How the Music Died

How the Music Died

           They started with the bells. The men who cared to follow orders took out the ringers with a precision that created only a twinkle of a sound as though a child’s breath across the combs of a harmonica. For those who were there, it was the last sound of music they ever heard. There were others, the brutes, who came with sledgehammers, ignoring the order for silence. They came to destroy and all at once came a noise from town to town of the church bells weeping, a gathering of cacophony that sounded like a bomb or for those few that could remember the stampede of napalm as it rushed through the gullies of the jungle floor. This was how the music died.


            That’s how the man looked. Like a piece of granite backdropped by the slinking sun. He raised the gun and I closed my eyes, wishing it was all over, but the light reappeared and when I opened my eyes he was gone.

In this House There is no Father

            There hasn’t been one for a long time. The son has grown older with the idea. The image of the man is a picture, formed like the paintings of Jesus, though the image comes from his mother’s stories. Her versions always start and end with one word—asshole. They often go on for hours and are filled with tears and shrieks, especially when she’s upset about money. Most of the time he’s just an asshole.
“You’re just like your father,” she says.

West Coast:

What friends you have usually just wind up dead or so I hear.


“Brother was mother’s first and favorite. He never talked back. He never went out. His paychecks went only into her account.”

Five Micros by Fortunato Salazar

They were not a lonely turquoise skateboard wheel made to live all by itself . . . a wheel that anyone could come along and spin, and did.