Contact The Author: rdlbarton@gmail.com

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



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

QI

 

Red Wolf Journal (Online) September 2021

I think I remember feeling it,
silently ebbing and flowing,
altering everything about me.

I recall my first encounter,
ages ago, at the University
in that meditation class,

OM-ing and focusing on breath
under the blue-sky maples
with Professor Gurumeister;

and I guess I sailed, then,
unanchored, adrift, imagining
I could avoid current events.

But I’m almost ancient now, and
the Morning News reminds me
I’ve forgotten the Guru’s name.

No matter; no matter. Nothing
matters anymore; I breathe deep,
unfurl my inner sail, and I’m gone.


Looking Glass

 

Red Wolf Journal (Online) September 2021

It seems like all the windows
we used to look through
to see our bright futures
have turned into dark,
accusatory mirrors
intent on reminding us
of our failed yesterdays
and our current miasma.

It seems like yesterday’s
beneficent light-givers
have turned into dark
foreboding crystal balls
into which we’re forced
to gaze at tomorrow’s
inevitable nightmares.

 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Secured Transport

25 Miles From Here (Anthology)
Pure Slush Books Vol 21
Print & e-Pub (August 2021)

 

Halfway to the crisis bed,
after he’d already convinced himself
that the driver was an alien
and his support person had been
duped into helping him be kidnapped,
he made his first attempt at escape,
only to be thwarted
by the automatic child-safety locks.
 
He pounded on the window
once or twice,
but not hard enough to break it,
remembering the gash and the
subsequent sutures
his last such action had netted him.
 
He was pretty sure he’d
starve to death
before they’d consider
slowing down enough
even for a drive-through.
 
He hadn’t eaten
in over five hundred years.


They tried to get him
to take a pill, but he was
too smart for that,
feigning sleep
between his ranting tantrums
and screaming incessantly
just to keep himself awake
whenever he thought he might nod off.
 
When they finally arrived,
he knew he’d been there before
—many times—
but he had no idea
where the hell he was.  
 


Monday, August 09, 2021

The Phoenix Retires

 Fixator Press (Online) August 2021


I’d rise from these ashes
but these ashes comfort me.
 
These ashes are all I have now;
these grey remains are my home,
far more accommodating
than even the most beautiful
sunrise, more promising than
any new day, these days.
 
These days are so dark,
rising from these ashes
offers no promise; offers
only another deadly pyre,
another chance to ash
and disappear again.
 
I will forego feathers;
ash will be my new forever. 


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Preparation

 In Parentheses  (Print & Online July 2021)

It’s an even-numbered day and
the grass is mowed evenly, the grass
is as green as grass can be, and
its medicinal properties could not
—under any foreseeable circumstances—
be more potent and restorative.

It’s an even-numbered day and
there are no plans to visit doctors;
no appointments to make or attend,
no preparations to undertake,
no recuperative balms; no ointments
or magic pills. No exercise required.

He breathes and breathes and
breathes and breathes.

Tomorrow, however, will be odd.
The grass will be irrelevant and
ineffective; the sky itself will be
a sickly pink. The air he breathes
and the water he drinks and all of
his idle thoughts will be dredged in
pink. As much as he hates doctors
and all things medically related,
all things allegedly therapeutic,
he hates the pink even more.

He looks forward to the time when,
rising before the light arrives,
he feels no need to inform himself
of the day’s odd or even number;
does not have to prepare for either
pink or green; has no need to call
his doctors, awaits no doctor’s call.

He looks forward to becoming
his colorless, numberless self.


Monday, July 05, 2021

Postprandial

 50-WordStories (Online) July 2021

 “Thank you, Darling, that’s just exactly what I needed,” he said without even looking up, too busy shoveling the meal’s few delectable remnants into his drooling face; too insensitive and neglectful to provide the eye contact every great chef both craves and deserves.

“You’re welcome,” she replied, mentally debating antidotes.

Friday, June 04, 2021

Double Yolk - Over Easy

 50 - Word Stories (Online) June 2021

He’d been taught that cracking an egg and finding a double yolk was a good omen. Today he discovered it isn’t always true. He opened one this morning, before anyone else was awake; before they found him in the kitchen; before they called the ambulance; before it drove away, slowly. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Fade

A Story In 100 Words (Online)  April 2021

There wasn’t much to see, wasn’t much to be seen, and he knew it. He knew every inch of the room; had taken its inventory a million billion times, day in and day out since his sentence had begun. Nothing but crumbs and dust and a bed he’d never made.

He hadn’t heard a thing but his own thoughts in ages, and even they were beginning to fade. Mostly all he had these days was the memory of sound: screams, sobs, and the slamming of doors.

The only face he’d seen was his own, smiling, on the tattered magazine cover. 


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

If Only

 The Drabble (Online) March 2021

Oh, if only it were fifteen degrees warmer, we’d be inching above zero and I’d consider going out for a Saturday morning drive just to absorb a little almost-sub-zero sunshine, maybe buy My Beloved an apple fritter and try not to eat it on the ride home, listening to “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” on NPR and waving at the vacant table where I’d usually be spending my coffee-and-journal morning at Montgomery’s CafĂ© with a double slice of Mediterranean quiche, a fresh-from-the-oven Blondie, and an oversized mug of French Roast, black, with a double shot of Kahlua for good measure.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Tuesday Afternoon Is Almost Never Ending

 Cabinet Of Heed (Online) March 2021

It’s eight below zero at half-past noon, but when he goes by to check on her he finds her out on the porch in a T-shirt, smoking a cigarette and only almost coherent.

She tells him the landlord won’t let her smoke inside and, besides, there’s no air in there anyway because the music’s too loud.

He gets her inside as quickly as he can, even though she insists on a second smoke and sings a couple choruses of Lady Madonna while she inhales and exhales equal measures of smoke and crystallized air.

Inside, he tries to get her into a warm shower but discovers that, no matter how long he lets it run, there’s no hot water.
She tells him the landlord’s from Pittsburgh and doesn’t believe in hot water.

The next day, he drives out again and finds her frozen to almost death, stretched out nearly naked on her unmade bed, a towel wrapped around her head, all the windows open wide, and the turntable skipping and spinning, its blare repeating, “isten to the music playing / isten to the music playing / isten to the music playing…”

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Visitations

Red Wolf Journal (Online) March 2021

Red Wolf Journal (PDF Anthology)  August 2021
"My Dream Of You"

Last night, sleeping, alone, I saw her once again,
three times, as I’d often seen her in dreams before:

once at recycling, recycling bottles and promises,
tossing the clatterous mass into the waiting container,

and twice at the Price Chopper: once in the lot,
parking in her favorite space, her face a smile

like the store was hers alone, owning everything
in it and around it, and loving everything about it;

and again in aisle five, buying toothpaste and
mascara, aspirin and a brush, a bunch of stuff

(she would have said) she’d never need in heaven.

And even now, today, a Tuesday or a Thursday

(I can’t remember which, have lost the knack
for keeping track) I met up with her again

at the coffeeshop in the bookstore, saw her
sitting across from me at our favorite table,

my disbelief suspended by desire for just another word,
for one more moment, hoping she could see me too.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Non-Committal Author

Potato Soup Journal (Online) (10-Word Story) February 2021


“Are these stories fact or fiction?”

“Some are; some aren’t.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Music Lesson

A Story In 100 Words (entropy2.com) (Online) January 2021


I can’t say for certain which music I’m enjoying more – Susumu Yokota’s Asian ambience on the laptop or the garden’s new water fountain concert.

Mr. Chipmunk, the gaudy flutterby, and the fledgling redwings all clearly prefer the fountain. And why wouldn’t they? What do they know about synthesizers, electronic percussion, or the meditative properties of fluid melody transformation? For them, the fountain’s water, singing its spontaneous aria, is life itself; is the music without which their lives—all lives—would cease to exist.

I reach out and tap the laptop’s mute.

Some creatures—most creatures—know far more than I.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Rejuvenation Maestro

A Story in 100 Words (Online) January 2021


He’d become accustomed to his trifocals and dentures; took his half-dozen morning pills religiously; prayed for just one more upright day, another day to deal with his rapidly advancing age.

Even though he still had his youthful smile and the remnants of his ponytail, most of his hair had gone and what little remained had long since thinned and greyed, then whitened. He usually shunned the morning mirror.

His grandson's youngest daughter (almost half-way through her troubled, rebellious teens) said, "Don't worry, Pop-Pop; I can fix you up real good," and before he knew it they had matching blue hair. 

Friday, January 01, 2021

(A Failed Haiku)

Vol 6 Issue 61 (Online) January 2021


black ink
in dark rooms
disappears