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, violently so,
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
By Matt Paul
‘Seek Immediate Cover,’ flashed the tornado update before the TV died. I screamed for Callie until my voice splintered. She wasn’t in the basement, under mommy’s bed, or hiding in the fairy-lighted crawlspace. I called my wife’s name, forgetting for a moment. Hailstones battered the front porch, and I spotted Callie in the street. Her mother’s red hair wind-socking, pink gel shoes peeling from the asphalt. As I bolted out the door she stretched her arms skywards, to the better place I’d said mommy had flown, her tiny hands clenching-releasing as if reaching for a hug.
By J. E. Kennedy
Old Mrs Bergman’s roses were the envy of the village. The bushes bloomed in a congregation of scarlet and coral, sun-flare yellow and delicious tangerine. They spilled over the walls and lit up the pavement with their scattered petals, like delicate wishes skipping along the breeze, destination unknown.
Mrs Bergman plucked and preened, watered and fed. She whispered sweet nothings. She told the roses all that she would have told him if he were here. And they bloomed.
At night she would take the fading telegram from the drawer: Missing in action.
And she waited to meet him again.
By Cap’n 575
Only to survive
a nanosecond longer
mountain battles sea.
Someday (not today)
We all become the mountain
We are all the sea
By Hannah England
He was four when she lost him, tomorrow he will be eight.
Her own mother had died, a loss she cushioned with increasing alcohol before being dismissed from work, excused from her marriage, and barred from motherhood. Without the strength to claw her way back, he has been without her for half his life. He probably has no memories of her, just fleeting glimpses of the shadows she cast during his babyhood.
As she darts down dark alleyways, she hopes his dad is wrapping birthday presents in colored paper. She doesn’t know what she would give him, if she could.
Hannah England has written for The Guardian, the Same journal, SpillWords Press and Our Queer Stories.