Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sketch 2

By: K. Harvey

There was a spot in the bookstore where four striped chairs faced each other. It was no place to read. No one shared anything but they all read together, telling each other what they read just by holding it in their lap. He wondered what the older people read. Sometimes he sat in the café. An old man, if he could, always sat in the same chair at the same table, facing the same direction and looking down at what he had in front of him on the tiny table. He wore sweatpants and many different plaid shirts. He wore big tinted glasses. His narrow eyes were right there behind the glasses. He must have read so much already. And he wasn't the business type. But he was reading very hard. He never looked up.

Such old men and women made him wonder. It couldn't be that there is always something new to discover. It wasn't that. He sat in one of those four chairs that faced each other and noticed when a very large old man sat down next to him. The old man sat a few books on his knee. The book on top of the stack was big, like an art book, and black. The old man was wearing a suit. But he wasn't the business type, because of the art book. He turned over the cover of the big black book and there wasn't any title. Just the silver embossed Playboy bunny. He started turning the pages one after the other after the other after the other after the other, like that. Like when a woman walks up the stairs on an escalator and its moving beneath her makes a pace that she can't break.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sketch 1

By: K. Harvey

She started talking about shoeing horses. She was always at the center of the table, like the saltandpepper, she had something to add to everything. But she didn't talk too much. No one else had much to say around her. What they had to say was all reminiscing, but she made everybody laugh, and everybody wants to laugh. Around her, they wanted to laugh more than they wanted to talk.

The sun came through the smoke in that way it always does in old movies, when there's just one light on the face in the camera, in black and white. The blinds were baby pink. The table was baby pink. I don't remember what color the walls were. It was like a nursery. There are never any walls in a nursery. And the sun came through the blinds on those faces that must have been something once. But I never asked anything about that, because she was not reminiscing. She was making us laugh. And if we laughed then the story had a moral. And if we didn't laugh, then the story wasn't over yet. To hear her talk anyone would think her children were millionares, she was so pleased with herself. But that was pleasing. She laughed at her own stories because she thought they were funny. Just like that I was taken in in the same way a wasp nest looks like a derby hat.

“Well men was always lockin' up their tool boxes. When we's first dating I'd come over an' his father had this box in the garage that'uz always locked up all the time. So when we was married first thing I did I went to that garage and found that box. And when I found it, you know what, it wasn't even locked anymore. It just opened right up.”

Monday, December 8, 2008

Home Town

By: K. Harvey

Knock with a small sound,
There are things to upturn in this town;
A town of twelve hundred.
Where the hedges will not grow,
Where the trees don't fall,
Where my smaller feet are in the snow
And my hands are on the gate
Holding it shut against the sun
Letting it freeze in the pines
That were a staircase and a fence.