Angle (an acrostic conversation)


And that’s when I asked about his heavy drinking past”

Now that’s a new one.  I never knew he did that.”

Gonna confess, he doesn’t have one”

Let me get this right, you asked someone about a past you know they didn’t have?”

Everyone has a ghost, I just picked the wrong haunted house.”

Chilli (an acrostic poem)


Can’t make it hot enough to please him

He scarfs down whole scotch bonnets for breakfast

I even saw him puree ghost peppers and drink it as a smoothie

Last Superbowl was the topper.  The con carne concoction he brought was pure chemical warfare

Leaving us all to stare in awe and fear as he ate the whole thing without a single sniffle

It did come to no surprise that his intestines eventually got their revenge for his war crimes.

Spice (an acrostic poem)


She turned up the heat in the chili, drop by evil-looking drop of ghost pepper essence

Perspiration beaded along his forehead and dribbled into his eyes at first bite

It gave his body an illusion of cooling, but the heat just kept climbing

Couldn’t believe there was a time before the all-consuming fiery pain

Eventually, his mouth recovered, but he knew round two was coming



Ghost (an acrostic poem)

Going dead was such a drag

Having no sensations other than mind-numbing pain

Or the inability to have any strong emotions

So Wendy just haunted her surroundings

The way their daughter just floated through her days confused Wendy’s parents



Cyborg (an acrostic poem)

Computer chips and meat meshed together was now his identity

You would think he would feel superior

But he felt definitely less than human

Of course, now he could now bench press a bus

Reality was he was a ghost in his own machine

Giving him a haunted look in his remaining eye



Vodka Chaser at an Irish Wake

McGowan’s Pub was a spiritual clone of almost every other Irish pub found in Dublin, except this one was in the heart of the lower east side of New York City.  It had a long dark wood bar top that gleamed in the dim light.  The brass accents might have been tacky if the light had been any brighter, but in that light they complimented the leather topped bar stools and small intimate tables scattered around the small interior.  It had started its life as a gathering place for afterhours Irish police officers in the early 1920s before they went home to their wives, but as the times changed so did McGowan’s clientele.  This change was not particularly evident tonight though, as redheads made up the majority of the crowded bar’s patrons.

Tatiana tucked a loose blonde lock of hair behind her ear as she sipped her vodka.  She sat at a table by the wall, as secluded as you could get in a bar of this size as it neared the maximum number of occupants.  Her long white dress amplified the paleness of her blemishless skin, but somehow acted as camouflage to the tipsy, and getting tipsier by the minute, crowd that inhabited the bar.

She studied the young rust haired man at the bar who seemed to be taking in all the festivities, but he didn’t participate in the toasting of the recently departed.  As a matter of fact he didn’t even drink a drop.  He just smiled, laughed, and nodded in all the right places, but silent as a ghost.  Every once in a while he would turn to the picture of the deceased on the counter and smile before turning back to the crowd.  Tatiana desired to move in on the man, but for now she kept her distance.

Finally Tatiana’s dress failed her and one of the mourners/revelers noticed Tatiana drinking alone and decided to stumble over.  He was average in almost every way except for piercing blue eyes.  He put on his million dollar smile, but he had had too many drinks and it ended up only being worth two fifty and some change.  Tatiana gave him bonus points for trying though.

“Hi there, I’m Tom.  Are you here for the bride or the groom?” he asked, leaning forward and dropping his gaze from Tatiana’s eyes to her ample bosom prominently framed by her dress before returning back to her eyes.

Tatiana took away the bonus points.  “I thought this was a wake,” she said dead faced, adding in a good amount of Russian accent.

Tom waved his hands, spilling some of his dark amber liquid onto the well watered floor below.  “No, no, that was just a joke,” he said.

Tatiana stayed neutral.  “The wake is a joke?” she asked.

Tom put his glass carefully on the table with both hands before continuing.  “No, no, the bride or groom was a joke,” he said.  “The wake is real.”

Tatiana pretended to think about this for a moment.  “So you are saying that marriage is a joke?” she asked.

“Oh damn,” he said.  “No, no, marriage is a joke, but that’s not what I’m saying.  I mean I…”

Tatiana put her hand on Tom’s arm to put a stop to his rambling.  “I understand.  That was my joke,” she said, dropping most of her Russian accent.  “I just was messing with you.”

The man pointed at her, then put both hands on his knees and breathed out before standing up and pointing at her again.  “That was a good one,” he said.  He then turned away from her and waved in the direction of the young man Tatiana had been studying at the bar.  “She’s a funny one, Sean.”  The young man smiled and waved back.  Tom turned back to Tatiana.  “How do you know Sean?” Tom asked.

Tatiana handed Tom his drink and then took a sip of vodka as the next toast shouted out.  Tom slammed back the rest of his drink before slamming the glass upside down on her table.  Tatiana gently swirled her vodka, watching the Tom’s drink push his blood alcohol content into the stratosphere.  “How did you know Sean?” she asked.

“He was my uncle,” Tom said.  “Actually my god-uncle.  He was my godfather’s brother.  Coolest guy you ever met, of course you already knew that,” Tom said.

“Of course,” Tatiana said.  “What did you like the best about him?”

Tom tried to snag a chair and missed, almost pouring himself onto the floor.  He recovered barely and instead leaned against Tatiana’s table. His eyes drifted back to her chest as he continued.  “He really appreciated a fine woman and a strong drink.  We have a lot of that in common,” he said.

Tatiana pushed out her lower lip in a mischievous pout.  “Really, that’s the best story you have of your god-uncle?” she asked.

Tom smiled.  “Oh, stories?  I’ve got a million of them.  I was living with him once, quite a few years ago of course,” he said.

“Of course,” Tatiana said.  “Please continue.”

Tom stared at her breasts for a couple seconds more before blinking and continuing.  “He wanted to give me a challenge.  He said Tom, you’re twenty eight,” Tom said.  He stopped and changed it up a bit.  “I mean eighteen.  Anyway you need to get out and experience the world.  So he drove me to Hoboken to this really raunchy night club.  He gave me a hundred dollars in ones and sat me in the front row.  He told me to enjoy.  Boy did I.  When I was done with my ones I looked around and Sean wasn’t there anymore.  He had left within like ten minutes of dropping me off.  I didn’t have any money for a taxi since I had given my money away to the ladies, if you know what I mean.”

Tatiana nodded, willing him to finish his story.  Tom drunkenly obliged.  “So that was before cell phones and all that shit.  The nightclub bouncer wouldn’t let me back in to use the phone.  I was stuck, so I used my head.”

Tom paused, looking at Tatiana for some input. She finally figured it out and said, “So how did you use your head?”

Tom smiled, then frowned after trying to figure out what Tatiana had just said.  He shrugged and continued.  “I managed to catch one of the girls coming out of the club that I had given some of my money to.  I convinced her to give some back so I could get home.”

Tatiana gave Tom a critical look.  “How did you manage that?” she asked.

Tom put on a leering smile.  “That’s a secret I would be happy to reveal over breakfast tomorrow,” he said.

Tatiana didn’t rise to the bait.  “I thought you were telling me something about Sean,” she said.

“Oh, well when I got home I found him sacked out with two of those bimbos at the nightclub with a ton of empty bottles of booze scattered around the place.  Claimed he had slipped them a little something something for their time, if you know what I mean.  Like I said, fine women and strong drink,” Tom said.  “So what about it baby, want to see how I seduced that stripper?”

Tatiana leaned in real close to Tom, giving him an even bigger view of her chest.  “I will make sure to take you up on that in a few years,” she said as her blue eyes glittered extremely cold.  “You can count on it.”  Tom took two rapid steps back, tripping over his own feet and crashing to the ground.

Tatiana gracefully stood up, pounded the rest of her vodka back and stalked her way to the bar.  The festivities were winding down and the place was now half empty.  Still the young man standing by the picture remained, and when he saw Tatiana he gave her a million dollar smile that evaporated the closer Tatiana came.

Tatiana picked up the picture and held it next to the young man.  “The resemblance is amazing,” she said.  The young man looked for a way to run, but Tatiana stared him down, freezing him with those ice blue eyes.

The bartender noticed Tatiana standing there holding the picture.  “Be careful of that picture,” he said.  Tatiana never took her eyes off of Sean as she placed the picture gently on the bar.  “Thanks.  Can I get you something?”

“I think I’ll have another shot of your top shelf vodka as a chaser,” Tatiana said.

The bartender did a double take.  “Chaser?  What are you drinking first?” he asked.

Tatiana still didn’t take her eyes off the young redhead. After a moment of silence the bartender shook his head and moved back to the bar.  “One top shelf vodka shot coming right up,” he said.

Tatiana smiled a predatory smile.  “You’ve been a bad boy Sean,” she said.  The young man waved his hands in a negative gesture.  Tatiana laughed.  “No denying it to me.  You grand-nephew collaborated the story.”  The young man looked at Tom with pure venom.  Tatiana laughed.  “Don’t worry.  He’ll get his soon.  Goodbye Sean.”

With that, Tatiana sucked in the shade of Sean O’Grady, removing him from existence.  The bartender placed the vodka at the end of the bar just as she finished consuming the ghost.  Tatiana, without looking, reached out, grabbed the shot glass, and threw it back feeling the alcohol burning the bad taste from her palate.  She slammed the glass upside-down onto the bar.  “Thanks, I needed that.”  She peeled off a fifty from a stack of bills that mysteriously appeared in her hand and placed it next to the glass.

As Tatiana made her way out the door and into the frosty night she made sure to blow a kiss at Tom that made him shiver.  That was a promise she was looking forward to keeping.

A Dickens of a Test (in 100 words)

I watch my students pour their souls onto pieces of dead trees.  Their sunken eyes are wide open trying to make sense of the words dancing and leaping in front of them.  The students hope the blood red ink of my grading pen passes them by and doesn’t reanimate the dead paper pulp into a ghost that haunts their academic careers.  The grades of tests past weigh down the students like the Dickens’ chains of sin Morley had to bear.  What about the ghost of tests’ future?  That grave remains open for now.  The next test is in four weeks.

Ethereal Love

I was always drawn to redheads, but she was mesmerizing.  I knew we were destined to be together before I even knew her name was Vivian.

I started hanging around her daily trying to get her to even notice me and acknowledge my existence.  At first she kept looking straight past me, but over time I would be able to catch her eye.  I kept trying to get her to smile since she was always so sad.

Eventually she started talking to me, telling me of the bad things that were happening to her at school and with this one boy.  I offered to do something about it, but she said she had an idea on how to handle it, she just needed a bit more time.  She broke up with the boy, but that didn’t really help.  One by one her friends stopped hanging out with her, so Vivian and I would spend more and more time together.  I was so happy, but she seemed to be getting more and more depressed.  I was worried, but she kept telling me it would be okay, that she just had to be brave enough to do what needed to be done.  I always wanted to take her into my arms and hold her tight, but it just wasn’t possible.

Then one day she was so happy.  She told me that today was the day.  She then went up to the bathroom, drew herself a bath, and ended her life.  Now she is with me here, and I can hold her with all my might, but it is not the same.  She was so vibrant when she was alive, but now being dead like me, not so much, but I love her all the same.