Contact the Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

Contact The Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

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



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
 
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 café, 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.

The Space Between

The Linnet’s Wings (Print & ePub) March 2019

She sets out for the coast, stops
at the notch to admire the mountains,
makes note that these are truly
mountains, not the soft green
rounded foothills she calls home.

Left behind, he comes home from work
to an empty house and thinks about her
traveling through the mountains
toward the sea she loves, driving along
with all the windows fully open,
waiting for that first whiff of salt air.

Two or three times before the sun
goes down, he steps out onto the deck
to count and recount the giant hay bales
in the field below the house.

Miles and miles and hours away,
under a just-past-full moon, the road
ceases to unfold before her. She sits,
gazing out at water, satisfied, having
melted her mountains in the sea.

Around midnight, before bed,
he goes out to stand on the deck and
count the bales one last time,
the way a shepherd counts his sheep.

He stares out at the horizon,
thinking about how ridgelines
remind him of waves.

 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Two Below, Two Twenty-Eight

Six Sentences  (Online) March 2019

He does not envy the window washer, just outside the glass by his favorite street-view café table, her breath immediately vaporizing into massive sub-zero clouds blown away instantly by the wind-chill winds.
 
It's clear, though, that she's completely absorbed by the task; that the frigid conditions (which she had, no doubt, already encountered an uncountable number of times in the past) hardly even register; almost certainly neither distract nor impede.
 
He sits too long, watching and attempting to accurately record her persistent diligence. He's fully aware that he, too, has tasks and chores to complete; activities perhaps not as arduous as arctic window cleaning but which, once completed, should yield as much satisfaction as sparkling café glass on the last day of February in the coldest winter of the last half-century.

He knows he should get up and go about his business, but he takes one last minute to write one last sentence.

Driving away, he already longs to return.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

He Da Man

Pure Slush Books (Anthology)
7 Deadly Sins / Volume 6 / Envy  (Print & e-pub) March 2019

                                             
I see all the women who follow him around;
follow him into restaurants and bars;
the ones who never leave before closing time;
the ones he gets to choose from; the one
he chooses: a different one every night.

I’ve seen the tips he leaves the barmaid;
watched him sign the tab, watched him
peel off half a dozen nice crisp twenties
just for good measure; watched the barmaid,
beaming, wishing she were off the clock.

I see him, always chauffeured everywhere,
climbing in and out of his spotless limo,
never having to worry about a schedule;
never opening a door for himself anywhere;
never the tiniest smudge on his tailored suit.

I could go for some of that; I could be
the king of the world on only the tiniest bit.
I could be in heaven if I could only have
the merest fraction of what he’s got;
one day like his day, once or twice a year.

If only, if only, if only.
 
 

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Almost There

50-Word Stories (Online) March 2019
Editor's Choice: Story Of The Month

After the hospital, the bookstore café beckons. The geezers have already gathered. Although they still do not offer him a seat at their tables, when he comes in this time, limping, they shoot him a longer glance than usual, which seems, he imagines, to confirm the likelihood of imminent inclusion.

Blood Test

Potato Soup Journal (Online) March 2019
--Ten Word Flash Fiction--

She was undeniably hot-blooded.
He had it all over him.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dejaburger

Potato Soup Journal (online) February 2019

Everybody else in line is impatient except him.

He just stands there, smiling, behind the ancient lady and her elderly son who reads and re-reads the billboard menu to her, explaining the items as he goes, trying his best to understand them himself.

He tells her the burgers are all the same size, but you can order one, two, or three of them all on the same bun; that “large / medium / small ” refers to the size of the drinks and the side of fries, not the burgers themselves.

Everyone in line can see that the old lady’s almost blind, but adamant, too, because she keeps insisting she just wants a burger with some fries and a soda; doesn’t want to order a combo because, A combo’s too fancy, and it sounds like a rip-off,” she says.

Everybody in line is scowling and muttering curses under their breath, watching their lunch breaks slip away.

Not him, though; he just smiles at them both and thinks about how much he misses his mother.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

On Second Thought

Pure Slush Books (Anthology)

7 Deadly Sins / Volume 5 / Wrath (Print & e-pub) February 2019

I had to bite my tongue. I
had to bite my tongue and
count to ten. Slowly. I had to
take a few deep breaths and
count to ten eight times.
It was all I could do. I barely
managed to zip my lip, keep
my cool—
.............—no, wait a minute;
that’s not how it happened.
I had no real cool to keep;
I guess I let my unzipped lip
remain unzipped; I guess
I bit my tongue to no avail,
bit my tongue and squeezed
the trigger, counting the rounds
and the bodies as they fell. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Revenge, Once Removed

50-Word Stories (online) February 2019


“That’s what I would’ve done,” he said. “I would’ve asked all the same questions; would’ve been sure exactly who I was dealing with; would’ve made certain he’d done exactly what they said. But I don’t think I would’ve pulled the trigger on him. I would’ve gone looking for his sister.”

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Honeymoon

50-Word Stories (Online) January 2019

They’d only been married since the weekend, but she could readily identify his writer’s block.
She suggested that he might at least try to write something short, perhaps about a convicted criminal in his cell, awaiting the executioner’s call.
“Nah,” he replied. “I’ve never really been that much into autobiography.”