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The Craven

Gazing at an unsent query,

Long past midnight, drained yet leery,

Here I find myself with long nights' labor,

Craft of muse emplore.

My finger hovers 'fore the key,

My belly tightens, lurches, lees,

To warn me, bid me bide a little longer,

Begging, "Edit more."

I wrest and wrangle with this doubting,

Draft, redraft, and research shouting,

"Nothing else, if you have yet to say it right?

Then say no more!"

But say no more? A chill subsides me,

Pillared strength to salt inside me,

Resistances court me, sussurus

A chorus calling, "Edit more..."

Another beg for beta readers?

Lines read aloud, revising meter?

Second-guessed to second-handed

Threadbare scraps of withered lore?

What then? These choristers find silence?

Bless my tales of love and violence?

Laying down praises like feathers?

Rose petals? Nay! "Edit more!"

I tear my hair, the roots upending,

Knuckles red and ripped, fists sending

Shards of mirror glass against the walls

And ceilings, scratching doors.

And yet, I cannot send submit,

I linger, doubting faith and wit.

So here I stand, fucking about on tumblr.

Thinking, "Edit more..."

And with my muses long since parted,

Pages, links, and lives discarded.

Writ upon the epitaph of one more sinner?

"Edit more."

Prompt: An eldritch Anonymous asked me:

"Quoth the raven: 'Nevermore'."

Seriously, though. There is such a thing as too many drafts.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, exposure, and cash. I really will give anything an honest try.

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Pulp Non-Fiction

All right. Okay. Just fucking stop it already.

It's not cute. It's not funny. It's not fair.

You sit there, bending my vision and my mind with those endless and merciless blue lines, like it's just so goddamned easy, but it's not. It's not! Don't you get it? They want me to leave a mark on you that matters. They want me to pour my heart inside of you, to turn you into something valuable. They want me to turn you into a story. Into a poem. Into sheet music, sketches, art.

They want me to reduce you to a single object and they want you to be perfect.

Christ... what is this, a teen virgin comedy? You are perfect. You are art. You have a story.

You've been torn down, ravaged, decimated, pulped. You've been processed, run through with that weird sort of kinda-sorta pink and a haunting, hospital blue. You used to be tall. You used to be part of something that kept the world alive. You used to be ancient. Then came the acid.

There's a message, though. You are still part of something that keeps the world alive. You can be, have been, and will be recycled, restructured, and reconsidered. You are still beautiful.

And you don't give one soggy shit what I happen to think. You don't owe me that. Or anything.

I owe you everything. So no. I'm not going prove anything. I can't you make you worthwhile.

But you? You can make me whole, if only for a little while. You tie me to the infinite and true.

So fucking stop it, all right? I'll think of something.

I promise. I think. I hope.

Prompt: journaling-junkie:

What would you write within these empty lines? Your story still needs to be told. We’re waiting to read it and listen! Write with your heart!

In the exciting sequel, I consider my giant screen and the electrical heartbeat of all matter...

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Always seeking writing prompts, review requests, questions, and you.

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His Better Angel

Glenn Allen Dunn had an angel on his shoulder. The bitch... would not... shut up.

Glenn Allen Dunn was a man content with a certain moral calculus - he'd factored and figured an appropriate secular tithe, paid towards his common man, and he paid it gladly. Just think, he often thought, how happy other men with money could have been, if only they'd given the divine their due.

After all, the devil always gets a cut. The house wins every night. The tax man carries heat.

"You should tip. Do you know the minimum wage for a food service worker in New York?"

He did. He didn't care. The sin tax was progressive - she'd know happiness in her choice of several hundred afterlives on pennies to the dollar. Or, as a boring atheist, she'd just rot.

"You should give your time to charity, too! Otherwise, your charity is insincere!"

He knew and that was just the way he liked it. Sincerity was, in his well-accounted ledger, overrated. He'd dated a number of women and one or two men, but it always ended poorly. He was petty that way, which was the entire point. He treasured their happiness, their contented sighs, their summers in the sun...but time is money. He paid a happy little premium on their eventual heartache. The United Way could kiss his ass; they hadn't kissed any other part of him.

"You're guilty! Tired! You're bored with living, but afraid to die! You could be such a better man!"

The angel could never just shut up. That's how he knew it was an angel and not his own insanity.

Even going crazy gets old, he figured. One more bit of economic mathematics.

Angels, though, never get old.

"Adopt a cat!"

Just more creatively annoying.

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I'm Big in Hawai'i

He waited, tensed and coiled - not like a snake, but like an old, rusty spring. The power of the strain had fallen out of him, leaving its dust (cool ranch Dorito detritus, if one must be literal) to stain his Goodwill jeans and almost-trendy Chucks.

They might have been trendy if he had other options. He didn't, so they were just kind of sad.

Still, he waited. Watched. He hoped and dreamed, even as his muscles and his tendons congealed to a sort of sloppy cream inside of him. It mixed in with his adipose and made him not just fat, but sedentary. He wasn't well-rounded, no, just round - a very different sort of thing.

Still, he waited. Distracted himself with warring fandoms arguing over every rule but number 34. That rule allowed for an atmosphere of laissez-faire, a feeling that he could appreciate. Being left to do sounded right to him. Just let me do it. Let me do it. Let me do things with you.

So, still, he waited. Then it blinked. It buzzed. It beeped. It even played a fandom-clever song.

Unfurling like a shredded plastic bag from one too many tins of potted meats, he read:

hurry up and do this with me TUMBLR SUMMER DIET { d o t } COM

He looked. He logged off. He sloughed down into the slop of himself and fell asleep.

He was still waiting in his dreams.

(Prompt: hurry up and do this with me TUMBLR SUMMER DIET { d o t } COM - Anonymous. Remember, dear readers - this could be you! Oh, the glamour of providing me with stuff...)

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins

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Palm Sunday

As hard as I try,
I can't find a single indication
that today is a sunday (nevermind
a holiday) solely by perusing the troughs
of my pink, dry palms.

Then I wonder
how intelligent this mewling
chair must think me to be, what with
my being a smart-ass and all.