Contact the Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

Contact The Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

Ron. Lavalette's work has appeared in these fine publications:



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Mercy

One Sentence Poems (Online) December 2016

He takes a breath
feels the switch
hears the click and
almost instantly
all the numbers
disappear
forever.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A New Green

The Drabble (Online) October 2016


He hears on the news that they’ve discovered a new shade of green.

He can’t remember, later, whether the newscaster said “discovered” or “invented,” but he wonders how such a thing is possible, and what such a color would be called.

Maybe it’s puked-up-broccoli-or-split-pea-soup green or first-shoots-of-early-tomato-plant green.

Maybe it’s last-gasp-of-the-tamarack-in-autumn green, or green-only-a-dying-parrot-can-see green.

He looks around him to see if he can spot it.

He hopes it’s black-rock-that-only-turns-green-in-the-early-April-rain green because, newly discovered or not, that’s always been his favorite.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Interstates

The Drabble (Online) October 2016



The crow, apparently ravenous
for the unrecognizable splat of
highway carrion, does not budge
from its feast, despite the near
passage of a barreling fourteen-wheeler
in the adjacent lane. The truck’s
driver barely notices the banquet
as he flashes by, his mind
on his destination, his eyes scanning
for radar cops or construction cones.
The truck itself, intent on only its task of
hauling weight and displacing the air
it moves through, has no sentience;
cares neither for the beast it carries
nor the beasts it passes. It’s the middle
of June, at last, and everything beside
the highway’s grey is green.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Killing That Bitch Again

Your One Phone Call (Online) October 2016

Last night in the arcane landscape
of darkness, while my actual body
remained in the safe soft confines
of headboard and fitted sheet,
I drove some wild dirt back road
at 80, dust everywhere, radio loud


her beside me on hot red leather
all at once terrible and terrifying.
I knew it would be her again.
I couldn’t see her face but I knew,
when we found ourselves naked,
later, the musty room, sun-slatted,


it would be her again, urging me
to pay the voodoo priestess, drink
deep from the proffered chalice,
let the ravens circle in and dive,
dive. I knew it would be her again.
When I raised the knife, I knew.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Time Machine

Poetry Breakfast (Online) July 2016

I remember how cigarette smoke
curling up after almost midnight
mingled with incense and music
spilled out through open curtains
from one private space to another
all night long all along the boulevard
all that long long summer long.

A Note, Tabled

Poetry Breakfast (Online) July 2016

Thank you for leaving
the light on. Thank you
for not staying up or
waking up; thanks for
not making me tell you
all about it just as soon
as I got home, it being
very late and all, and
I would just as soon
take it to bed and see
if it affects my dreams,
see if it leaves me
anything I might be
thankful for tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Current Events

In Between Hangovers (Online) July 2016

Fwim ted de mommiefish,
fwim if oo tan…

but it was too late,
too late. Her many silver
children, sadly unschooled, netted
only death, provided only
one small unsatisfying meal
for the insatiable clattering
leviathan, working its way
along the shallows, swallowing.

Daily the nightly news blared and
all the careless cavefish, distant,
buried their heads in sandbars, blindly
reading only the sports page, the
market report, the alleged comics.

Lured into compliance, lulled
by the infomercials and the
ever-present sitcoms, caught up
in the water over the dam,
everyone went with the flow.
No one was laughing now.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

All The Phones At Positive Pie

In Between Hangovers (Online) June 2016

All the babes at Positive Pie have
phones that go unanswered, phones
that bleep and glurg incessantly;
insistent phones that flash and flash
and stab their heedless owners’ eyes
and ears and only add to the general
beer-filled boisterous brouhaha, add
to the overall overkill of noisiness
to no avail:
                    all the babes at Positive Pie
ignore their phones. The more they ring
the more they get ignored.
                                          The old man
at the end of the bar, at the bitter end
of his working Wednesday, watching,
has seen the babes ignore their phones
before, has heard the glurg and buzz
and, buzzed, he works to find the words
to turn it into certain verse, to turn the
worst of sounds around, to make the
endless ringing sing a song.
                                             He thinks.
He finds, at last, the ink. He sings along.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

The Kindness of Strangers

*82 Review
(Print & Online) June 2016


He was already at the bookstore’s cafĂ©, trying to imagine something to write about when he saw them walk in. She was holding his hand like any young girl might hold her father’s hand, though it was obvious that she was the mother and he the son, clearly in his forties or maybe early fifties. They chose a table adjacent to his own, and the son helped her off with her coat, pulled out her chair, and settled her in, rearranging the napkins and the sugar dispenser so that the table was clear before her.

“Oh, this is nice,” she said. “Have we been here before?”
“I come here sometimes, but I don’t think I ever brought you. I’ll get you some tea,” he said. “Would you like a muffin? Or how about a scone?”
“Yes, please,” she said, smiling up at him, not recognizing that a choice had been offered.
“I’ll be right back,” he said, adding in as playful a tone as he could muster, “Now don’t you wander off on me again.”
“I won’t,” she said. “I’ll be right here when you come back for me.”

She looked over at the adjacent table.
“Is that a television?” she asked.
“No. It’s a little laptop.” he said. He turned it around so she could see the keyboard. “Is it okay if I write about you?”
“Is it getting dark yet?”
“No, Ma’am. It’s Saturday morning”
“I’m waiting for my tea, I think.”

The son returned to the table with two small dishes and both a blueberry muffin and a scone on a single serving plate. She seemed baffled as to what should happen next. He started to sit down across from her, but had a second thought and pulled out the chair next to her. He broke both treats in half, placing them on her plate. She looked at him lovingly, looked down at the food, and sat still with her hands in her lap. Half a minute later the barista brought a pot of tea. He poured. She only stared.

“Go ahead, Ma,” he said.
She reached for the spoon and stirred the tea. He put some sugar in it and she stirred it again. He broke off a piece of the muffin with his fork and fed it to her. She smiled as if it were chocolate melting in her mouth.
“Don’t forget to chew,” he said, adding, “remember last time.”
She put her hand on the teacup, but did not raise it to her lips.
“It’s okay. It’s cool enough now.”
“What?”
“I said it’s cool enough now. You can have a sip.”
“A sip?” she asked.
“The tea, Ma.” He lifted her cup and handed it to her. She sipped. She sighed and smiled, placing it down on the table beside its saucer.
She reached over and broke off a corner of the half-scone, looking at it quizzically.
“Is this the french fries?” she asked.
“No, Ma. It’s a scone. You love them. Taste it.”
She raised it, touched it to her lips, then lowered it and dropped it into her tea. He pulled the cup over in front of him, sliding his own to where hers had been.

“Is your wife coming to join us’” she asked.
No, Ma. I’m not married anymore. You remember?”
“Is she dead?”
“No, Ma. She’s just gone. She got married again.”
“So she’s still alive, then?”
“Yes, Ma. She’s just married to someone else.”

She looked toward her tea.
“Go ahead,” he said. “Have a sip.”
“What?”
“The tea. Have a sip of tea.”
She looked at the muffin, then at the scone. She put her hands in her lap.

“I remember your wedding,” she said, smiling.
“You do?”
“Oh yes,” she said. The movie was clearly running somewhere deep inside her. “It was hotter than hell. There were lots of flowers. They were lovely. It was in Hartford. Everyone was there. She had one of those umbrella things she carried down the aisle with her. What do you call them, again?”
“A parasol.”
“Yeah. A parasol. She had a parasol, right?”
“No, Ma. That was your wedding.”
“Mine?”
“Yes, Ma. That was your wedding. Remember?”
“It was a long time ago,” she said. “But I’m still in love with you, even after all these years.”
“I love you, too, Ma.”

“Do you think we should go now?” she asked.
“It’s up to you,” he said. “Whatever you want.”
“Oh, let’s stay a while. This is my favorite place. Everyone’s always so nice.”


Friday, May 13, 2016

"...some sort of gun."

See Into The Dark (Slim Volume, Print Anthology #4) May, 2016

I’d like to think
I might have found more to say
had it been me lying there
.............instead of him.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Commute

One Sentence Poems (Online) April 2016

It’s both, they tell him,
particle and wave

and under the sub-zero
winter solstice moon

he brushes off the photons
and swims to work.



Saturday, April 02, 2016

How It Happens

Poetry Breakfast (Online) April 2016

Just before I wake up it’s Friday
and a child I’ve never met
living in my old house by the river
takes a walk to the dark bank
withdraws a gold nugget
small as his infant sister’s eyeball
bigger than all the false gold
he’d ever found there before—
but this time it’s the real thing
and the kid looks astonished
has no idea what will happen next
and I’m a little startled too
I wake up thinking liquid
liquidity, liquefaction.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

(Mr.) Metamorphosis

Red Wolf Journal (Online) March 2016
Song Of Myself (RWJ Anthology) August 2016

Call me Looneyman Coffeeslut.
When you find me in the morning
long before the sun comes up,
(as if there’s likely to be sun)
when you find me at the keyboard,
half a man half asleep, call me
Fingerdreams Hopeful, call me
Renovated Crashburn.
Yesterday I was Flabbergast
Downheart , but all my friends
(as if I’d had a friend)
loved me as I was, called me
Sameold Goodold when they
met me on the street, gave me
everything, I guess, they thought
a man like Hankernot Renunciation
might ever need. Still, though, need
followed me everywhere, hunger
dogged me secretly. Tomorrow
(as if there’s any other day)
is another day. Tomorrow
you can call me Smiley Nirvana;
tomorrow I’ll be Karmic Bailout.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Critique

Red Wolf Journal (Online) March 2016
Song Of Myself (RWJ Anthology) August 2016

The mirror these days
winces
when it sees me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hard Going

Poetry Breakfast (Online) March 2016

I had considerable trouble leaving you.
It was car trouble, mostly: I wasn’t really
used to the standard, then, and it was
hard to find reverse; or hard to find it
fast enough anyway. Getting out of town
was no picnic either, with all that snow
piled up for blocks around the house,
the storm localized around the cold front
generated by your occluded heart.
I had to start running the red lights
because every time I stopped
people kept coming up to the car
asking me what took so long.
I have to admit this much, though:
when I finally got to the border,
even though I was running on empty,
I considered giving up and driving back.
But I only considered it briefly.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Disappearance

Front Porch Review (Online) January 2016

While you are away, I go out
into the sunless morning.
The door that closes behind me
closes forever.  The house is an echo
and the silent windows reflect
only the vacant, untended garden.
I have nowhere to go
but I get into the car and drive.

All the signs are stop signs.
People in the village stop, stare
as I pass, seeing only half of me.