By Holly Day
(Originally published November 21, 2017)
The parts of my childhood I can remember
are disjointed, unsuited for a house
or a school or a world
made of the stable things I read about
all the time in good books.
I got lost. I am, even now, certain that each new home
won’t be comfortable for long,
clinging to the hope
that we are suitable hosts for each other’s misery. I tell you
home is more than the back seat of a car.
Even leaves separate from trees
before curling up to die.
Holly Day’s poetry has appeared in Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, and Ugly Girl.
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.
To celebrate the conclusion of the third calendar year of our existence, we have compiled a list of some our favorite posts of 2017.
While we are grateful to every Drabble reader and writer for helping to make this small corner of the Internet such an unexpected success, we want to recognize a few pieces that accomplished what we were setting out to do when we began this blog almost three years ago. Here (in no particular order) are a few drabbles we truly loved in 2017, enjoy:
Split Custody by Rachel Doherty
This Lady Has Lost Her Way by Robert Krenzel
Butt Dialed by Barry Basden
White Petals by Jade M. Wong
Delete by Bill Diamond
Of Artistic Temperament by Sophie Flynn
Empty Vessels by José Cañusí
Say It with Flowers by Hombrehompson
I Want to be a Crayon Today by czvasser
Spiders Don’t Write Poetry by James Blevins
Where I’m From by Nacklo
By John Grey
Dress like undertakers,
drop from phone wires
to the roadkill below –
their caw is light on melody,
high on triumph –
I still have
she left behind
though I haven’t
seen her in years.
I play it
from time to time,
think of her
now and again.
Do them both together
and I run the risk
Lolls all day
in a beat-up rocker
outside a rusty trailer,
drinking and cackling away.
He has no kids of his own
to ask what he did in the war.
If he did,
they wouldn’t have to ask.
Bio: John Grey’s work has recently appeared in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review. He has work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.
By Chris Dingman
the ocean today
stretching across from
and discussing philosophy
with the mostly
from which the sun
resplendence to dance
as though it were frosting
a cake, or pouring
and i think
were i visiting
earth from somewhere far
today, and seeing
only this, i’d want
By José Cañusí
They say at the core of every man lay an empty vessel.
Pedro fills his with money. José fills his with religion. Ernesto pours alcohol into his.
Claudio stuffs his core with self-admiration.
Turns out Pedro’s vessel is too small to hold all his money, so he gives his leftover cash to José, who always exudes the type of inner peace Pedro so covets. (Plus, he can get a tax write-off.)
José secretly craves Ernesto’s decadence.
Meanwhile, Claudio assumes they all envy him. (He’s right, of course.)
A neighbor I’ve never met pushes a dolly full of boxes into the elevator. “Moving in or out?” I ask.
“Out,” he says. “Just got deployed.” I don’t respond immediately because I don’t know how.
“Where are they sending you?”
“Poland,” he says. “Near Ukraine.”
The elevator stops. “I feel obliged to thank you for your service,” I say.
He thanks me for thanking him as he exits. I call out behind him, “Good luck in Poland!” and instantly regret it, although I cannot explain why.