Vending Machine

William stands staring through the glass.  There, right in front of him is a veritable wall of unknown happiness:  candy bars, chips, and pot tarts.  Forbidden pop tarts.  His mother has kept his pop tart virginity intact and he’s never seen a package this close.  Sure, on the YouTube stuff his mother lets him watch he’s seen plenty of animated pop tarts tripped into toasters for heat lamps but there, wrapped in  blue, strawberry tart calling, almost falling off the chrome corkscrew but pinned by some trick of friction.  William has no cash.  No coin of the realm.  His mother didn’t want him to get robbed or ransomed so she made sure he was a pauper going out the door.  Maybe she didn’t want him to be pop tart poor so she cleaned him out.  Watching and waiting for some grand act of God he notices a face in the glass behind him.  He starts and steps back.

“Sucks, don’t it?”  the face says.  William turns and looks up at a huge kid with short cropped hair.  “I mean you gambled and lost.”  He is the largest human William has ever seen but looks pleasant and helpful.  “Let me show you how,” says the giant as he sidesteps around William.  Grabbing the machine by the front top corners he gives it a twisting shake like he’s waking it from a daze.  The pop tart falls with a plastic thud.  “Winner, winner chicken dinner” says the giant, then continues, “How much you weigh?  Not even a hundred pounds I’d bet, you should try out for wrestling!  We can use a little dude like you.  Might even wrestle Varsity cause you’re the only one in class.”  Walking away the giant adds, “Come on Vending Machine, pick up the pop tart before someone swipes it out from under your nose.  And remember Wrestling!  We could use you.”

`The giant leaves and Vending Machine pushes his and through the hanging gate to grab his first pop tart.


Kal, with a K

Tiptoeing up the stairs Kal with a K thought he was as silent as a Cat, with a C.  He wasn’t.  As quiet as a drunken cat perhaps; or a cat like a dude or fellow, just not a feline cat.  Kal with a K knew where all the squeaky steps were; a real cat wouldn’t even put a foot on one but Kal with a K put his weight on them all.  Cats walk like dust falling.  Kal with a K was an avalanche of clown horns cascading up broken glass. Part of the problem is he can’t concentrate on sneaking because he is thinking about how he sounded saying his own name. “Kal with a K” came out like he was really named “KalwithaK” and was from the subcontinent and worshipped humpbacked cows.  Change clutters his plate as “Kal spelled with a K” was too wordy and saying “Spelled” risked a lisp.  “Kal, K-Kal” seemed awkward like a bad brand of crappy skateboards.

Kal with a K doesn’t need to sneak but he feels he has too because it makes things more interesting, more James Bond-ish.  Jason Bourne his is not, not even a cheap Jeremy Renner knock off; too fat, slow and awkward.  Every morning he looked in the mirror and watched failure shave his face and brush his teeth.

He drops a foot on the loud step.  It creaks.


Put down your gun

I’m hit

bleeding and dead

I just don’t have the energy

to be hit



Go ahead and reload

you can’t do anything but

bust another cap

plink at me

it don’t matter if I run

plink plink plink

full of holes my can is forever

ready to bleed.






when you say, “I can’t say anything right”

what does that say about what I say?

because if you can’t hear why bother

saying anything at all?


Too lazy, too rude

too wrong to be heard right

Somewhere, someone

must be able to say it well

or think it not at all.


I think thinking is perilous

a switchback switchblade

used to stab the unintentful.

talking is just walking on your tongue.

Bite me

Bite me

I’m sweet hyperglycemic

Salted like caramel

Spoon fed on tootsie rolls

Come on, bite me.


Bite me

Taste the ocean in my veins

Not fishy, elite

or gross

Bite me, why don’tcha?


Bite me

My lip or tongue it’s a pain

I can bear

Grisly and red

Come on, bite me


Do you want me enough

To bite me?

You always do

it is tradition

Bite me dammit

so things won’t change.