Dismal Forecast

The room was spinning and Peter threw his hand on the ground in an attempt to stop it, all it did was make it spin a little faster and his head throb; not to mention his hand had landed in something warm and wet. Last night had been just another night out for Channel 8’s Peter Simon, he’d go to the tavern in the city and sit on a stool, entertain the locals with weather facts, the girls would buy him drinks adding to the drinks he’d bought himself until he could hardly walk. At the end of the night he would usually make up stories about the weather, and come up with excuses to why he couldn’t go with this woman or on the rare occasion why his equipment didn’t work.

The alarm clock radio comes on then, blasting James Blunt’s You’re Beautiful into the still quiet bedroom; this event alone is why he jumps out of bed-he hates that song. The alarm clock silent, he rehashes resentment; he had let it known at the station that he hated that song, and the producer had introduced pieces of it into the opening of his weather report. That producer had it in for him for some reason, some day he’d get his, Peter thought.

Staggering to the bathroom, the thought of brushing his teeth makes him gag, so he grabs the vodka from the sink and takes a long swig. He had a couple hours before he had to go in, he’d better drink up to be sure the shakes had stopped by then. He had to drink now, found he couldn’t function at all if he didn’t, he remembered when it was a pleasure, when the alcohol was a lubricant, loosening him up for school, interviews, meeting girls… there was a time when it made everything easier; but now, everything was so hard and the booze just barely kept things acceptable.

The job was life; he had to keep the job. Vodka, beer and occasionally pot cost money; his tab at the bar was outrageous he was making monthly payments on it now, but it just seemed to grow and grow. Sometimes he could barely recall walking into the bar at all, the only reason he knew he was there was the stale vomit beside his bed and the empty wallet in his pants.

This was not how he had pictured success; where was the sports car, the eye candy on his arm and the nice clothes. He imagined elbowing his way all the way to a national slot, competing with the likes of Al Roker or maybe even an anchor spot. He sometimes wondered why this county needed a weather report at all, the weather never seemed to change, it snowed nine months out of the year and the other three were so humid your clothes stuck to you within seconds of leaving an air-conditioned room.

Oh well, he thought, taking another swig, who would even notice if I used the maps I used yesterday, or even the same forecast. Might as well drink a bit more and feel something besides normal, maybe even smoke a joint.

Dismal Peak

As small towns go, you can’t get much smaller than Dismal Peak; one thousand people lived there, give or take a few. No roads went through the town, as the town was off to the side at the base of a snowy mountain peak. The main attractions in town were four taverns and a bowling alley on the outskirts; the closest school was a fifty minute school bus ride. Not that it mattered that much, not many people in Dismal Peak had children that still lived close by, most people moved from the area as soon as they were of legal age. Nothing exciting ever happened in Dismal, or so it seemed to the folks that were in a rush to move; and for the most part they were right.

The Felstone family could trace its roots from present day to the founding of Dismal Peak, a proud Norwegian family of blond haired women of blue eyes and perked lips, and men made of barrel chests and bulging biceps. Well except Ray, at eighteen he was an anomaly, a toothpick in girth with dark hair and glasses perched over his nose. His family didn’t understand him with a book in his hand inside his room rather than the outdoors like the rest of the family. The second child of four, Ray just always felt out of place. His younger brother could beat him in a wrestling match, if Ray would actually partake in the challenge, probably even his younger sister. In school he belonged to the choir, frustrating his teacher who could hear his perfect pitch and baritone only if she were standing next to him in a room all alone.

His older sister Julie was an old crone at the age of twenty, having already married the local football star, she took every opportunity to point out how Ray didn’t measure up or just wasn’t good enough. Julie was solely responsible for a nickname Ray had been branded with since elementary school-Germs, many people still snickered at him as he walked down the street in remembrance of that name.

John, his younger brother, was the talk of the town; a real jock a member of all the local sports teams and the youngest member of the volunteer fire department at the age of 16. Every girl in town could be found writing “Mr and Mrs. John Felstone” over and over again on their notebooks. John used this charisma to have any of the girls he wanted, like kites he would keep them dangling in the sky hoping to be swept up in his arms forever. His contempt for his older brother was apparent to all, all he ever wanted was a brother to compete with and lead by example, certainly not Ray.

Of his entire family, Denise was the most understanding and supportive of her brother. She always took the time to find out what he was reading, and tried to engage him in activities that would lead to the outdoors or just with people outside the family, the attempts usually met with failure, but she never gave up. Denise shared the common characteristics of most other Felstones, her long blonde hair and blue eyes were admired by the boys in town, but she was a bit shy still at twelve.

And while Pa Felstone would have approved of a more active, masculine son he never pressured Ray to do or be anything. Each afternoon upon returning from the factory, where he crafted steel tanks, Pa would sit in his recliner and fall fast asleep, his snore rattling the windows ever so slightly. Pa’s naps always lasted until Ma would call for dinner, he get up and come sit at the head of the table a glass of buttermilk already there waiting for him.

Ma Felstone was a homemaker, and she loved every minute of it, her quiet times were spent in her special sewing room making this or that, creating new looks for rooms with drapes, pillows or throws. One of the best cooks in the county, she had won awards at the fair, and was always the most sought after for local pot lucks. Ma always had dinner ready at 5:30 sharp, and the kids were always on hand, savoring the scents that would emanate from the kitchen. Ma always went out of her way to prepare meals special for Ray, he was the pickiest eater she had ever seen, no onions, mushrooms, sauces, or seasonings… she always worked to make everyone else happy.

Ray might have never left Dismal Peak or his family home, he was content to spend the rest of his life remote and distant. Of course that was before the big snowstorm and the avalanche that changed everything…

Individual Writing Conferences

ENG 112, today we had Individual Writing Conferences, to let each student know how they are doing in class.

I sat down across from Professor Theile, written works collected in my folder, my journal ready for his inspection.

“You’re getting an A in this class.” he says “Do you have any questions?”

“No,” I say, and then think… yes. “Why am I getting an A?” I press

“You’re a great writer and you participate in class.” he answers.

“Yet, none of my papers have been given an ‘A'”

He assures me that my poem, Foster Home is an A poem, and after looking at my work again, says this is great work you have no worries.

OK, I guess he can live…. for now!

My Pa

I don’t know how old he is, but today is my Pa’s birthday.
The only real father I’ve ever had
always there for me
showed me things I didn’t know
got me to mow lawns
made me laugh
taught me the value of naps, procrastination and eating

I guess it’s appropriate that my poem “Foster Home” was read today in class, and given an asterisk saying I should have it published.

Happy Birthday Pa, I love and miss you.

Fresh Coffee and Broad Grins

It’s cold and I’m tired, hat pulled down low over my eyes I step into the 7-11. I can smell the coffee brewing right away, my destination is just ahead I can almost taste the coffee scalding its way down my throat.

“Hi.” comes a voice, through the fog that is my morning. I glance up and see a handsome man, nice goatee and broad smile, he works here, I see the 7-11 name marks him Ray. “Hi.” I say in return.

Fill up my coffee, two packets of Splenda and three creams, stirring them together till the color is a milky brown; I know it’s still to hot to drink, but God I want to, place one of their lids on and head toward the counter to pay for it.

“I love your shirt.” Ray says, I have to look down, so tired I’m not sure what I’m wearing.

“Oh, yeah this is one of my favorites,” one of my many Superman shirts, this one portrays him on a comic book cover, “I have a tattoo to match.” I say and start to roll up the sleeve of my jacket.

“Your hat too,” he says, I realize I’m also wearing the hat and feel the fool. He probably thinks I’m a dork, “are you a collector? It looks good on you.”


“That’ll be $1.53.” he says, still grinning broadly.

I pull two wrinkled one dollar bills out of my wallet and hand them to him, he punches some numbers into the register the drawer pops out and he slides the money into its place.

“People collect stuff, it’s cool. I collect some stuff too…” he says and closes the drawer. Suddenly he realizes my hand is out waiting for my change and his grin disappears, and his face turns crimson. “I’m sorry, can’t believe I did that.” and hands me the 0.47 cents he owes me.

“Thanks, I hope you have a great day.” I smile and start to walk out.

“You too, you too” he says as the door slowly closes.

As I enter the car, I turn one last time… there he is looking at me, that broad grin fresh on his face.

Spring Break

The beach, the sun; scantilly clad, tan men …. ah, Spring Break.

But not for me, I’m old and in Chesapeake, where its a little too chilly to wear a bathing suit outside. But there is good news, the trees are all blosoming… eyes are all irritated and itchy, sneezing… ah, spring.


his tongue drops brandy on my lips
heart pulses
hard, hot, steel rod
in my hand

trace fingers over silken chest
sweat trickles, salty sweet
migrate to manhood
thirst, hunger, greed… or need

panting, groaning
twin bed creaking
pain and heat,
friction so sweet

legs a vice around him
pulling him deeper, harder
tempo, crescendo
white lava spurts

he growls and thrusts
pain and need fulfilled
with lust

An Hour Away

It’s Wednesday, an hour away from Test II in Algebra II…
I’ve done my homework, studied and studied some more, but still feel very unsure of myself.
Math people, I’m convinced, are from another planet… or just plain crazy. Who else would find 600 different ways to add 2+2?

Handed in my three original poems, two of which have been posted on here, the last one I’ll probably post when I get home.

The only good part of today-it’s the last day before spring break… an entire week off from school… woo hoo!!!