Less Desirable Rites of Passage

The six of us are having breakfast on the beach and, perhaps fitting for a family with three boys, the conversation has turned to rites of passage.

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The beachfront view

“You know, in some cultures, it’s a specific event,” I explain. “Like in that tribe we watched on Nat Geo, where boys have to put their arms into wooden tubes covered with fire ants.”

“Oh yeah,” my brothers say.

Mom shakes her head. “That’s terrible.”

“Well, supposedly it turns you from boy to man.”

“More like, from living to dead,” corrects Joshua, my youngest brother.

Short stories · Writing

The Search for Rhubarb: a short story

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Dog Named Bob.”

“Could you please go fetch–,” Mrs. Bautista coughed and paused her stirring. “–barb for me, please.”

“Uh, sure po,” I replied, returning her smile with a shaky one of my own. As I made a show of swiveling around, I stole a glance over her shoulder and spied a plate of chopped potatoes and carrots next to the stove. Ah, rhubarb! That was a vegetable, I reasoned as I made my way to the vegetable garden at the back of their house. But what did it look like?

It was late Saturday morning and the fifth time in the last hour that Mrs. Bautista had asked me to fetch something for her dish. The responsibility had been handed to me because Joseph, my best friend and her son, had left to pick up some shallots (whatever those were) from the convenience store. Heaven knew that only made me wish harder for his speedy return.

Continue reading “The Search for Rhubarb: a short story”


Archaic Name-Calling (Literary Affliction #1)

“You know, recently, I’ve been tempted to call people dolts or dunces when they do stupid things,” I admit. Sam, my best friend and fellow bibliophile, laughs. “Those books are getting to you,” she concludes, referring to the historical fiction novels I’ve been reading lately. “It’s not even the books!” I protest. “The books make me… Continue reading Archaic Name-Calling (Literary Affliction #1)


Oxford: a poem

The gentle words Have done their job The flutter of My heart has stopped Eon that was Three months of wait Tired tension yields To strange, new pain While pulp punctured By jarring stab I’d understand Instead, I am A crumpled wad Dropped quietly, A puddle on A rainy street The miry wet Seeps slowly… Continue reading Oxford: a poem


Ideology for Extrovert Wannabes

“What’d you get?” mom asks. My younger brother silently holds up a copy of Debra Fine’s The Fine Art of Small Talk. I begin to explain his book choice, but my youngest brother beats me to it. “So he can become a better conversa-” “So he can become a better socialist.” Advertisements


The Journal: a poem

Black lines On white space Feel the rhythm Of ink on a page Write the time Today’s date ‘It’s been a while’ I’ve so much to say Black lines Like window bars Hear the pain Better than ears Know the gush Of drops undone Salty, warm Better than anyone I began writing this back in September,… Continue reading The Journal: a poem


When Marker Meets Newspaper

Behold: blackout poetry! I came across some pieces on Pinterest today and, after doing some research, fell in love with the idea. Artist and writer Austin Kleon created the process and calls it “poetry made by redacting the words in a text with a permanent marker, leaving behind only a few choice words to make a poem” Box the words… Continue reading When Marker Meets Newspaper