BULL SWAN

The CLOUD CHAMBER

cigar man 1

BULL SWAN

        William “Bull” Swan was awakened in his bed by his pit bull Shiva who lapped his face with her big flat tongue.  It was Friday 5:30 AM and Shiva, who had been cuddled in the crook of Bull’s arm, knew it was time for her bed-mate to arise.

        Bull groaned, “OK, OK,” and he threw back the thin comforter and it enveloped Shiva’s head.  Bull sat up on the edge of the bed.  He felt his jaw.  He had shaved yesterday morning.  He pinched the collar of his V-shirt and stretched it up to his nose and sniffed.  He had only worn the V-shirt one day.

        He felt there was no need to shave and shower this morning.  Even if it was a kind of a special day.

        Shiva pushed her head between Bull’s arm and chest.  Bull put Shiva’s big head in…

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THE ANGELIC POSITION AND THE MANNER OF SERPENTS

The CLOUD CHAMBER

  angelic position

        In Third Heaven where the River of Milk meets the Land of Honey grows the Tree of Knowledge.

Eve gently hoes the soil around the roots of the Tree of Knowledge.  Adam waters the Tree of Knowledge with wine.

Hidden behind the Unburnt Bush is Azrael, the Archangel of Death.  He spies upon Eve and Adam.

Azrael is startled suddenly as the Serpent appears beside him.

Azrael warns the Serpent, “I’ve told you for aeons not to do that!”

The Serpent asks Azrael, “Business slow?  Why are you watching those two miscreants?”

Azrael looks back at Eve and Adam and asks the Serpent, “Why does Big Joe need day-laborers like them to tend the Tree of Knowledge?”

The Serpent asks Azrael, “Where is Big Joe anyway?”

Azrael replies, “It’s the Seventh Day. He has a time-share in First Heaven with Lucifer.  You can imagine the gossip about that!”

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THE BIG STICKY

The CLOUD CHAMBER

 the big sticky POST

THE BIG STICKY

        It was three weeks before Christmas.  She was hugging me so tightly.  Oh, I felt good.  I said to her, “I have a sack of goodies for you and I’m coming down your chimney.  Right….NOW!”

        Mrs. Santina Klaus giggled and, Oh, I felt so good and then she gasped and then I awoke and my pajamas crotch was wet and sticky.  I was eight years old.  I was horrified.  I thought I had peed in my bed.

        With dutiful humiliation I got out of bed and I walked into my parents’ bedroom and confessed, “I peed in my bed.”

        My mom sat up on her arm and gestured for me to approach.  She examined my pajamas crotch and touched it.  She then turned to my dad and mumbled something.  I thought I heard my dad say something about ‘The Big Sticky’.  My…

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HARVESTING SWEATER MELONS

The CLOUD CHAMBER

 sweater melons

HARVESTING SWEATER MELONS

        Call me Richard.  I am not a “Dick”.

        A couple years ago – whatever – I ran out of money to stay in school, and, anyway, I wasn’t really interested enough in Marine Biology to commit to graduate school, so I took the money I had left and I followed my fisherman friend, Bob, and his wife, Cinda, up to Morro Bay, California.  We got apartments in the little coastal town of Cambria, a few miles north of Morro Bay, and just a few miles south of Hearst Castle, the famous estate of that newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.

        Our cluster of tiny apartments was called The Art Villa.

        Bob and Cinda soon sold their boat and opened a fish market up the street in Cambria (I could always bum a free plate of deep-fried calamari with marinara sauce and a slice…

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KILLING TIME

The CLOUD CHAMBER

 
  killing time

KILLING TIME

        It is Sunday morning.  The library doesn’t open until 1 PM.  I sit on a bench in the little memorial park adjacent to the library.

In Memory Of Thomas Iparaguirre Public Works Employee April 19, 1977 – February 6, 1995

        Eighteen years old.  Sad.  I wonder how he died.  I get out my iPhone and I google the plaque.  No results shown.  Well, they built him a nice gazebo here.  Nice deep shade.  It’s getting hot in the sun.  Supposed to be 99 today.   I used to sweat like a pig when I only weighed 150 pounds.  I hope this doesn’t take long.

        I tied my little Pit Bull Dulcinea to this bench. She’s in heaven rolling in the clover patch in the grass.  You can see in the green where the lawn sprinklers soak the most.  The zones outside the bright green…

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SINS OF THE FATHER

The CLOUD CHAMBER

 sins of the father - cropped

SINS OF THE FATHER

SIN 1

The Prodigal Sin

        It is the summer of 1864 and a lone horseman rides into the humble Mexican village of Santuario.  The horseman is a thin and dissolute pistolero, gunman, with a full head of long matted hair and no hat.  In the mid-day heat of Santuario no souls tread the dust.  Insects hide upon the sparse shadows of adobe walls.  The pistolero feels the prosecution of the sun

        The pistolero finally dismounts carefully not far from the little adobe capilla, chapel.  Softly he approaches and then he enters the cloak of the Church.  He maneuvers slowly down the aisle of wooden benches toward the altar.  There at the altar a young priest kneels with his back to the pistolero at the feet of a tattered crucified Jesus.

        When the stealthy pistolero is only a footstep behind the…

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RUBBERTA

The CLOUD CHAMBER

 

  rubberta3

RUBBERTA

        I live here.  You haven’t seen me before ‘cause I don’t come here into town but once in a while.  ‘Specially not when it’s crawlin’ with tourists.

        OK, hi, Zanelle.  I’m “Woody”.  “Woody” Grover.  I been retired here in Cambria for, well, years.  I am an artist, a wood sculptor, well, not professionally (I was a carpenter) but now that I am retired I am an artist without anybody telling me otherwise.  Well, I still make most my money doing carpentry and repairs for the antique shops and the furniture shop here in Cambria.

        I live a ways up Santa Rosa creek.  A cabin built by a marijuana grower back in the ‘70’s.  My shop is the shed that he built to dry the marijuana. Yeah.  I live alone.

          No.  Living alone is highly underrated.  No one fucking tells me I’m wasting my…

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