Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Last Sane Man Alive

Here's one that was originally published in the San Diego Poetry Annual. I'm pretty fond of this piece, and I like that it kind of blurs the line between prose poem and flash fiction.


     Winter arrived in July this year, a cloud of ruin brought gorgeous ashen snow. The deadly flakes danced through the florid sky, clinging loosely to his balding hair, a doomsday toupee. The fluorescent fungus in the horizon was a perfectly framed photograph. The end looked so lovely he could hardly pull himself away to hide. Miles away, the city wailed its last gasps.
     An underground bunker in the country, fully stocked. An ocean's worth of bottled water towering to the ceiling. An antique solid oak shelf overstuffed with his most prized canned goods. Boston baked beans, cream of broccoli soup, hominy grits, mandarin oranges. A framed black and white photo of his wife in a summer dress, taken in 1965 on their honeymoon, twenty years before she passed. A well-taped cardboard box containing his most favorite dusty literature, an extra pair of reading glasses, for he's no Burgess Meredith. Tiny vanilla candles to dull the scent of the latrine. A brand new generator, tested once for proper operation, once again for security. A small color television and VCR to watch home movies of his grandchildren back in Arkansas. A radio for hopeful news.
     He waited for days for help to come, he waited for weeks receiving none, he waited for months, never again to view the radiant sun.