Flash Fiction Link: The Lone Ranger Rides Again by Mark Tulin

Sometimes when I rode Silver, my dad used to sing “I’m an Old Cowhand” and make believe he was John Wayne just to get my goat. He would call me a “pilgrim” and act like he was a tougher cowboy than me. Once I got mad at him for mocking Tonto and me, and I shot him a couple times with a six-shooter.

Excerpt from The Lone Ranger Rides Again at Friday Flash Fiction.

Poem: Composition Book

My mother threw out my poetry
when I was fifteen,
just like that,
no apologies

She made sure
that the trash truck
ground-up all my emotions
in all those lined pages
of a marble composition notebook.

She wanted to prevent me
from writing down
all my romantic notions
and teenage secrets.

She believed nothing good
could come of telling the truth,
and that expressing pain
and vulnerability
were dangerous.

It’s better to contain
misery and disdain
in private, she said.
Then you won’t get hurt.

That was when I lived at home,
now I don’t have to suppress
what I feel anymore
or be so overly protected.

I’m free to fill up as many
marble bound notebooks
with poems of blood and tears
without being taken
from a mother in fear.


Teenagers of the Damned

Another version of this poem at Mark Tulin on Letterpile.


Buttered popcorn, milk chocolate Goobers

and launching fresh spitballs,

 wads of wet toilet paper 

sliding down the silver screen

as confused and dazed ushers 

chase children misbehaving.

We clap, hoot and holler

for the possessed little blond-haired boys,  

flashing their strobe-light eyes, 

ice-cold water in their veins, 

infiltrating a celluloid English town.

 They rise from the grave of affluent families,

 putting their mommies to sleep,

melting their poor daddies

into pools of Silly Putty.

I wished that I had their power 

to reduce adults to pint size humans,

to make teachers, neighbors, and bullies 

feel the wrath of a teenage boy.

Casting the last Pixie Stick onto my tongue,

I suck feverishly on a caramel Sugar Daddy

with a handful of red licorice in my hands,

I finally feel content in my sugar high.

It was just another Saturday matinee

flipping our friends and enemies the bird,

teasing the girls in the front row.

Next week another horror film:

the Creature from the Black Lagoon.