Smoke and Ashes by Stephen Spotte

My father’s cigar-smoking, or rather its imminent threat, had caused our banishment to the porch. After supper, Dad had taken a cigar from his shirt pocket with the practiced deliberation of an actor. Mom, recognizing the cue as hers, stood and began clearing the dishes.             “Marcel,” she said, “you’re not going to smoke that…

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Dogeared By Basil Humphrey

I am well worn, thumbed through, creased at the edgesAlways stuck on the same page, always mid-sentence,I can neither avert my eyes, turn thoughts, nor paperFor it is my life’s work, knowing something of what’s gone beforeBut no clarity as to what comes nextI live in the now of uncertaintyNo future, beyond skittish dreamsMy imprint…

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