What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

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Finale: Letter to Me at Fifteen

F

Dearest Andy, I know you’re worried now about tomorrows, feeling like you’re going in blind, but keep in mind that hurry and rush won’t help your feet find the right path for you. For instance, at fifteen, they don’t tell you that what school you go to will matter much less in the end than what you learn there, the work you do, and what new ideas and material you begin to...

Doldrumming

D

Alarm pole doldrums pounding in my ears like snares, wearing paradiddles like rudimentary fatigues, cement seagulls screeing overhead and behind eyes, sigh the sea breeze gently being, baying today, a cloud gray hound bringing nothing more than wind in his teeth, and that’s so much better than the rat which carries fleas that carry itching powder in their pockets—see, I didn’t go for the...

I don’t remember

I

I don’t remember if I locked the truck or not though a faint beep is still echo-bouncing around my brain, so just to be sure, I press the button twice again—HONK!— nice hat, lady! but your boyfriend’s shorts are on fire—oh, sorry, that’s your brother, you say, and his pants are not aflame either way? It’s just the design? (But he’s still a liar, eh? nah nah boo boo)...

Murgical Sesh

M

I don’t exactly know what “surgical mesh” is but it sounds like what my nightmares are made of. Beware what may become ensnared in that hellish dream catcher, well-meaning wishers. It’s enough to the shrink even the most manly stature. Watch my own pride melt before my shaky wide eyes, watering with quaking terror upon hearing those two words together: surgical…mesh...

Butterfly or Biplane

B

Butterfly or biplane, covering the camera lens, each ancient in its own way, depending on the timeframe, predating me by decades or millennia, reverse respectively, each decoratively protective, though in different degrees and sizes—still it’s hard for the eye to distinguish anything for certain when it lies that close in front. And even so, I wonder why my mind flits to butterfly today, why it...

Preoctoposterous!

P

She said I’d need octopus eyes to be able to see as many cameras as I had up on the screen, I chuckled, said, yeah, for sure, and she went back to her work. But, I could no longer concentrate on mine, partly because I do, in fact, try to watch too many cameras at once, but mostly because the image she’d created bothered me. I mean, I’m no expert on cephalopods, but I’m pretty sure octopi have...

Six Foot, Seven Foot, Eight…

S

The green monkey shouldn’t have been there, but there he was, staring at me like I was a giant talking banana, which, I should say, felt better than being looked at like a potential mate, my name was Buckley, but I changed it because it sounded too much like my least favorite college mascot slash plant, stand and deliver, sure, but reconsider your position in light of the fact that the sun...

Nothing Lasts Forever…

N

Throw the man a bone, but don’t forget the wipe the slobber off first, at worst, awash in gum-stuck dreams, we’ll have to cut his long hair clean off, dirty the sterling scissor blades, but have a lock to hang inside your pendant, when that stock picture shows itself to the crowd, shout loudly that the ding-dong witch is not yet quite dead, raiding childhood hiding places and raining...

Driving Lines

D

How did I never know until today that Nissan made a car called “the Stanza” (though I heard long ago of the Versa from those episodes of Heroes when Hiro had yet to go to the future to learn better English)? And now I wonder where all of the other poetic vehicles are: the Saturn Synecdoche, the Mazda Metaphor, the Isuzu Iamb, or the Toyota Trochee? In keeping with this latter form...

Which one are you again?

W

If this is my brother’s birthday, then why does my sister not know it? Show my mother his picture and she will say, “Not mine,” but I would sign the line affirming his name as a fixture in my life, state under oath that this man has always been my brother and always will be. Don’t bother with blood, the bond is just as strong, if not stronger, long forged, enduring longer...

What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

About Andrew.

Andrew Cartwright grew up in Indianapolis, IN, but has lived over the years in such places as Denver, CO; Fairfax, VA; and Rivne, Ukraine. He is a former nonfiction editor for both Indiana Review and phoebe; he has also worked for the intersectional feminist journal, So To Speak, and the national literary magazine, Electric Literature. His work has appeared in The Normal School Online, Copper Nickel, Esquire Ukraine, Literary Hub, and Word Riot.

For more information about me and links to other writing, visit my author page at cartwriter.com

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