Nine Shapes of One Woman

A favorite short story is about a woman who climbs the stairs in her building, with much difficulty.

The short story is about a woman who wishes her husband didn’t take her for granted.

This short story is about a woman who has to drive her husband’s Mercedes Benz from her exclusive rich upper class area through the poorer districts of Kingston, Jamaica to deliver the car to her husband at his factory on the other side of the city.

This short story is about a woman who suspects her husband is cheating on her.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story is about a woman who is driven into madness because of a rest cure that gives her no room for excitement, change or work – including writing.

This short story is about a woman who suffers from poverty and borrows a necklace from a friend for the ball.

This short story is about a woman who thinks back…

This short story is about a woman who thinks back.

The short story is about a woman who receives the news her husband dies and she gets really happy, she closes herself in her room and starts dreaming about her new life.


Kate Chopin Story of an Hour
Robin Black Divorced, Beheaded, Survived
Erin Wilson comment published on PB Works
Jack Erickson Perfect Crime
Hazel D Campbell See Me in Me Benz and Ting
Diddl Forums
Anon Bookbite, booktrust PDF

On 9.18.14 I googled “short story is about a woman who”. The first sentence of the abstract of the first nine links (sourced respectively) made a sort of poem.


Stella lurched over the last hill, clutching at the front of her dress in agony. She reached the stone domicile just in time; she could feel the bairn being coaxed out by the cool fingers of mist riding low in the air. She ducked inside. Into the black heart of a home, dug into a green hill.

She left her body on the floor, momentarily, when the Tacksman’s bairn finally shuddered out with a single prolonged wail. His face was sweet and red, still slick with her oils. She studied its shape for traces of the Tacksman- she could find none. He was hers alone, at least in possibility; it was possible that the Tacksman’s imprint had stopped short of her son. Given time, the boy could grow to resemble the man that he would call his father. Or else, the scarring on her heart could heal… but over time, men only grow into their monsters.

– originally publ. on

Objects In Mirror

The ambulance in the rear-view that makes you aware of
delicate bones & the crashing moments before flight.

You are too quick to find in there
the part where people grieve you-
you imagine coming to them
inside their heads
while they go to bed
thinking of you dead.

There is heat sliding over the air
there is always energy expelled
when something so large sinks-
when in the rear-view mirror

everything goes to hell.

Musical Chairs

In fifth grade, our class chewed up and spit out a revolving door of music teachers. Our first victim was Mr. Alexander, a tall Asian man with ruthless expectations. He demanded “tone, tone, semi-tone” until we could hear it no more and locked him in the vault, which happened to be the music office. He got his revenge by leaving kids at the side of the road on a field trip, but by then it was too late- Mrs. Hyde had arrived.

Mrs. Hyde/Jekyll stamped her heels with such enthusiasm that eventually, one flew off and struck a student in the eye. Given our campaign (in progress) to record (in secret) her violence to use against her, the principal had no choice but to introduce Mr. Gilbert.

The old man disappeared on an alleged cross-country motorcycle trip. This, of course, when we had just begun to like him.

Watching out for Birds with Ruin Written on their Wings

I watched the explosion from my chair outside,
mesmerized by little paws, dancing all along the edge
of a wall
pushed out of hoof-chewed ground-

this is the way our town burns down.

Fire licks and whines along the edges
scarring streets and buildings-
our family home assumes the shape
of some small person
shrouded, crying

next to a house departed as ash.

It is the kind of winged migration
that rides the wind too far, too fast.