(Originally published December 9, 2015)
By Nick Dunster
The elderly tenant called me up to make a formal complaint, insisting that I visit him in person that cold, December morning.
“It’s that immoral young woman over there,” he explained, gesturing toward a window in an adjacent block. “Every day she wanders around in her apartment with no clothes on. It’s really not acceptable.”
I peered across. “Well,” I said, “I can’t see anything.”
“Ah no,” the tenant explained. “You can’t see anything from there. You’ll have to stand on this table and then lean your shoulder against this wall. Then you’ll have the right angle.”
(Originally published 12.22.16)
You will fall in love with words and writing, and in the process, you’ll hear this a lot: “Don’t write like a victim.”
Don’t listen! Don’t let anyone else tell you how to express your truth.
Someday soon you will come to realize that things will happen that are outside of your control, and some of those things will be painful. Yet, somehow you will make it through, I promise.
I’ve written this because I love you so much, and I don’t want you to ever forget that.
Your future self
(Originally published on 10.5.2015)
Have you noticed how I linger now when we embrace?
How I press my face into your blouse and inhale,
fight the urge to take a chunk of your flesh between my teeth,
let it dissolve on my tongue?
Because you are where I
You are what I
should be, and
We is how it
When I leave,
[perhaps you notice this, too]
I don’t look back—
I set my jaw, pocket my fists, and march,
eyes always forward.
Is that what you do, too?
By Phyllis Souza
“Dearie, you can be replaced.”
After all, I’ve done for you?
“Rub the back of my neck.”
I’d be glad too.
“You’re hurting me!”
“I can’t breathe.”
You can be replaced.
“I write not to forget.” – the writer
By Sophie Flynn
(Originally published December, 29, 2017)
I liked it when you said I had an ‘artistic temperament’ because it covered it all: tears in the carpark, not eating for days, refusal to choose paint for the walls because I just couldn’t look at the colors anymore; and instead made those days when I couldn’t cope, when I pictured cutting out my tongue and ripping off my skin, seem part of something greater to create something worthwhile, rather than days indulging myself. My artistic temperament was such a lovely phrase for what was really: unpleasant, unnerving, unbearable or, as you finally put it as you left, unlovable.
(Originally published 11.9.2016)
my fellow countrymen,
these disenfranchised, war-less warriors with a meanness forged in faith
and hammered rock hard by life’s insults, delighting
in the shock—the horror—
the stinking black abstraction they created,
An amputee scratching at limbs
that are no longer there.
This morning a cold, strange voice
whispered in my ear
Liberty fell last night,
Broke her hip, died in the ambulance
of a heart attack.
you should know.
“(I wrote this) to process my disbelief.” – the poet
By Jamie Thunder
Write about what you know, they said. But when she wrote about the hollow pull of loneliness and the fear she felt when walking alone they said no, no that is self-indulgent, and unfair on the many men who do nothing to warrant fear, even late at night when the bulbs in the streetlights are broken and the shadows run across the pavement like foxes. So she wrote about dragons and magic instead, and they praised her humor, her lyricism, and her vivid imagination.
By John L. Malone
I’ve got a poem for you, a very short one, he promised with a garrulous grin, and then, in a long-winded introduction in which all the masters of brevity were cited from Basho to Lydia Davis, he proceeded to demolish all notions of shortness. The poem took ten seconds, the intro five minutes.
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
First, you must shed the detritus of your life. The car will be the last worldly belonging to go: Donate it. Toss your phone in the river. Photo albums, love letters, diaries: burn them. Cash out your bank account, stuff the cash into your couch cushions. Drag the couch to the curb, put a FREE sign on it. Flush the pills. Tie your wedding ring to a helium balloon, wait for a gust, and let go. Don’t watch. Swallow the hurt.
Now, walk away and don’t stop until you’re gone.
By The Drabble
To celebrate the end of the fifth calendar year of our existence, we present some our favorite posts of 2019. While we are grateful to every Drabble reader and writer for helping to make this site such an unexpected success, we want to recognize a few pieces that truly accomplished what we were setting out to do when we began this blog almost five years ago. Here (in no particular order) are a few drabbles we truly loved in 2019. We hope you do, too:
Unconditional by Toni G.
When You See Me Walk by J. Nayana Nair
The Poems I Have Not Written by John Malone
A Lie for My Boy by Roy Gomez
Lonely Photographer by Bello Olabisi
My Father by Dianne Moritz
Partners by S.B. Borgersen
My White Cane is a Magic Wand by Rebecca L. Holland
Some of the Time by Ali Grimshaw
Space Dew by Neil Clark
Your Mother, the Clown by David Derey
Darkness by G. Allen Willbanks