Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Word Catalyst Magazine--July Issue Posted

A snippet from my column this month:

Loser Takes All

"I'll stay." Clyde shot Jasper a look, one of those looks that cuts through like a knife. Even softened by the shadow of his white fedora's brim, the eyes shot bullets.

Jasper looked away. He didn't want to show how his heart was thump-thumping like the vibration of a thousand horses galloping. He dropped one hand over his chips and pushed the entire stack into the pot. "I raise you, and I call," he murmured.

The boy shifted in his seat. His Sunday-go-to-meeting pants itched his tiny behind, and the suspenders cut into his shoulders. He longed for his everyday dungarees...and he dreamed of home. Swatting a fly from his face, he hunkered down to watch the men. The round table gave him a position of equal importance to them.

Clyde and Jasper were in a deadlock, eyes resting on each other, each refusing to look away. Jasper's skinny frame held rigid against the other man's stare. A man who threw all his chips into the pot needed that. He had to look strong, unflappable...a winner. His mustache under normal circumstances would twitter when he felt nervous. But he had the presence of mind this time to hold it steady, even though it itched to move. It was like holding back a colony of ants on the run.

"Are you really going to bet all your chips at one time when the prize is so important?" Clyde's expression of outrage reached across the table like slaps to the face. Read more...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Raking Leaves

Two small poems for a workshop challenge where the prompt was "raking leaves."

excitable mob
flying, coerced frenzy
raked leaves

Copyright 2009 JO Janoski

forlorn leaf piles
whooshing in sad day songs
once verdant dreams
stacked high.

Copyright 2009 JO Janoski

Monday, June 08, 2009

Forest Murmur

Forest Murmur
(A Triolet)

Innocence peeking through shrouds of green
sparkling, curious, childish delight
glimmering with new light unseen.
Innocence peeking through shrouds of green
untouched, unknown, in morning's first gleam
shedding darkness, its murmurs of night. 
Innocence peeking through shrouds of green
sparkling, curious, childish delight.

Copyright 2009 JO Janoski

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Word Catalyst Magazine Column

An excerpt and link from my column this month in Word Catalyst Magazine:

Of Simple Words and Deadly Deeds

More crimes were plotted in Bloody Harry's Bar than anywhere else in the islands. Small wonder it was, too, what with the gruesome ambiance and grimy air of the place, the kind of suffocating filth you breathe in and then feel bad about yourself, like you're slumming, or hurting, or dirty. Old fish netting hung from the rafters to decorate but also to catch God knows what, while salty aromas from the ocean wafted in to mix with the thick air like sultry dancers drowning in a sea of melancholy music.

Harry tended bar, his parrot Squawkers perched on his shoulder. The bird jiggled yet remained undisturbed when his master scrubbed the bar with wide strokes, jostling the parrot. Squawkers, it appeared, was used to the action. He hung on tight with his sizable claws digging into Harry's shoulder.

"And what will you be having?" Harry asked a forlorn fellow who sat at the bar.

The man's grubby index finger rolled across lines of text in an open book. He looked up, a quizzical expression on his face. The bird, Squawkers, repeated the barkeep's question, bringing the inquiry home. With this second round, the man understood. Read more...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Downwardly Cascading

Fulfilling a workshop prompt using forest and waterfall:

Downwardly Cascading

With sighs that bleed in glass sheets it flows

downwardly cascading eternal

harsh whispers in forest falls crying.

Copyright 2009 JO Janoski

Monday, June 01, 2009

Remembering Bob Church

For all of those who knew and miss Bob, I found an interview I did with Bob Church from about 7 years ago. Read it here. Enjoy, it is Bob at his finest.