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Flash Fiction


Poetry by Richard Denner




Sitting in Mercy Hospital in Durango
I wait for Lama Tsering

An obese lady to my left in shorts and t-shirt
paints her toes copper

A tall Indian in a set of tails, his hair in a braid
turquoise and bone necklace
dark glasses and cowboy boots
paces the floor

A tough-looking dude with a tatoo on his calf
blood on his shirt
his right eye mangled
bounces a baby on his knee

Aliens 3 is on the TV





It’s morning—everything's ok
if I can get up,
if not, I’ll crawl
all the way to Australia

The clerk at the health food store
gives me a dead look
and blandly wishes me a nice day
I order some sweet whey to go

I see a little dog
I wonder why he doesn’t have any hair
I wonder why he doesn’t have a tail
I wonder why he doesn’t have a head
I wonder why he doesn’t have feet
I wonder how he trots down the street




About the Author


Richard Denner—is this the same Richard Denner who invented the clarinet? No, that was Johann Christoph Denner. Known to sound off in a reedy fashion, he was raised in Berkeley and Oakland, California, but after the fairytale 60's, he lived many years in Alaska and Washington. Proprietor of Fourwinds Bookstore and Cafe in Ellensburg, Washington, he turned this institution over to his son and then connected with Tara Manadala, a Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center in Colorado, until he was called back to the Bay Area to care for his elderly parents. He is the publisher of dPress chapbooks, and his "Collected Poems: 1961-2000" has recently been released by Comrades Press.