Contact the Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

Contact The Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

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



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.