The 6-year-old teeters on the edge of the couch, gravity-defying plastic bag wings outspread. The 9-year-old folds her arms and declaims the stupidity of the enterprise. The 42-year-old enters and pauses, not sure whether to shut down the equation or just watch.
Author Archives: David Hammond
David was nearsighted. At the age of twelve he received his first pair of glasses. He carried them in a case in his backpack, and when the teacher wrote something on the chalkboard, he retrieved them discreetly and placed them on the bridge of his nose. If possible, while taking notes, he kept his leftContinue reading “X-Ray Vision”
“Here, read this. Forty-two words.” “Okay…” She reads. “I like it, but I don’t get where it says ‘explicably’.” “I meant ‘inexplicably.’” “Oh.” “Did you get that it’s at a hospital?” “Oh! No…” She reads again. “His leg is missing?” “Yeah.” “Ah!”
Eleven poems about my pitiful heartache. I looked up at the end to see no one. Somehow my reading had emptied the joint. I’m through with this city. Or it with me. Whichever. [A mirror cinquain, inspired by Yeah Write’s March poetry slam. I cheated a little by having three syllables on the first and lastContinue reading “Davis, California”
We’re waiting and joking anxiously outside the famous pizzeria. A meekly smiling man shuffles through, extending an upturned hand to each. A woman averts her nose. My hand stays in my pocket. Before leaving he frowns in genuine despair over his shoulder.
The Beaten Way
We mixed it with coke and read aloud the only play we had with two copies. “Thrift, Horatio!” “To a nunnery, go!” We stumbled, spake, drew swords. Morning found retched scrambled eggs on my bedroom rug. No method in it but friendship.
Stepping out through the door of his house, which was swollen by the moisture and did not shut properly, casting off his shoes to thrust his feet in the uneven grass, which, dead and alive, was a chorus of mute tones, browns and reds and greens, casting off his sleepiness with a shudder as heContinue reading “Stepping Out”
As Dr. Baskin strapped me in, her face was twisted uncharacteristically, but I couldn’t tell what emotion it conveyed. Was she holding back tears or just concentrating on getting the tension right? When she was done she paused, which in itself was strange in the midst of the efficient, hyper-kinetic whirlwind of preparations that wereContinue reading “Little Monkey”
My Old Hands
I’ll be sitting on a park bench, looking like a picture, a little old man with a little fuzzy hat. I’ll put my elbows on the back of the bench and tilt my head into the sun, like I used to, but my eyes will be rheumy and start to water, and my right handContinue reading “My Old Hands”
After dinner today my daughter remarked about how much alcohol I drink. “No offence,” she said. This elicited from me a dissertation on the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, which transitioned into a history of fermented beverages, upon which civilization as we know it depends. She immediately saw this as the elaborate rationalization itContinue reading “Alcohol”