Reading - Writer Sam Spieller






Good Times for People to Say They Are Getting a Divorce



For example when Maine still buzzes

and the loons hide from the kayaks during the day

Kent finds the deer jaw puts it in a bag to bleach later

and James tired not trusting of the lake turns back early

He grew up in the city remember

When Crystal and James say they’re going to swim

at night and Kent looks up and outside and it’s windy

he laughs goes back to his book

Crystal comes in wailing arms up everywhere Kent thinks it’s a joke

she says James is drowning grabs life jacket

Outside the dock pitching falling while James on his stomach

retches the water he swallowed back into the lake

Kent just standing stripped down to boxer briefs heaving

slips James back into the black

carries his dead weight to shore to blankets to bathroom

sleeping two hours before shuffling in

to the kitchen for a game of carrom with everybody

When the pines the fire pit the bluegill

the screen door all tug at the half-empty pale ale

in your hand breathing listen

but no one is saying anything




Disappearing Act



The downstairs guest bedroom is hungry.


At first we tried furnishing it.

When we first moved in,

we hung French wine posters on the walls,

sat a rocking chair by the window,

installed a queen bed to dominate the floor.

The next day the room was empty.

We looked at each other, puzzled.


We put some empty bottles

where the bed should have been

and closed the door.

An hour later,

after a couple of reruns of Sitcom! Sitcom!,

the bottles were missing

and the carpet showed no evidence

that they had been there at all.

We locked the door.


A week passed.

The bedroom groaned

and rumbled with discontent.

We piled our trash and mismatched socks

in the center of the room.

In a few hours,

the room was devoid of everything

but the Berber and bare walls.


“We could put the kids in there,” I said.

“Your parents are coming up next week,” she said.

“We could feed them to the room, too.”

We laughed and looked at the carpet.

“What then?”


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