Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Outsider Poetry and Flash Fiction By A.R. Bender
A.R. Bender is a peripatetic writer living in Tacoma, Washington USA. He has held a variety of jobs over the years, and has travelled and lived in different parts of the USA, as well as in Europe, Asia, and South America. He is starting to peddle his short stories and flash fiction pieces, and is seeking representation for my completed historical novel. He likes living in the city, but also enjoys spending time in places off the grid.
My lover’s new tattoo:
not nearly as exquisite
as the canvas
it is painted on
After being with you
I feel so
not unlike a nail or stake
that has been
into a hard and deep submission
the dark rich
Your ghostly image shimmers
like the Lady of the Lake
inside my screen,
those buried and near forgotten desires
to worship and to serve,
I’m far more deeply drawn
to the darker harsher
Queen Mab types.
there are elements
Oona: A Love Story
Arlo was strolling down Pike Street one morning when saw a woman sitting in front of a sex shop madly trying to light a cigarette. She appeared to be in her mid-twenties, slim, with azure blue hair and milky white skin adorned with tats and piercings. She also looked vaguely familiar to him so he offered her a light and they chatted it up a bit.
“I think I saw you at the Poetry Slam last week,” she said.
“Oh yeah, that’s where I saw you. My name’s Arlo, by the way.”
“Hi, I’m Oona. But listen, don’t get your hopes up. I’m not into men.”
“That’s okay. Neither am I.”
She laughed and they talked a little more until she stubbed out her cigarette. “Gotta go to work now.”
“Right here,” she said, pointing back with her thumb to the sex shop behind her. “Ever been inside?”
“Can’t say that I have.”
“If you have time I’ll give you a tour,” she said, with a fixed half-smile. “And if you want to buy me some things, I’ll get a nice commission too.”
Arlo felt himself getting lost in her emerald green eyes. “Let’s check it out.”
Later that week they met for coffee. She told him that she just moved to Seattle, used to work as a dominatrix, and that her wife, Didi, was a tranny. She also revealed that she once lived in a coven and considered herself a witch.
“So, does that mean you’ve put a spell on me or something?”
She then went into a long explanation about casting spells and how it’s not that easy and how it can’t be done to just anyone but only to a receptive mind that a witch can intuitively detect etc.
“That’s all very interesting,” he said, “but you didn’t answer my question.”
“I believe that I did.”
Afterwards, he took her shopping for jewelry and clothes.
They met a few more times that month, each time followed by a shopping spree. Arlo could see what was happening but it almost didn’t matter because he just wanted to be in her presence, at whatever cost. He liked to buy her needful, shiny things. She liked to receive those needful, shiny things.
As the months went by, Arlo fell more into the role of servant to both Oona and Didi: running errands, delivering takeout food, chauffeuring, and helping them furnish the apartment they shared with another tranny. He truly enjoyed this role.
After almost a year of this, the three of them met in a restaurant and Oona told him that she unexpectedly inherited some property on the East Coast and would be moving back there within the week.
After she left, Arlo fell into a spell of gloom and depression. The world seemed dull and meaningless to him without her. Eventually he figured out a way to sooth the pain and kick-start his life back up again; he would immortalize her in print.
A Good Day
Bert weaved his way through the downtown Seattle traffic as fast as he could since he overslept and was going to be late for the Germany-Sweden World Cup game. The World Cup tournament had been a passion for him ever since he first saw the games on TV as a youth in the 1970’s.
When he arrived at the Feierabend pub, the game had already started. He couldn’t find any of his workmates there, but ein freundlicher Mann named Klaus invited him to his table when he noticed Bert’s Bayern Munchen t-shirt. Right away, Bert meshed with everyone there as they watched the game while consuming massive quantities of bier mit brats und brot. Germany did their part by beating the Swedes in another display of beautiful attacking fussball, so all was joyous in the Feierabend. Bert said auf wiedersehen to his new friends, promising to meet them when Germany played again.
When he got back home, he tried to do some writing on his much-neglected book, but could barely get through one page. His mind was elsewhere and he found himself gazing out the window. The clouds had lifted and it was a warm and sunny June day. He grabbed a book at random from his shelf and browsed through it a moment; it was a collection of poems from a writer he had almost forgotten about. He went outside and read the poems, transfixed, while basking in the sun. He laughed and cried as he did so and was totally blown away by all those raw and open verses. He felt a growing connection to the poet as he read on.
After an hour, he went back inside and was so inspired by what he read that he wrote another page on his book. Later, he rustled up some dinner and then went back outside to read more of that kick-ass poetry, pausing to watch the setting sun through the filtered light of backyard trees.
Feeling restless, he took a short walk from his place to Broadway and bumped into some friends from his writers group who were headed to the Comet Tavern on the Pike-Pine corridor. On the way there, they all cheered for the riders in the Dykes-On-Bikes parade, part of the Pride Week activities that were going on in the city.
In the Comet, they bought each other rounds of drinks and read aloud some of their bad haikus and much worse poetry, while basking in the raucous, manic energy of all that was queer and bent and dangerous.
Bert stumbled home a little drunk and collapsed on the couch. It had been a good day: he made a few new friends, reconnected with some old ones, wrote just enough to keep his harsh muse at bay, took part in some amazing celebrations, and watched his German fussball team advance to the round of eight.
However, the best thing by far that happened to him on this day was rediscovering Bukowski.