Published

How To Blink

barfight
image : VOZDRA BiH

In June 2017, The Citron Review published my account of a bar fight, from the perspective of someone waiting for the first punch to be thrown. Reprinted for you now: 

 

How To Blink

by DL Shirey

I’m nose to nose with a guy who has a neck tattoo. It wouldn’t be fair to let you imagine some seedy joint filled with bikers and angry drunks. It’s a spotless cantina in a Mexican chain restaurant and the tattoo in question is that of a cartoon duck. Even though my opponent and his posse look like they walked out of an algebra class, looks can be deceiving.

Be he mathlete or meth-head, I never start the fight. I look into my opponent’s eyes and concentrate on blinking normally. That and not being the first to talk. If Donald Duck, here, speaks before throwing-down, chances are he’s looking for an out. I am happy to de-escalate, welcome it, actually. However, I am always prepared to counter.

Blink.

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Published

Pyrophilia

pyro
image : pickywallpapers.com

Who says a pyromaniac can’t be a poet? First published in May 2017 by Liquid Imagination.

Pyrophilia

by DL Shirey

The beauty of an unstruck wooden match is in the potential. It is uncomplicated. Scratch one on any surface to achieve resolute combustion. Simple phosphorus atop sulphur, like a beautiful redhead wearing a pale beret. She will dance, unbridled, in her full yellow skirt, twirling with wide folds of fire; an impetuous flare that calms, without fail, to flame.

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Uncategorized

The Short List

smallHaven’t blogged about The Short List for a while, but it’s time I did. I’ve curated this list for a couple years now, keeping track of 450 journals which specialize in publishing writer’s shorter works.

Up to now it’s been in alphabetical order, until I realized that’s not how writers use it. It made no sense to comb the list and cherry-pick the ones that apply.

Now, when a story is ready for submission, you can find all potential journals organized by word count. Much easier.

As always, I’ve highlighted the ones new to the list, and relegated others to the boneyard. Check it out and Tweet me your opinions.

Published

When I Called in Dead

Skelsuit
image : pixabay.com

Okay, two stories in a row published with ‘dead’ in the title; all those years listening to Jerry Garcia must have had some impact. Anyway, I’m grateful to Cafe Aphra for featuring this flash story in May 2017. It’s a cautionery tale for those who feel like they’re being worked to death. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when the work day ends and your other life begins.

When I Called in Dead

by DL Shirey

The boss was angry when I called in dead again. I could tell by the way he didn’t respond, gave nothing but a frustrated huff and clattered the phone back to its cradle. Still, there was too much undone to take the day off, so I went to the office as usual.

First stop, coffee, but no one would serve me. Not even Yolanda who knew my usual. She didn’t even smile, in fact yelled NEXT to my face and beamed at the fellow behind me. He pushed me out of line.

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