Contact The Author: rdlbarton@gmail.com

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



Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Tits And Ass On Main Street


The Beautifullest (Anthology)
Pure Slush Books  Vol. 17
Print & e-Pub (May 2020)



Not surprisingly, I notice her naked
ass first: a beautiful ass, buttery
smooth, each cheek firm and 
round, perfect, perfectly tanned,
and cellulite free.  A Venus ass, 
when Venus was at her prime.
A lovely ass I could easily die for
or, even uninvited, marvel at  
for hours.  I know this, even 
with only the merest glance. 

Breasts to match: also tanned,
also Aphrodite perfection, each
a perfect handful, also perfectly
naked, firmly inviting a caress
or the tender ministry of lips.
I see them for only a second 
before I turn the corner, catch
only a glimpse in the mirror.

And as she recedes, I note
her perfect hips, her perfect
thighs: a pair of lover’s thighs,
not designed for running or
holding a baby on a lap; no:
thighs designed to open and
admit a lover, hold him there
until, at last, his darkness fades.

But her arms arrest me most:
She has no arms; has no arms
to wave at me as I pass, 
no mannequin lips to smile, 
nor eyes to see me go.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Voice Activated

Up The River (Issue 8)
Albany Poets (Online) May 2020

I do
whatever she says
pick up my socks
take out the trash
get the Chinese take-out
do the dishes
mow the lawn
you get the idea
It used to bug me
until
she reminded me
I love her madly

Some Things, Sometimes

Up The River (Issue 8)
Albany Poets (Online) May 2020

Some things never stop.
Some things, stopped,
never get restarted. I’m
like some of those things.
Sometimes, started, I can’t stop.
Sometimes people yell at me,
“Shut the hell up, willya?”
They don’t know me.
Sometimes I just sit there,
silent, pretending to think.
Pretending. People think I’m
thinking. I don’t think I am.
Some things just repeat
over and over and over,
continue repeating forever.
Some poems never end.


Amuse-Bouche

Up The River (Issue 8)
Albany Poets (Online) May 2020


After finally determining 
the critical difference 
between pudgy Basset hounds
and sinewy Burmese pythons,
he changed the name of his failing diner 
to Amuse-Bouche
totally revamped his menu, 
and began serving vastly different lunches 
to a more discerning clientele.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Separate Ways (A Ghazal)


North Carolina Poetry Society
Pinesong Anthology (Print) May 2020
**Honorable Mention, Joanna Catherine Scott Award
(Sonnet or Traditional form)


Separate Ways 

She likes to travel, leaves him alone for days at home;
and he, reclusive, easily a hermit, gladly stays at home.

She likes to wake to the sound of surf and a foggy sea,
imagines him waking up in the mountain greys at home.

Fog is fog, he tells her on the phone; it all burns off—
but when she leaves he finds himself in a haze at home.

He makes the bed and cooks the meals. He’s got his flutes
and drums and all the other things he plays at home.

Still, he hopes he remains Her Beloved Poet, immersed
in words and searching for the perfect phrase. At home.

Friday, May 01, 2020

May Day


50-Word Stories (Online) May 2020

He’d waited long enough.
Surrounded by new greens
under a fresh blue
he drew three deep breaths,
dove into May’s first morning.
May air fills lungs more fully than
any April rain has ever flooded
any April field. May Day’s sunshine
warms everything more deeply
than any mid-winter furnace fire.
 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Return To Sender

The Drabble (Online) April 2020


All of his incoming mail arrived in self-addressed envelopes which contained letters from his many alter-egos, none of whom he was aware existed. Most of the letters included invitations to dinner, provided updates on the status of his pickup’s tire pressure, or announced news items such as the introduction of guacamole as a new flavor at Tim & Doug’s Soft-Serve Stand.

He always marveled at the valuable timeliness and specificity of the information he received, and felt profound and genuine regret that he lacked the wherewithal to respond in any similar fashion.
After his most recent relocation, he simply vanished.


Friday, April 03, 2020

Aubade

Ephemeral Elegies (Online) April 2020

Tonight the moon is new;
only a few dim stars trapped in onyx,
granite-cold wind near midnight;
sound of the river, distant, empty,
washes across the frosted space
where new snow fell this morning.
When I saw you last,
your image receding in the window
at dawn, a faint sail on a far horizon,
the bland November sunrise reflected
on the thin glass like lake ice, I knew
I would find myself alone tonight,
humbled under the darkest sky,
wondering where you are, and
searching for the vanished moon.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Imaginary Friend

Tiny Molecules (Online) March 2020


I had an imaginary friend once but, frankly, he was a real jerk. I could barely stand him. He was never really there for me when I needed him, and he only showed up when I was buying an ice cream cone or hooking up with slutty Maria down the block. I always had to buy a second cone or a second or third condom, sometimes both, sometimes more, depending on how things were going. Going for him, I should say. The guy had some appetite.

The idiot could absolutely not remember my mother’s birthday, and he always had something pointless he needed me to do when it came around. I always regretted giving in to him. It’s like he just didn’t give a crap. Same deal with my Exes. All three of them. Look at me now.

Time to go to work,” I’d say. "Time to go fishing," he’d reply, wearing that vapid, shiftless grin. It was like he had some sort of hypnotic power. And don’t get me started on the whole money thing. On top of the lost jobs and un-repaid loans, there’s a mountain of bills he talked me into letting slip into collections, the trunkful of parking tickets, and the boingity-boingity rubber checks bouncing all over town so fast you’ve got to duck one to avoid the other.

I haven’t seen him in a while, but I know he’s out there, just waiting until I get my head above water, maybe get a new girlfriend. He’ll show up. Jerk.


Friday, March 06, 2020

Altered Itinerary

Red Wolf Journal (Online) March 2020

He drives an hour north to
Montgomery’s famous scones;
decides to limit himself to a
single scone and a coffee
because, even as he settles in,
he thinks about the bar at
Positive Pie down in Hardwick,
remembers they have Switchback
on tap, remembers how dark
and cool one end of the bar
can be; how conducive to
journal work that — somehow,
some time later — ends up published.

He drives an hour south and
drives another hour south.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

She Would Have Been Proud

50-Word Stories (Online) March 2020

I hadn’t planned on speaking
at my mother’s memorial service,
but my equally reticent siblings looked to me
when the minister issued the invitation.
I had no script nor practiced comments,
but in no time at all the entire congregation
was rolling on the aisles.
Later, everyone thanked me profusely.

The Quest

Red Wolf Journal (Online) March 2020
(Theme: Journeying)

I’ve circled this damned planet
a gazillion times already, just trying
to wake up where the sun comes up,
just trying to find that spot.
No matter how far east I travel,
I go to bed confident that, this time,
I’ve finally found my Mecca;
that the sun will rise at the foot of my bed.
No dice. Ever. Every day’s the same.
One time I saw it come up just behind
a Brooklyn high-rise. Not much later
it was the Eiffel Tower. Yeah, right.
Maybe I should change my ways;
maybe start chasing the sunset instead.
I’m older now. Maybe I should be wiser.
I’m pretty sure it sets just west of here.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Last Call

detritus (Online) March 2020


Hello she said
her voice too sweet
I’m sorry
if I woke you up
...


It’s okay
he replied
considering their recent history
I’m glad you called.


Listen
he said
and hung up the phone
softly


Monday, February 17, 2020

Name That Tune

Medical Literary Messenger (Online) February 2020

     She’s already lost most of her hair, but refuses to wear one of those scarves, or a wig, or a hat to try to hide the fact. Her only jewelry is the small plastic catheter where a watch or a bracelet ought to be, unused now for months but still available as a concession to her doctors’ pleas. 
     She pushes the wheelchair’s controller forward like any gangster on the getaway might mash down the car’s accelerator. If the chair had a “Check Engine” light, it would have burned out ages ago, ignored. 
     The chair bee-lines across the almost empty atrium, forcing a few bipedal staffers and patients to alter their courses as she zeroes in on her intended destination: the upright piano occupying the small visitors’ seating area adjacent to Oncology, on the other side of the lobby. 
     Her arrival is simultaneous with that of the thin, elderly man the hospital has hired to come in three times per week to make the rounds from keyboard to keyboard, half an hour each, to make the waiting easier, to help the people forget or remember, whichever best suits their need. 
     He looks at her and smiles; knows exactly what he has to play.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Embers

A Story In 100 Words (Online) February 2020


He thinks he sees her again and he’s mesmerized by her perfection.
He watches her and remembers his perfect past; remembers what it was like for him all those many years ago when, returning home, he’d find the perfect woman there, smiling, standing beside the fireplace, close to the fire, waiting. He can’t always recall her name, but he remembers the fire and her smile; the perfectly soft glow, the welcoming warmth.
These are the benedictions of age, he thinks. Even when the fire burns low, there is memory and imagination; even in an empty room I am never alone.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Paper Thin

Prometheus Dreaming (Online) January 2020

He knew all there was to know
about her. She knew all she
needed to know. There was paper
on the walls between them,
but the walls themselves
did not exist.

On Friday she came by
to borrow a little hot sauce.
She knew he had plenty.
He gave it to her.
He gave it to her good.

She came again on Saturday.
The whole building heard it.


Friday, January 03, 2020

Write What You Know

50-Word Stories (online) January 2020


Write what you know, they say
so he writes the first draft
of the fog and gravel of Route 16
all the way to work at sunrise.
Before the sun goes down
he’s revised the revised revision
until all he really thinks he knows
is what he says he’s written.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

No Passport Required

Eleventh Transmission
45 Poems of Protest (Online) December 2019


It won’t happen until
we burn all the flags

erase concepts like

foreigner and enemy

tear down the walls
ignore the borders

and accept that we’re all
in the same small blue boat

a tiny fragile planet
sailing through the void.

It won’t happen until
we look at each other

and say “
Welcome home
instead of “
Papers, please.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Truth Be Told

One Sentence Poems (Online) November 2019

If the Secret Police come knocking
late at night, armed with terror bombs,
their visors reflecting moonlight
into the dim interior of my room,
I will freely surrender, eagerly confess
that just before they arrived
I sent out a song
on the clandestine airwaves;
that the coded lyrics, deciphered
on distant, receptive shores,
will lay all beings bare of arms,
bereft of all supposed defenses.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Two Small Threes by Five

HALIBUT (Online) November 2019



he can’t help himself
—the moon is fully windowed—
syllables, calling

This is how it is for him.  It’s pathetic, and even he knows it’s pathetic.  He wakes up; it’s only just after three so he makes himself go back to sleep, but he’s fully awake by 4:20 and he’s got it stuck in his head: something about two small poems, three lines each, maybe formal haiku, maybe some weird Americanized Kerouacian version, he doesn’t really know, only knows he can’t help thinking Two Small Threes By Five over and over again until finally he gets up to write them.
He thinks about where to start with the writing, and he thinks there’s a harvest moon shining in the window, but at first he doesn’t know this for a fact.  He stops thinking about the writing long enough to Google the phrase harvest moon, which, being a good contemporary poet, he has vowed never to use in his writing, but it’s just so very much there, flooding through the window, shining on his desktop, shining on his keyboard, washing across his office floor, sure enough: a harvest moon, shining on.
After the first three hard-won lines, he hits the auto-set for Shankar and the Sandhya Raga fills the room like moonlight.  He’s out of incense.  He’s afraid he’s out of ideas.  He walks to the kitchen, turns on a light, changes his mind and turns it off again. He makes the coffee by moonlight, steel strings still ringing in the next room, where he has left his head, thinking in threes and contemplating the Raga Of The Harvest Moon while the moon, still, still shines on the keyboard.
This is how it is for him in the morning, every morning, early, and even sometimes all morning long: long before even the first cup of coffee, the first thought repeating, repeated in the moonlight, repeated at the keyboard, repeated at the keyboard in the moonlight. This is how he is.

absolute perfect moon
coffee moon keyboard moon raga moon
haiku moon, release me

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Life Of A Poet (Interview)


Poets United (Online) October 2019


"Today we are zooming cross-country to Vermont, to chat with Ron. Lavalette, who blogs at  Scrambled, Not Fried, and Eggs Over Tokyo. I detect a theme here...  Let's dive in!..."


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

What Basho Knows

Plum Tree Tavern (Online) September 2019


fog is good
but god’s a frog
loves the sun
—leaps—

Friday, September 20, 2019

Not The Warmest Greeting

50-Word Stories (Online) September 2019

 
He was quite sure they’d met before. Her smile, though noncommittal, seemed at least familiar, and somewhat welcoming.
 
It faded, though, as he approached her and sat down beside her on the subway.
 
He knew that he’d mistaken her as soon as she pressed the trigger on the Mace canister.
 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Love Conquers All

Red Wolf Journal (Online) September 2019
(Anthologized)  March 2020

“I bought you some
poison blueberries,”

she said. “You can
have them with your
corn flakes in the morning.”

She had always been
everything he’d ever wanted
so all he heard was:
“I bought you some
blueberries for breakfast.”

He ate them the next day
with toast and orange
marmalade and tea.
He went to work and smiled
at customers and colleagues,
sat quietly at his desk
until half-past five, signed out
and, still smiling, headed home
to his Sweetie Pie.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Overheard

Red Wolf Journal (Online) September 2019
(Anthologized) March 2020

The first words heard on Monday,
smack in the middle of August,
drifted in, distant and disembodied
from the dock of the smallest cabin
across the lake.
                          An ancient couple,
no doubt celebrating their golden
anniversary with a coffee and a
mutual toast, love-talked so softly
that only their voices’ tenderness
and not the content of their speech
travels across the still, wide water.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Girl Of His Dreams

Potato Soup Journal (Online) August 2019
(10-Word Stories)

He purchased her wedding ring long before they even met.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Oasis

Dreamscapes (Print Anthology)
Cherry House Press / July 2019
(Line/Stanza breaks re-edited to correct print anthology errors)


I dreamed of her, an oasis
standing by a new house
on a hill in the greening spring
holding a small glass harp,

its strings singing, untouched,
brushed only by a breeze;
its sound, lifted and carried

by the blue air, intoxicating.
I woke up before there was light
and stepped outside, tentative,

barefoot, onto the creaking porch,
with only coffee and the railing for balance.
Another autumn folded in around me:

the intemperate air almost ready
to carry snowflakes; the world, swirling
out of one darkness into another;
the moon on the verge of eclipse.

Then, there she was again.  

 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Never Date A Geologist

Dime Show Review  (10-Word Story) (online) July 2019

“I didn’t say stoned,” he told her; “I said petrified.”

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ginsberg's Omelet

Red Wolf Journal (Online) July 2019
RWJ Anthology: "Borrowed Poetry" (Online PDF) August 2019
 
This is the egg of the Void, ovoid, egg I have come to know these 20 years on frozen flats, in dreams of egg gone mad, unreachable egg, egg unbeaten by Time, unmapped in the flat gray clouded frypan of Imagination, egg unreal, uneaten eggshell egg—
This is the fork I choose to torture the egg, fork of my mother’s choosing, passing through generations, immigrant fork that travels from Prussia, come to rest on American Formica, Breakfast In America fork, Fork of Manhattan 2019, come to beat the egg for real, to make the mad yellow omelet of  Century XXI, feed the starving mass of men standing and waiting to dig the secret bop-cabala of omelette breakfast staring up from the ooky yolky plate with sizzled bacon beside—
This is the milk of lost aspiration, squeezed from the unwilling tit, small milk, spilled, useless milk propped up by demonic farm subsidies devised by Washington to keep the dirty farmer poor, Milk of the Mother, pilfered mechanically, milk I remember from sour nights on the Plains, drifting toward unrequited Denver, lights whiter than mercury vapor under the odd sad laughing western omelet moon—
O Omelet of my soul, sweet yellow comrade omelet, come to me now, I am starved for your Grace, I await you now in early morning America
 
 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Wait

Coffee Poems (Print Anthology) June 2019
World Enough Writers

Can I he pointed and of course
her hand replied smiling out
another coffee and otherwise
ignoring his all over her like
every yesterday and today
the same old thing but
what the hell she thought
what the hell her small tips
hung in the grinning balance

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Power Outage

Cabinet of Heed (print & e-Pub) June 2019

How unfortunate to be there
when the power goes out
at two separate places
at two different times
on the same day.

It was one thing, the first time,
when the supermarket overheads
and everything else
—except a few quick-witted
smartphone flashlights—
flickered twice and went black,
flashed a blinding warning signal
—a truly brilliant half-second delay—
before leaving the whole sad storefull
frozen in Aisle 7, startled into silence
and forced into terrifying immobility
for a scary seven minutes.

Everyone survived. Everyone
muddled through; made it out alive.
Praise the Lord.

But then,
again, hours later…


Friday, June 07, 2019

Shame, Shame


Pure Slush Books (Anthology)
7 Deadly Sins / Volume 7 / Pride (Print & e-pub) May 2019
 
This was supposed to be something.
This was supposed to be worthwhile;
supposed to be something that
summed up and crowned his works,
glorified everything he’d done so far. 

He wanted to be proud of his work;
wanted to be approached by readers,
wanted to see their heads still spinning,
their hands eager to shake his hand.
He wanted to hear them sing his praise.

No one even seemed to notice. No one
approached him for an autograph or
formed a line for a photo op. No one
betrayed the slightest interest. No one.

He gave up caring. He put down his pen.

 

 

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Drought's End

A Story In 100 Words (Online) May 2019

It was almost dark and he pulled into his driveway a happy man.

He had planned to be home in time for lunch, or at least to be at home at lunchtime, home in time for his favorite talking heads to read him the news he’d missed in the morning while he showered so as to make himself presentable at his favorite cafĂ©, his best black journal open, crying out for him not to allow yet another eight-day lapse without so much as a single penstroke.

It was almost dark and he was happy to have generated three whole sentences.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Still, Only He

The Drabble (Online) April 2019


He watches everything around him
unfolding in super-slow-motion,
but no one else seems to notice
despite the fact that they’ve all
been standing in line for days.


Even though the line never moves,
everyone banters and chatters away
at a normal pace. No one else
seems to notice that everyone’s
clearly frozen, motionless, in place.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Medium's The Message

Potato Soup Journal (Online) March 2019
(10-Worder)

“Excuse me,” he said, not realizing his fart was inaudible.

Face Rocks


*82 review (Print & ePub) March 2019


She sees faces in the rocks and small stones she finds in the yard, faces staring back at her, smiling or reproachful, young or old. She hands them to me and sometimes I can see them, too. The ones I can see I give names to, first and last, and hand them back to her to see if I got them right. I almost always get them right, or she says, “No, she looks more like a Pearl or a Maude to me.” Then she’d put the smallest ones in her pocket, set the larger ones aside and, later, we’d carry them up to the steps, give them a nice shower from the garden hose, let them bask awhile in the sun before bringing them inside to our box of face rocks.

Sometimes I wonder what became of them after I left. I wonder if she tossed them back into the yard and garden before she moved to the mountains, or gave them away to the kids in the neighborhood, or if she just included the box one day with the other trash, dragged to the curb.

In my office today I have a large water cooler bottle filled with corks. None of them have names, though. I have a tea canister filled with Chinese fortunes, a small galvanized pail overflowing with red plastic coffee scoops, a display case for my hundreds of tin boxes, half a dozen terracotta balls, a sizeable collection of rusty railroad spikes, and about half a million books.

I wish she could be here to see them.