Saturday, March 22, 2008


Julia drove towards me on her daily commute to work. I had seen her plump cherry red lips and silky black hair everyday for the past five years, and I still don't think she noticed me. Her vanity plate blessed me with her name. Dreams of her tender blue eyes and milky white face kept me warm on cold nights; waiting for her arrival the next day.

Standing on the side of the road in my usual yellow, black and red, I watched her attention turn to my cousin in crimson and white. Always coming to a complete halt; taking him in before moving on. He was so used to the public praise that he stood solemn as if he didn't even know they existed.

I was used to living in his shadow but I was only asking for her gaze, he could have the rest. Too many days had my life revolved around her passing me by, only to be disappointed by her loving attention towards my rosy cousin who treated her like the rest and didn't flinch in her presence.

At last my day had come. My cousin couldn't stand on his usual corner that morning thanks to sewage construction that had popped up over night. He was replaced with orange and ass-crack. She was bound to notice me. Thankfully the sun was out that morning to bounce nicely off my reflective yellow. Only a blind man could have missed me.

Julia rolled up McArthur at her usual time sipping her morning coffee. Suddenly placing her coffee into the cup holder, she reached across for her purse on the passenger seat. Answering her cell phone, Julia rolled right past me again heading towards 'crack' corner. The road wet from a freak summer night rain.

My failed attempt at love ended that day. I heard the dump truck's screaming brakes before I heard the explosive finale. An ambulance rushing to the scene splashed mud onto my sanguine chest, a stain that I kept for my remaining days.

Troy Stith ( lives in the confused city of Columbus, OH where he has lived all his life. Enduring daily eight hour soul sucking sessions, Troy spends his free hours spilling forth observations of the absurd world we live in. Never locking himself into one genre, exploring all depths of the glorious field. His short “What A Ride” was featured on Thieves Jargon ( or you could check out his weekly comic strip R.O.M.B.I.E. – Robot with a Zombie Brain (

Saturday, March 08, 2008

SOIR BLEU by Gary Lehmann

dedicated to Edward Hopper

They’re drinking on a patio surrounded by a marble banister

itself surrounded by the sea. Japanese lanterns pulse light into the scene.

A man in a tux is drinking wine while looking over his companion’s shoulder

at a clown with five red stripes painted in irregular patterns down his face.

A flapper girl in heavy rouge is looking down her nose at the clown.

She is leaning back against the marble banister to flatter her silhouette,

but neither the captain nor the sailor are paying her any attention.
A cigarette hangs from the clown‘s mouth. His red hat rests on the table.

Twice nominated for the
Pushcart Prize, Gary Lehmann’s essays, poetry and short stories are widely published – over 100 pieces per year. The Span I will Cross [Process Press, 2004]. Public Lives and Private Secrets [Foothills Publishing, 2005]. His most recent book is American Sponsored Torture [FootHills Publishing, 2007]. Visit his website at