and me.

I didn’t know what the perfect metaphor was

nor did anyone else

but I was darn sure it wasn’t a car.

All I Want to Do

There’s an engine running in my head.

A Chevy Silverado.

It’s revving up.

I fasten the seat-belt.

Grab the wheel.

Don’t know where I’m going.

All I want to do

is rest on this mattress,

have pudgy dreams.

But it’s grown wheels

zooming along the highway

and all the road songs come on the radio

‘It’s a Wide Open Road’

‘On the Road Again’,

‘The Long and Winding Road’,

all my favorites,

how can a poor boy rest?

and I’m belting the songs out,

the wind winnowing my hair

twirling my kiss curl

like a lover’s finger

*pic courtesy of pinterest

What’s the Big Deal?

What’s the big deal about me doing gym three times a week?
You don’t need to, you say. Do a little more around the house. Like gardening.
Gardening isn’t cardiovascular, I say. It has a lot of health benefits but it isn’t cardiovascular. It isn’t enough.
And you’re seeing the skin specialist next week. What’s that all about?
Looking after myself, I say.
You fuss too much, you say. You even check your car out during the week. I’ve seen you in the driveway, wiping away the bird shit off your car. Birds gotta shit somewhere.
Sure but it eats away the paintwork.
It’s becoming a fetish, you say. And now you’re off to gym, I suppose?
I treat my body like my car, I say. It’s the vehicle I travel through life in.

Like Pictures on a Wall

I like to read the crazed calligraphy of car tyres

on roads, the angry black swathes of rubber

on bitumen from burn-outs and donuts. What are we

to make of such marks, the road their canvas?

Do we elevate it to ‘outsider art’; Do we call them,

‘hoons’ or ‘street artists’? Do they love the smell

of burnt rubber in the morning as they furiously apply

the high octane brush of machismo? Do they,

I wonder, gloat over their works in the days & weeks

that follow, as if they were pictures hanging on a wall ?

  • pic courtesy of pixabay by Jan-Mollander

A Hail of Taxis



Not the first cab off the rank

Nor the last cab to darwin

Nor the one de niro drove in taxi driver

Not even the big yellow taxi that joni mitchel drove to the top

Of the charts

But a little black and white number which took me to the icu

Late in the night the day juno’s heart packed it in.