Writes With Pencils

fiction, memoir, essays and poetry

Tag: Understanding

Bookmark Quote #117



I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.

-Harold S. Kushner

Read the story of 1000 Bookmarks.

Cast Off Clothes



Cast off clothes
in racks and rows.
The honest beat of thrift shop blues
beats that emperor’s new threads
There’s no shame
in lives displayed on wire hangers
stained and torn
frayed and faded
and others barely worn.

Cast off clothes
in racks and rows.
Sweaters, shirts, skirts, and jeans:
try on other people’s lives
well-worn and weary
or nicely broken in.
A bathrobe becomes
a summer coat.
A strapless purse,
a hat.

Give new life
to old ideas;
let go of personas,
costumes and constraints
to understand and embrace
the stories told
by these cast off clothes
in racks and rows
and the varied lives they dressed.



Mysteries of Suicide #1


Last night I dreamt
of guns and bullets,
but this time
I held the pistol
and my finger
pulled the trigger.

It was fully loaded
when I picked it up.
Ten bullets,
each in its own place,
all neatly arranged
and ready to fire.

In my novice hand
it was weighty,
dangerous, and lethal
exactly as I had imagined
and always feared,
but I felt nothing.

On the wall was a page
of my own writing:
hung at the height
of a crucifix
above a doorway.

I looked up at it
and aimed.
My right arm outstretched,
my eyes focused
along its length,
and fired.

The first bullet struck
to the right of the page
the second, third and fourth
shredded words and lines;
the fifth through ninth
made lace of my prose.

When I pulled the trigger
for the tenth time
there was only a click.
I finally exhaled
realizing then
I’d been holding my breath.

I lowered my arm
relieved, but no closer
to understanding
why out of ten
he’d been found
with seven unfired.

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