August 30, 2012

Dreams of Small Recitals

You are caramel and hot wax. I am a new wool sweater with a bull’s eye on its back. The ladder in the yard climbs high into the air and I go up, up, up. I’m afraid to look down. The ladder stands unsupported as if it’s a flagpole. I remove bandages until the fabric coils like snakes, but nothing within is wrapped except old air. A woman in line at the deli complains: “My feet are killing me and I can’t stand for very long because it hurts my back.” I suggest she should wait instead for service at the shoe store. Strangers don’t appreciate it when you’re trying to be helpful.

* * * * *

I don’t have the guts to end this but I can muster the courage to fall asleep and never wake up again. A note to the guy who refills the vending machine: please put in more stuff I like. The only time I’m happy is when I’m on the train, because everything outside the windows keeps moving. The dead mouse was inside a bottle that had rolled underneath a bookshelf in my mother’s kitchen. How could something as small as a mouse smell so awful? Weeks passed before anyone noticed.

* * * * *

Your heart is an appliance made from leather and rusty springs, wrapped in a fibrous husk. Upon closer examination, there’s nothing inside it worth looking at. Your best day ever was when you stood up at the office Christmas party and told everyone how you felt. Your worst day occurred at precisely the same time. Instead of participating in water cooler chitchat, you now lurk at the park’s drinking fountain next to the tennis courts. I want to explain everything to you.


Might as well post stuff because we already paid for it. More here for free.


  1. Sheila Ryan on August 31st, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    You, sir, have another fine story in the September/October elimae.

  2. Michael Grant Smith on August 31st, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you, Sheila, I’m surprised and happy. elimae is the koolest.

  3. rick neece on September 1st, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Congrats, great work, MGS.

  4. rick neece on September 1st, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I love your trope of building, tearing down and building again. Tears my ass up. Every time.

  5. Michael Grant Smith on September 2nd, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Rick, your comments and encouragement are always appreciated. I need to hear voices outside my own head. Thanks for supporting what I do.