In spring when I was a child,
a red dog barked every day on Little Mountain
where insubordinate sheep swore back at him
and also the shepherd—
their bells clanging against the epithets
The shepherd, hot and blasé about it
sat in the shade of his trailer
eating cheese and day old bread
he shared with the dog
but not with the foul-mouthed sheep—
that don’t come anymore,
the barking and swearing replaced
and drunk singing
and the chop of ghetto bird blades
echoing against the dead yellow slopes.
Published by M. Ashley
I am an essayist and poet. My work has been rejected by some of the finest journals in America. Fortunately, it also gets accepted from time to time and has appeared in equally fine journals such as Word Riot, Inlandia, Brew City Magazine, and SageWoman, among others.. In 2002, I won the Academy of American Poets Prize for Vanderbilt University.
For no good reason, I possess an unnecessarily dark humor which is why being third generation California Inland Empirian delights me so. My gods are weird. I once won $350 for writing a smartassed essay on “why the wise use of water is important in my daily life”. I am undoubtedly the Greek god Hermes’ special snowflake. I’m pretty sure I got into college via a series of fortuitous clerical errors.
When I had to grow up and get a real job, I decided against it and stayed a writer. I have worked many odd—and I mean odd—jobs to support my habit: PR writer for country music hopefuls, resume massager, WalMart fitting room attendant and switchboard operator, and telephone psychic, just to name a few.
I am also albino. That's why my psychic gifts are so strong. I traded in my pigment for magical foresight, because that's how it works. It gets all technical. Trust me. That's totally how it works.
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