Feral Boy

The feral boy sleeps at the foot of your bed.  You only get him one weekend per month but he refuses to sleep in his bed. You don’t get to have sex with your younger girlfriend because your feral boy curls at the end of your bed, waiting, like a stray to be taken somewhere. You feign sleep, hoping that …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

Douglas Cole, Featured Author

Joe   Joe lived in a cabin outside of Mount Vernon, Washington, a place his uncle built for hunting. I visited him there once or twice, on my way somewhere else. There was no water, no electricity, just a woodstove and black windows, and his things: a suit of armor into which  he had pounded hundreds of nails, a jar …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

Marc Tretin

The Dining Room Table   is the universal receiver of all letters that will be answered and filed soon and bills to be paid next month and the sprawl of folders on diets and the health effects of prunes. It’s the holder of everyday intentions to make some sort of conscientious order of what we’d forget if put away. The …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

Anthropology of Me

It should be Margaret Meade leaving her barely palatable threesome to figure it all out for me. I don’t live on the banks of the Orinoco: these rocks on the bottom are all paved and worn with ruts.   I do want to know why my brown eyes turned green after fifty years, why Ancestry DNA needs my saliva.  Is …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

The Lesson of Pain: Lessen the Pain

“The Marrow of Zen,” one of the sutras of Shunryu Suzuki’s book, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, relates zen practitioners to four horses, with the fourth horse responding only after the pain of the whip penetrates to the marrow of its bones. If alcoholics need to hit rock bottom, I have some sense of what that means. I read Zen Mind, …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

Smoke Break

I never told anyone but I’ll tell you. About the fire Folding up my tongue,   The last counted hour With my stomach shrinking Toward my graveyard spine. My body wanted to be pins   And needles, Balancing voided meals with Cigarettes. Burn marshmallow Fat like burning up   S’mores, Campfire chocolate, Childhood knobbles In my rounded knees.   My …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

Steadfast

Wordlessly, she positions him beside her, leaning against the boat’s railing for support. She is now somebody’s wife. She is satisfied with their pose—only slightly more intimate than a prom photograph. Even now, twenty-five years later, I can hear the tension in her mouth. Her gaze is direct, flat. Her thoughts are elsewhere. The photographer fiddles with the aperture, trying …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

Tick Tock

The ticks I pick from your flesh have the verve of John Donne’s flea but much more adhesive with the fervor of Lyme Disease.   The garden’s a death trap, the primrose and forget-me-nots funereal and dungeon-breathed. Spreading composed mulch to conceal   the yawn of a hundred open graves I tire of myself and slacken almost enough to lie …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

Lunar Dogma

She believes the snow is a mirror Turned upwards toward her face, A catalyst for the frigid light Burning in the old, dappled pines.   She believes that love Is one or two canoes Drifting in soft degrees Over dark, polished waters.   She believes the young boy Carrying his notebook beneath her shadow Is a lost star following home …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

Her First Word

Her first word was material. The adults wondered why she skipped all the warm-up words like mama and daddy.   So odd, they commented. Why did that word emerge first from the buttery spread of childhood?   Her home smelled like codfish balls and beer. The Mona Lisa, torn from a magazine, hung on a wall.   Pickpockets and drunks …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

Pistons Outpace Reluctant Marching

When war draws people into positions Where they face the unfaceable Tired after toiling or driven to their demise Outpacing the wish for life When mortality has no returns Beyond reluctant excitement And fear of terror erupts Tightening chest and claustrophobing tranquility Until patience runs out and death or revolt become options And anxiety reaches in to squeeze your heart …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register

Signs that Your Mother Was a Hoarder

Cigarette butts and the ash of Salem Lights in never-emptied glass ashtrays.  Crumpled take-out paper bags from Wendy’s piled next to the couch.  Mold growing on the pink rubber mat in the bathtub.  Cardigans, size M, in heather, taupe, and buttery yellow with mother-of-pearl buttons heaped on the dresser.  A letter dated 1967 from a newly married friend tucked away …

This content is for Basic Member, Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription and Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription members.
Log In Register