Stories of lost and damaged souls in search of redemption

Poetry, drabbles and short stories about lost and damaged souls in search of redemption
Lloyd B. Abrams

Each short story title is a link to its own summary.
In each summary, again click the title to read the complete work.
A few words about me

140 Short Stories

Having Been Dealt a Bad Hand

With My Tail Between My Legs

Renewing Our Marriage Vows

An Education and Bureaucratic Tragedy

Yet Another Really Close Call

Hiding Out

Defying the Law of Equilibrium


Capo a Capo

My Drinking Buddy

Tired of it All

The Numbers Guy

An Interview with Michael “Big Mike” Bear

Twelfth Day After

No Matter What You Say or Do


Thou Shalt Not Return

Most of this is True

The Unhappy Life of Riley

Afternoon Interlude

Shortwave Alert

Our Weird First Day in Paris

Incident at the Beach

I Speak for These People

Bulletin Board Sexploitation

A Man of Honor

When Uncle Eddie Became a Hero

The Last Halloween

Surely a Special Student

Undying Love

The Furniture Maker

Just a Walk in the Woods

My Estimation of Him Drops Precipitously

Strife in the Fast Lane

Trick or Treat … or Trick

Five-to-Seven to Life

Fun at the Barbecue

Lock-’em-up Lou

What Could’ve Been / But Never Was

Dancing Girls

Party Pooper

A Halloween Treat

A Molotov Cocktail on the Road

Keeping Safe on the Slide

And It Was Good

Be Careful What You Wish For

In His Merry Oldsmobile

In a Pickle

Leo’s Summer Vacation

Caught in His Arms


Afraid of Dying

When Someone Who’s Other

Finding Myself

A Mid-term Election in the Heartland

Best Friends for Never

My First Real Girlfriend

Killing Grandma

Rejection Slip

Home Invasion

Chuckie Being Chuckie

On the Right Track

Coming for to Carry Me Home

The Mole Children

Fallen Toward Grace

Laughing with the Reaper

Park Girlfriend

Last Call

Behind Havermeyer's

Dealer of Antiquities

Faceless One

Avenging Angel


Indian Summer Afternoon

Four Birds

Happy Family

Unhappy Hour at the Wander Inn

Two Obituaries for Uncle Marty

My Noise

Singing Floral-gram

Rebecca David

About Uncle Ezra

Most Likely to Succeed

Hot Town, Summer in the City

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

The Green Box

The Zekeinim of Northridge Creek

Five Years and Bust

Davie ’n Pa

Burying a Body at the Beach

Lady Godiva Hair

“It's Bobby Zee, Cominatchya”

Pain in the Attic Window


Erev Yom Kippur

So Here's the Story

The Summer of My Fourteenth Year

From Generation to Generation

Two Trains in the Night

At the First Seder

Chava and the Tzadik

The Souvenir Salesman

Sarafina, the Poet

My Florida Visit

Between the Doors

Two Lives, Extra Lean

Hit the Penny

A Visit to the Nursing Home

Coming Home

18th Street on the BMT

Dissolution in the Attic

At the Doctor's Office

A Visit to the Cemetery

One Easter Sunday

The Silent Son

His Last Days at Work

A Strange Happening in Williamsburg

Getting Closure on 103rd Street

Cracked Ice

Finding Love on the Tree of Life

Numbers Are His Friends

The Seer

The Art Therapist

Hell is a Four Letter Word

The Retiree

A Face in the Crowd

The College Visit

Friday, Period 4

The Sister's Marriage

Early Friday Morning

Find Yourself / Exit 2 Miles

Riding Around to the Parks


The Wailing

Incident in the Main Waiting Room

Green Baseballs

The Migration

Shiva Call

The Annual Good-by

The Sea is Me...

Poems and drabbles are listed in chronological order.
Stories are listed in approximate reverse chronological order.

Warning: Some of the stories and poems may contain words or images
that some readers might find offensive or objectionable.

The reader's discretion is advised.


I started writing “free versepoetry after dabbling with drabbles. Both types of constructions use words economically. Most of my poems are freeform, unrhymed, unpuctuated, and in lower case. They are listed below in chronological order.

2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024

2007—   circle of lies .. struggle .. balloons .. my grandma .. board of directors .. impermanence 1 .. finale .. beggars .. horror within .. dead eyes .. as good as it gets is long forgotten .. dead end no u turn .. life demarcated .. more than mister wallet .. after the kids visit .. my numbers .. for we have brought nothing .. stroke aftermath .. east lake road, southbound .. catching up & overtaken .. obligation .. in limbo .. tobay beach 9-25 (haiku 1); ennui .. tanka 1 .. tanka 2 .. tanka 3 .. cinquain 1 .. internal distress (a double tetractys).. haiku 2 .. haiku 3 (a senryū)    Δ (up to contents)

2008—   life in the waiting room .. haiku 4 .. haiku 5 .. sedoka 1 .. “but wait / there’s more” .. brunch with the guys .. at the community concert .. haiku 6 .. friday morning ’round one a m .. viral infection .. supplication .. haiku 7 .. rational dysfunction .. red light green light .. shades of blues at dusk .. haiku 8 .. never discarded .. haiku 9 .. intermission {№ 50} ..   infatuation .. sandy knoll .. haiku 10 .. IN MEMORIAM .. deflating .. orchestral .. incomplete servings .. becoming unglummed .. disconnect .. what might have been .. 61 .. countdown .. masturbation, literally .. a grave too shallow .. still life .. impermanence 2 .. sycamores sick of ’em .. impermanence 3 .. impermanence trilogy .. truth be told .. stilled life .. milestone millstone .. writer's disillusionment .. dreamworld .. combat weary .. soaring .. good doggie .. haiku 11 .. dem dry bones .. older .. unhappy horse manure .. pesky varmints    Δ (up to contents)

2009—   angry at .. elusive perception .. heisenbergin’ feelin’ good .. sliced from life .. haiku 12 .. visiting quartet .. home visits .. loss not found .. hang up .. stop bye .. it’s too early .. for ever and ever .. seven-thirty clusterfuck .. as it is written .. the golden land .. retort to a blank screen .. dwellers in darkness {№ 100} ..  parallel parking _ parallel lives .. friday evening family special .. schnorrer .. encounter on the path .. bitter self-affliction .. contact low .. three fourteen a m .. in the e r 1 .. in the e r 2 .. room 2019 snch .. heartrending words .. new lease .. hypervigilant .. untogether .. grandpa .. lovingkindnessed .. worn t-shirts .. nursery school graduation .. at the bus stop .. a good dad .. consummate burger .. beating the rain .. st paul's garden city .. got dem ol' time plavix blues .. kinesthetic melody .. derivative drivel .. banality .. our fortieth .. ultimate dragon .. thermogenic escape .. hershey park .. contact list .. rock scramble .. rosh hashanah .. bubble boy .. hush of night .. final play .. family legacy .. fallen canopy .. mitigation .. guy with a map .. first freeze .. christmas bows .. unforseen consequences    Δ (up to contents)

2010—   the queen of sorrow .. some days good ... .. blurred vision 1 .. blurred vision 2 .. ol’ brown eyes .. at the grave site {№ 150} ..  haiku 13 (a senryū); holding pattern .. our laureate prevails .. rushing .. march 9th in the woods .. at the retired teachers meeting .. nor’easter aftermath .. across 59th street .. almost eight p m on sullivan street .. headwinds are mocking me .. torn pants .. perfect play .. comin’ a’callin’ .. my father’s son .. love birds .. gone is the darkness .. four boys at the park .. riding the line .. doggie dialectic .. trimming the hedges .. between spaces .. pill poppin’ poetry .. derelicts .. heat wave .. my beard .. beggars in prague .. barreling down the autobahn .. perfect program .. yearly rhythm .. arbeit macht frei .. little boy’s tummies .. silent sunrise .. cpap machine .. theresienstadt .. the first day of tishrei .. a funeral too many .. deferred reaction .. a man jogging .. at the vietnam veterans memorial .. counting down .. compilation poem .. fuckin’ old farts .. at a loss of words .. worst fear .. life lists .. gathering thoughts .. different drum .. impermanence 4 .. aging before my eyes .. at the senior center {№ 200} ..  photo grays .. fun car .. in love with my two-wheeled steeds .. the best is not .. recurring nightmares .. the cheeseburger imperative    Δ (up to contents)

2011—   tunnel of loss .. along winter’s ocean shore 1 .. along winter’s ocean shore 2 .. near death experience .. mister hale .. more than half of our lives .. onanism in print .. looking up .. eleven o’clock receiving line .. inspiration then silence .. man and woman on a balcony .. saturday on the boardwalk .. lasting impression .. power brunch at the diner .. underground .. rasta dog .. forgetting .. one way through .. dreadicare card .. just playing at .. bichromate .. elijah’s cup .. homes once dignified .. GOT HIM (SHOT HIM) .. at the bandshell .. end of june .. at a daytime summer concert .. at mount ararat cemetery .. old man’s arms .. outside the souvenir shop .. embracing the rain 1 .. embracing the rain 2 .. off season at the beach .. zenning it .. dark visions .. scene at the park .. high holy days .. assembly included .. powering down .. movie trailer voice-over .. kmart clown .. pimp dog .. new baby .. sudoku blues {№ 250} ..  caller id .. exsanguination .. pathfinder .. disunited .. dear mr fantasy .. man in a blue suit .. dream car    Δ (up to contents)

2012—   my dream of liberation .. ain’t nuthin’ to say .. when the silliness stops .. steady decline .. words better left unsaid .. fillies and foals .. two old men walking .. dialectic harmony .. hypocritical oaths .. “choosey” .. words to be unheard .. minyan maker .. specious aspirations .. waiting for the n-19 .. fear and comfort come at night .. getting humbled on the downtown express .. death by celery .. another pass on the five boro .. the hungerford sextet .. death not by celery .. cartoon character .. designated bearer of bad news .. an audience of one .. held hostage .. serenity between the lines .. vanilla man .. tenderness at the diner .. ornery son of a bitch .. adaptation .. saying good-bye to an old friend .. garlic breath .. just lying there .. catching my breath .. dogs are better than people .. low battery .. clown school .. a better person than i .. rules of engagement .. turning over in his grave .. numbers late into the night .. twenty-two bucks for pancakes? .. mind on vacation .. wake {№ 300} ..  old fart .. remembering jerry gold .. some vacation .. in the land of broken dolls .. upstaged in oceanside .. a rant in twelve quintains .. suburban triathlon .. panic stricken .. labor day 1998 .. playing in traffic .. kol nidre disconnect .. toot that horn! .. bitches .. doggie tactician .. on the bocce court .. can’t complain .. failures .. siren’s song .. a tiny act of love .. après le déluge .. in the wake of hurricane sandy .. on philip roth's retirement .. numbers on a scale .. affenliebe .. burning bush    Δ (up to contents)

2013—   thus fortified .. where the hearth isn’t .. losing control little by little .. redemption machines .. riding into the sunset .. the end of sudoku .. when we’re sixty four .. jigsaw puzzles .. on their way to praise and prayer .. at mother teresa’s shrine .. nirvana on sunday .. do zombies vote? .. .. my mother’s yahrzeit .. death masks exposed! .. takin’ it easy ain’t so easy .. day fifteen .. cascadence ..  first impression pentalogy:  first impression 1 .. first impression 2 .. first impression 3 .. first impression 4 .. first impression 5 .. every fifteen days .. for once just the guy {№ 350} ..  last dog lament .. trimming the bushes .. wedding bands .. crows .. geese and crows .. bullshit at the barbecue .. times square at dusk .. melancholy afterglow .. onionskin skin .. arachnophobia not .. bedside vigil .. waiting .. an end to the waiting .. grieving .. my funeral .. shpilkes .. haiku 14 .. thanksgiving rumination .. looking like a bum .. the maliciousness of leaves .. three in three months    Δ (up to contents)

2014—   in dog heaven .. safe driving award .. joyfullessness .. glass birds .. doggie died .. haiku 15 .. imitation of marriage .. haiku 16 .. haiku 17 .. dog license renewal .. weed killer .. a peanut for little bubba .. haiku 18 .. haiku 19 .. haiku 20 .. haiku 21 .. haiku 22 .. haiku 23 .. haiku 24 .. haiku 25 .. haiku 26 .. haiku 27 .. lucky duck .. fixing the ol’ black & white .. floodgate of tears .. fat .. ice cream in the file cabinet .. american flag blues .. helicopter overhead {№ 400} ..  haiku 28 .. starlings join us for brunch .. riding the streets .. mea culpa .. t & a .. haiku 29 .. tanka 4 .. frozen faces .. solo expeditions to frenchy’s .. my mini-cadillac .. the queen of the berries .. fisherman at the wharf .. love learned / love lost .. my mother at one hundred .. smoke signals .. times square at dusk (abr) .. phantom visitor .. uphill angst .. anxiety trap .. a moment of vulnerability .. chicago chicago that toddlin’ town .. august 10, 2014 .. readying for show time .. our scales of injustice .. missing my brother at the newseum .. brooklyn circa 1950 .. call of the wild .. haiku 30 – a & b .. official rememberer .. patriarch .. faking it .. frenetic frantic sundays .. lowered expectations .. tzimtzum .. unwatchable .. eyes almost shut tight .. moments of clarity .. invalidated .. signal to noise ratio .. stages .. no soup for you .. like .. outside 7-eleven at 10:30 pm .. what utter b s .. front and center    Δ (up to contents)

2015—   packin’ peanuts .. unremembered .. discounted .. it’s better this way .. young and dumb {№ 450} ..  walking the streets .. golden years .. gettin’ high .. empty pill bottles .. creeping decrepitude .. sandek .. truth teller .. spoiling it .. gratitude for life (orig) .. gratitude for life (rev) .. getting humbled (abr) .. holding a new baby .. a need for something bigger .. invisible .. worrying about the birds .. another shedding of tears .. an anguished visitation .. meth head bitch .. peak experience .. four faces .. refusing to be more compulsive .. storm passing overhead .. normal .. an honor realized .. seat belts are not optional .. halloween ’most any night .. on gratitude .. staying aloof .. almost &47; almost .. an already lost child .. haiku 31 .. no room for self-doubt .. my worst day of the year .. haiku 32 .. i love them / they’re poison .. baseball unwatchable .. haiku 33 .. capturing the ineffable .. master of my domain .. a story shelved .. rewarding mediocrity .. our paris .. haiku 34 .. boketto .. a walk to bedford avenue    Δ (up to contents)

2016—   retribution .. contemplation on the bike path .. commensurate relief .. birdie .. vicarious joy .. all-encompassing activity {№ 500} ..  compensation .. oh-seventy-one .. halloween ruminations .. alternate route .. haiku 35 .. haiku 36 .. at the western wall .. it just felt right .. wrestling with god .. at home .. getting stuff done .. midnight at the ohel .. celebrating havdalah at the mamilla mall .. peripheral vision .. searching for catharsis .. sacred space .. torn between .. buzzkilling a joke .. haiku 37 .. wireless speed test .. a dollar and a dream .. eyes gazing east .. tired houses .. like a kid again .. slick striped club themes .. eliyahu and the berries .. for no apparent reason .. easy days .. almost 70 .. a bike ride to our timeshare .. three score and ten .. fine dining .. haiku 38 .. highway patrol .. pitching a new reality show .. at the center of the world .. at the cardiologist’s office .. haiku 39 .. the devil’s banquet .. haiku 40 .. our tectonic plates shift / then settle back into place .. fat boy on the court .. jumpy bastards .. WIN BIG PRIZES .. sacrilege .. undesired clarity .. haiku 41 .. an elder .. bicycling at eighty .. haiku 42 {№ 550} ..  tired of holding on to .. haiku 43 .. devastated .. dey ain’t my leaves no mo’ .. enough is enough .. in the crossword puzzle zone .. thanksgiving / later that evening .. haiku 44 .. tyrants .. tuck me .. natures’s rorschach .. unseen until now .. double zeroes .. haiku 45 .. good & plenty penance .. haiku 46 .. perceiving my world    Δ (up to contents)

2017—   haiku 47 .. haiku 48 .. tanka 5 .. haiku 49 .. dry spell .. the joys of gaslighting .. a cautionary tale .. haiku 50 .. enema .. whited-out conditions .. reprieve .. a voice silenced .. death beckons from not so afar .. on a bad hair day .. haiku 51 .. haiku 52 .. only peace of mind .. a new recurring nightmare .. smelling the roses .. dueling woodpeckers .. oriented x 3 .. two mule team .. gone to the dogs .. tanka 6 .. haiku 53 .. four children within .. forever after .. welcoming the oppressor .. mr vincible .. birds of a feather .. mistakes .. doomed .. the descent of an old friend {№ 600} ..  the redolence of yours, that lingers .. double headstone .. inseparable .. tattoo .. haiku 54 .. savasana .. a kettle of hawks .. flintstones / meet the flintstones .. serendipity .. the titanic state parkway .. after the prayers / after the hymns .. old goats .. my roller coaster buddy .. old habits die hard .. silent witness .. tapering down .. the days of repentance 1 .. the days of repentance 2 .. yearly ordeal .. can’t stifle the urge .. so is anybody listening? .. slippery slope .. incongruity between beach 32nd and beach 56th .. rocky horror on the a train .. perhaps a holy visitation .. an unwelcome call .. my go-to guy .. still / after fifteen years .. in case i’m no longer around .. reverse gang bang .. unconsummated .. the juggler’s vision .. winning’s the only thing .. of blessed memory .. haiku 55 .. sucking the sudoku teat .. terms of endearment .. midnight visitor .. of blessed memory 2    Δ (up to contents)

2018—   survival in the backyard .. marscescence .. haiku 56-59 .. one sabbath morning .. cast aside .. seeing yet unseeing .. in jerusalem’s great synagogue .. tanka 7 {№ 650} ..  haiku 60 .. the more light the better .. petey’s demise .. haiku 61 .. stupage .. closer to home .. what to do .. a simple pleasure .. enervated .. haiku 62 .. two grandpas sitting in shul .. shrunken and curled up .. shrunken and curled up 2 .. tryin’ to keep it simple .. out of the darkest valley .. an unremarkable man .. haiku 63 .. in between time .. going nowhere but slowly .. one-oh-three a m .. jimmy in my arms once again .. the loss of the ephemeral .. invisible at the 7-eleven .. greengage plums .. irregularity .. if / then / else .. on the charm city circulator .. doing gooder .. haiku 64 .. affirmation .. a good man .. friday night alone .. hitting the rough road .. haiku 65 .. haiku 66 .. haiku 67 .. yahrzeit glass .. at a loss for word .. dehydrated .. haiku 68 .. haiku 69 .. haiku 70 .. haiku 71 .. neither too hot nor too warm .. primes & perfect squares (a double tanka) .. my wonky left knee .. down the rabbit hole .. one evening at our writer’s workshop .. just once .. just simple forgetfulness – i hope {№ 700} .. haiku 72 .. haiku 73 .. equilibrium .. finding holiness in the mundane .. finding bliss in nasal exploration .. tanka 8    Δ (up to contents)

2019—   haiku 74 .. haiku 75 .. reluctantly passing on the baton .. looking back with 2020 hindsight .. tseh•krokh’•nuh .. recurring school dream .. snouty .. prevailing weather pattern .. gone with the … .. no friend of mine .. a rare victory over audacity .. my motorman within .. haiku 76 .. 7 haiku for vivien’s 70th birthday .. haiku 84 .. at the graveside service .. tanka 9 .. haiku 85 .. haiku 86 .. haiku 87 .. on the good old bad old r32 brightliner .. revelation .. haiku 88 .. another day / another levaya .. gonna keep on truckin’ .. haiku 89 .. remorse postponed .. at the wildlife refuge .. on the road again .. a murder of crows .. haiku 90 .. haiku 91 .. haiku 92 .. haiku 93 .. butchers .. overthinking .. tanka 10 .. squirrel t v .. tanka 11 .. it’s so hard sometimes .. tentative .. oh /to be a grackle .. my beloved .. as crow on the search for truth {№ 750} .. haiku 94 .. haiku 95 .. not a cathartic poem .. little bird .. baby love .. haiku 96 .. tanka 12 .. how do you decide? .. haiku 97 .. our late summer swim .. contentment .. haiku 98 .. haiku 99 .. you shouldn’t overdo it .. at calverton national cemetery .. maybe it’s time for a change .. tanka 13 .. haiku 100 .. after brunch at the diner .. haiku 101 .. haiku 102 .. tanka 14 .. where the tunnel ends .. when i fell in love .. haiku 103 .. tanka 15 .. a holy day .. 7:18 on a december morning .. our namespace .. at the holiday chorale .. an excercise in futility .. tanka 16    Δ (up to contents)

2020—   haiku 104 .. snooty’s here! .. end of the line .. after the button is pressed .. haiku 105 .. haiku 106 .. tanka 17 (reverse) .. haiku 107 .. sabbath services at the hadar national shabbaton .. haiku 108 .. haiku 109 three birds perched on a tree .. haiku 110 .. {Pandemic restrictions begin} ..   first time back in the saddle .. in the realm of the cormorant .. commode to joy .. buddy could you spare just a square {№ 800} .. when x = x / and often more .. haiku 111 .. tanka 18 .. nuthin left to lose .. tucking her in .. potentate of the squirrels .. haiku 112 .. haiku 113 .. covid nonstandard time .. tanka 19 .. haiku 114 .. to solve a mystery .. outdoor matinee .. sacred music feeds my soul .. unwanted withdrawals .. pillboxes against the onslaught .. haiku 115 .. no patio umbrella needed .. almost normal maybe .. our silent amidah .. out of the great unknown .. two more gone .. not out of nothing .. a lamentation for our trees .. connection termination .. eight lives and counting .. tanka 20 .. haiku 116 .. unfettering by design .. every bicycle ride’s a new ride .. nuthin better .. tanka 21 .. haiku 117 .. a victory against the scourge within .. haiku 118 .. haiku 119 .. tanka 22 .. even the loss of a small life leaves us empty .. haiku 120 .. haiku 121 .. haiku 122 .. battling the demons .. haiku 123 .. when non-communicativeness was the norm .. a really good sunday .. worrying like my father / redux .. chasing the dragon .. her little chickadees .. haiku 124    Δ (up to contents)

2021—   it could’ve been worse {№ 850} .. turtling .. haiku 125 .. haiku 126 .. haiku 127 .. post m r i commentary .. haiku 128 .. aural dissatisfaction .. writing does have its benefits .. tanka 23 .. rite of pissage .. nature’s reward .. good mornin’ good mornin’ to you .. haiku 129 .. tanka 24 .. tanka 25 .. standing at attention .. haiku 130 .. haiku 131 .. predestined and inescapable .. tanka 26 .. powerlessness is not next to godliness .. a solo nocturnal performance .. haiku 132 .. haiku 133 .. haiku 134 .. my eleven o’clock loogie .. what i did on my summer vacation / or / banishing the bastard within .. the ten commandments – the abridged version .. irrelevant .. haiku 135 .. haiku 136 .. haiku 137    Δ (up to contents)

2022—   mid-march backyard scene .. sanctuary .. haiku 138 .. tanka 27 .. before we shuffle off this mortal coil .. tanka 28 .. when the curtain has been lowered .. as twilight turns into night .. we stand together far less broken .. haiku 139 / 140    Δ (up to contents)

2023—   a memory in black & white .. all together now .. the elegance of nature in february .. stay tuned for more .. tanka 29 .. my own sliver of heaven .. a special surprise .. haiku 141 {№ 900} .. abscission


A drabble is a “microstory,” exactly 100 words long, excluding the title. However, there are slight variations in this definition. According to Wikipedia, “the purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.” It is challenging to write such a short story for someone who is as verbose as I am. In chronological order, my drabble stories are:

2007-2008    2009-2011    2012-2014    2015-2016    2017    2018    2019    2020    2021    2022    2023    2024

2007-2008 —   The Bitch .. The Old Lawnmower .. Rounding Rules .. I'll Never Give Up .. Surgical Exploit .. Broken Dreams .. Mother's Day Cards .. Life in the Drop Zone .. Cortically Challenged .. Volume Control .. Ze'ev O .. Lyrical Preoccupation .. Lamentation on Darwin's Sieve .. Leave ’em Laughing .. Meniscus Tension .. Quantum Sufficit .. Water Fall .. Psilocybin Blues .. Quad .. Taught to Pray .. Conversation with the Deity .. Dog Day Morning .. Chasing Katz .. Insidiousness Underground    Δ (up to contents)

2009-2011 —   Cataclysmic Synergy {№ 25} ..   Southern State Parkway, Eastbound .. Nine Mils to the Beat .. Cranial Barricade .. My Annual Ophthalmological Exam .. Just Playing .. Togetherness on the 10:56 .. Distance Learning .. Unhappy Hour at McDuffy's .. Staying the Course .. Premature Withdrawal .. Early Morning Confession .. Fund Raising .. The Way She Talks .. Oedipus Rex .. Dog Days of Autumn .. The Homecoming .. We ♥ Grandma .. The Wicked Witch of the Workshop .. The Death Scribe Cometh .. A Soldier Returns .. An Old Flame Still Smolders .. I Used to Love Him .. Pillow Talk ..    Δ (up to contents)

2012-2014 —   Deliver Us from Evil {№ 50} ..   Just Three Little Words .. Eulogy at Saint Bibiana’s .. The House on Happy Street .. At the Franz Kafka Food Joint .. The Case of the Carrot Caper .. In the CEO’s Office .. Outside Inside .. Cross Country Blues .. Justice Served .. At Countywide Recycling & Carting .. Digging Through the Rubble .. A Man of Honor .. Time for a Surprise .. Four Girls in the Bathroom .. Along with the Watchtower .. Early Morning Encounter .. Every Day in the Backyard .. Born to be Wild .. Co-winky-dink .. Lightning Strikes Twice .. Need to Get Even .. Coitus Interruptus .. God the Lord; the Strong Lord .. Meditation at 4:11 am .. Chopping Down the Family Tree {№ 75} ..   Thirty Day Cure    Δ (up to contents)

2015-2016 —   It's Better to be Safe than Sorry .. Learning Levelheadedness on the Ladder .. Driving in a Fog .. My Stevie .. Gun Safety 101 .. Self Preservation .. Prevent Defense .. A Dire Warning to the President .. No Way to Make Friends .. Into the Woods .. A Decision to Pray .. Riding the Broken Line .. A Late Night Fork in the Road .. A Path Not Taken .. A Reckoning on the Path .. The Making of a Politician .. To Execute a Contract .. A Not So Blessed Event .. Double Trouble .. Freed from a Fledgling Psychopath .. I Knew / I Just Knew .. Vengeance and Recompense .. After Forty Years, an Accusation .. At the Frat Party {№ 100} ..   On the Airport Security Line .. Backpacker vs. Wolf Pack .. I Shall Lay My Vengeance Upon Them    Δ (up to contents)

2017 —   To Be Buried With a Bear .. A Crybaby No Longer .. One More for the Stats .. Not All Stories Have To Be About Conflict .. Finally, Silence .. A Conflict Without End .. BINGO! .. A Matter of Respect .. All It Takes Is One .. The Lone Ranger Rides Again .. Hunting Season’s Just Begun .. Sub-zero Enslavement .. Frau Farbissiner at the Shabbos Park .. A Holy Place .. A Place in His Life for Her .. Hobbled by Indecision .. Discussion Control .. He Who Holds the Hose .. He Who Has the Right of Way .. Eli and the Bear – an Existential Crisis .. A Slight Detour on the Path to the Inevitable .. Eulogy in a Drabble {№ 125} ..   He Who is Happy with His Lot in Life    Δ (up to contents)

2018 —   The Scar .. An Empty Shell Left Behind .. Needing to Be Perfect ..  The Sad Family Pentalogy:  Harold .. Muriel .. Dana .. Eli .. Harold and Dana  (End) .. The Real Him .. Still Sweating the Small Stuff .. Two Tickets to the Dance .. Masks Can Be Deceiving .. Not Such a Hard Sell    Δ (up to contents)

2019 —   Life Interrupted .. The Ed Sullivan Show, Live and in Person .. “You People” .. Ride of the Century .. “Just Do a Little Bit Each Day” .. So Fucking Exasperating .. Well, Maybe Just a Little .. Our Timeshare in Forever-Land .. Breaker One-Zero / What's Your Twenty? .. I Knew It Could Never Happen .. Idiots on Parade {№ 150} ..   Sometimes, a Weed is Just a Weed .. You See What Happens When / ? .. A Longing, Unfulfilled .. How to Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem .. Weaponizing the Bears .. The Evening Our House Shook .. Mozart at the Urinal .. Winter Approaching .. Man, This Weather is Crazy! .. A Simple Mishap or an Object Lesson? Version 1 .. A Simple Mishap or an Object Lesson? Version 2 .. 8:15 am, on a Crowded Downtown A .. One Saturday Evening in October .. Trois Délicieux Repas .. Wretchedness at New Montefiore .. At the Word of the Lord Holy Tabernacle    Δ (up to contents)

2020 —   My Ardent Plea for the Cessation of Excessive Verbosity .. Being Chased by a Bear .. It’s Judge Judy! .. Reconstructing Images .. Worst Nightmare .. Refusing to Worship the God of Profits .. Catching an Imposter .. One Grandfather’s “Genius” .. The Sofer {№ 175} ..   {Pandemic restrictions begin} ..   Just Another Overnight at the Greeks .. Just Another Day at FDR High .. Bummed Out .. Idiot of the Year .. Jimmy’s Dad .. Siblings Unglued .. Genesis 2:18 in the Coronavirus Era .. Helen & Barry 4-Ever .. Her Pleasure Gave Way to Pain .. Marriage Counseling .. Losing It .. Conflict Junkies .. In This Together .. The King of Mandalay Pines .. Feeding Her Lust on the A Train .. Stings in Your Eyes and Thorns in Your Sides .. The Joy of Raising an Enabler .. A Stop at Willoughby .. Some Habits Die Hard .. Unnatural Selection .. Justice Has Been Served .. The Sweet Taste of Victory .. Turning a Pushover Into a Protector .. Grandpa Talkin to the Wind .. Lloyd Abrams’s Living Eulogy {№ 200} ..   Mile-High Kite .. Almost Unthinkable .. Nowhere to Be .. The Sign Stealer .. Emerson Secondary School c. 1983 .. Silence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder .. Building a Successful Business Model .. Despite Matthew 5:39, Despite Romans 12:19 .. Swamp Boy .. Devoted and Inseparable .. Writing Time .. Seeking Righteousness and Retribution .. Laziness Will Always Do You In .. I Miss My Aunt Sarah So Much .. Meanwhile, Down in the Boondocks .. Killing Me Softly with Kindness .. The Boy Who Loved Throwing Rocks .. Lost in the City of Lights .. Re: Service Account No. 19080920 (1) .. Re: Service Account No. 19080920 (2) .. Fraternal Symbiosis .. What We Think, We Become .. Two Birds With One Stone .. And Thus the Legend Grows .. “Chips” {№ 225} ..   At the Metro Counseling Center .. Ignorance Plus Incompetence .. In the Men’s Faculty Room .. Sylvia Loved to Sing .. But Mom / I Really Need My Trophy!.. On the Genesis of Zombie Babies .. Baseball Isn’t Just a Game. It’s Life .. Refuse She Refused to Accept .. My Femme Fatale .. “Stupid is as Stupid Does” .. Stuck in a Rut .. Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary .. Yet Another Romantic Interlude .. The Compensation for Vigilance .. Intimacy in the Age of Covid .. It’s the Money and the Principle .. I Pray the Lord my Soul to Take .. Dealing with a Most Unwelcome Visitor .. A Tale of Two Squirrels .. Inner Voice / Outer Space .. Nightmare Without .. End of the Road .. Constitutionally Incapable .. Greta and the Nutcase .. Culling the Worst of the Worst {№ 250} ..   Facing Forever .. “Hi, Grandpa Lloydie!” .. Mayer at the Parade .. “Sweet Caroline” .. At Home with the Cassidys .. A Midsummer Night for the Ages .. Yet Still, I Watch .. Finding “Truth” in the Bottle .. Home Invasion .. Regression to the Mean .. Dealing With Daunting Daughters .. I Should’ve Worried More .. Heed my Cries, the Curse .. Unconditional Love .. { A Sister So Far Away / Silence is My Revenge } .. Tai Chi 22 Chen / Minus One    Δ (up to contents)

2021 —   In Twelfth Grade Creative Writing Class .. Meant For Each Other .. The Bond Between a Girl and Her Doll .. I Tried / I Really Did .. Not a Walk in the Park .. In My Sorrow, Lord .. The Sunshine of His Life .. Party Time at Islip Rexall {№ 275} ..   Dumbasses .. Memories Etched in Print .. No Reentry 🚫 to the Garden of Eden .. A Heart, Hot as Ice .. As Ye Sow So Shall Ye Reap .. A Hate-Love Relationship .. When Existential Angst Comes A-Courtin’ .. The Boy Who Loved Raptors .. Finding a Fulfilling Job .. I Give Thanks Before You .. Some You Win and Some You Lose .. Vaccination Angst .. Word Ladder of Affection to Affliction .. Exquisite Delights .. Fastidiousness Among Our Four-Legged Friends .. Something in the Way She Moves .. The Bitches of Beastwick High .. By Herself but Not Alone .. Bad Cop, Good Cop .. In Love, Unfortunately .. The Jersey Boys are Comin’! .. Toilet Paper Blues .. The Last Orgasm .. The Organ Recital .. At the Incontinental Resort and Spa {№ 300} ..   At the Live Arts Country Day School .. It’s All in the Name .. Allocution .. A Note of Appreciation .. “Dearly Beloved” .. A Day of Reckoning .. Doc’s Multimedia Specialties .. What’s Most Important .. Where Everything’s Above Average .. Doing What Comes AU Naturel .. The Boy Who Counted .. Silence of the Lamb .. My First Dirty Joke .. Lloyd 2.0, Beta Version .. Gaming the Gamers .. To Ignore Evil Is To Become an Accomplice .. Children Are a Heritage of the Lord .. His Existential Crisis / as per Usual .. The End of Days .. C’mon! .. I Can Reach the Low Outside Fastball .. Rite of Passage at Tipeshaw Falls .. On the Table .. Memorial Weekend at Ayomikah Falls .. Puppy Love, but No Biting {№ 325} ..   A New Start to a New Day .. A Time to Be Silent .. Too Late to Call .. Triple Digits in the Slipstream .. Having Run Out of Options .. Our Writing Class, First Night .. Our Writing Class, Second Night .. Sunday Afternoon Blues .. Moving On, One Step at a Time .. Our Inveterate Cheat .. Masked and Unmasked Marvels .. Five Postulates, Frayed at the Edges .. There for the Grace .. Do the Right Thing .. Manufacturing Anxiety .. Being Outed in the Open .. The Very Best of Days .. No Small Victory .. No Laughing Matter .. You Never Know .. Gun-in-Mouth Disease .. A Child’s Vindication .. Stridin’ the Streets .. Slivers .. Angst Over Easy {№ 350} ..   But Only For That Summer .. When Enough Was Enough .. The Thrill Was Gone .. Here, With a Last Confession .. Fade to Black on a Gray Sky Afternoon    Δ (up to contents)

2022 —   Barney Adler at Three Quarters of a Century .. Getting What I Want Out of Facebook .. Seeing in Another Light .. His Sanctuary .. Dining Out Al Fresco .. A Blast From the Past .. Sometimes the Sun Shines Through .. While Writing His Last Sermon .. Friday Breakfast at the Red Horse Café .. Even Hurricane Cleo Couldn’t Wash Away the Scourge .. Amidst Affluence, Thoughts of a Darker Time .. I Hate Being Held Hostage .. Doubting Thomas .. Flowing Tears at Riverside Park .. “I Can Do This All Day” .. Together in Life .. When the Chips Were Down .. An Antidote to My Four-Wheeled Isolation .. The Muses Were Not Amused .. The Cost of Caring {№ 375} ..   Writers Anonymous .. The New York Times Spelling Bee Red Alert .. What It Boils Down To .. Doing What’s Good To Feel Good .. Pure […] Impure .. Painting My Pages With Words .. My Textual, Rhythmic, One-Hundred-Word Artform .. It Had Been a Quiet Sunday Afternoon .. The Old Bags Weren’t Good Enough? .. Gonorrhea Madness .. Two for the Price of One .. English 001, Section 8B .. “Why Are You So Curious,” Asked the Cat .. Preserving the Moral Order .. No Light at the End of the Tunnel .. What One Hand Giveth the Other Taketh Away .. The Angel of Death and Tax Deadlines .. At NOn COMpos MENTis Pubishing, Inc. .. I Love My Husband but … (written by Vivien Abrams) .. With Time to Spare .. And to Dust You Shall Return .. Pfft .. The Wrong Stuff ⁄ How the Future Ends .. A Second Chance .. TGIF {№ 400} ..   Easy Peasy No Longer .. But It Was Only a Joke .. Silence of the Lamb .. What? You Can’t Take a Joke? .. Maybe I Should’ve Paid Attention .. The Words Under the Words .. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice .. Growling Therapy .. Sharing is Despairing .. 76th Birthday Blues .. As Their Party is Ending .. Excuses, Excuses .. Last Man Standing .. Evening the Score .. Reading for Pleasure .. Out With the Trash .. School Dreams Nightmares 1 .. School Dreams Nightmares 2 .. School Dreams Nightmares 3 .. Requiem for a Heavyweight Sweatshirt .. That Day .. Not Their Usual Donut Stop .. Two Predators .. And Lead Us Not into Temptation .. Let the Games Begin {№ 425} ..   Yes, Two Certainly Can Play! .. An Unexpected Stop .. To Greet Hospitably and With Courtesy or Cordiality .. I Just Wanna / I Don’t Even Know .. Sunday Evening, in Bridge Traffic    Δ (up to contents)

2023 —   A Soldier Returns .. One Sunday in the Park with Jim .. When We Were Stars .. Seeing the Orthodox World in Black and White .. Doing the Very Best I Can .. Almost Real .. Still Trying to Understand .. Title XI Winners .. Lost in the System .. Mandated Reporter .. Shoyn Genug .. In Embassy Suites Room 255 .. Catch a Rising Star in 2004 .. We Can See Clearly Now .. Make Love Not War .. Elevated Emotions + Unfamiliar Ground .. What the Algorithm Might Not Have Considered .. A Visitor Comes Knocking at Midnight .. You’re Only as Sick as the Secrets You Keep .. Ice Cream, She Screams … {№ 450} ..   The Ice Cream Man Cometh at Midnight .. Papa’s Little Helper .. An Act of Defiance .. Not Made To Be a Spy .. Dumb Ass vs. Dumbass: A Guide for the Perplexed .. As the Door Shuts .. In Retrospect, I Question .. Like Mother, Like Son .. Why Not Not Hasten Death? .. Up Close and Personal on a High-Definition Monitor .. His Own Silent Hallelujah .. When Revenge is Condoned .. Perfection: Overrated .. What Follows Perfection? .. The Best Laid Plans Go Up in Smoke .. “O Lord I Want To Be in That Number” .. Would He Not Understand? .. You Shouldn’t’ve Called .. Dear Prudence: .. The Secret I’ve Kept
{ Sept 6, 2023 – A self-challenge: To write 30 drabbles in 30 days. It took only 21 days to write these 30 }
No Way Out But Out .. Final Day Reverberations .. His Father’s Tell .. Backpedaling on My Academic Principles .. And I Wake Up Sweating {№ 475} ..   The Show Must Go On .. “Where Was I on 9/11?” .. What I Love About Shabbos Dinner .. Facing Municipal Intransigence .. Still, We Meet Biweekly .. He Still Has Hopes and Dreams .. My Two Basic Writing Models .. Another Chance at Life .. Knowing Is One Thing .. Graduation Day Blues, 1963 .. One Warning I Did Adhere To .. C’mon, I’m Drowning Here .. Hell is a Seven-Letter Word .. The Perils of Natural Childbirth .. Just Keepin’ on Truckin’ .. A Mid-September Avian Assemblage .. Agita in Real Time .. Needing That Day of Rest .. … For He Is Alone and Afflicted .. Bastardizing A Famous Movie Line .. Walking in the Rai-ai-ain .. High Holy Days Musings, 5784 .. For Connection, for the Spirit, and for the Music .. Unrest in My Subconscious .. 30 Drabbles in 30 Days {№ 500}
{ … and continuing … } An Injury To Body, Mind and Spirit .. When It’s Time To Throw in the Towel .. A Call Logged in at 2:38 a.m. .. The Strong, Silent Type .. Sometimes, Good Things Don’t Last Forever .. A Post-Midnight Visit During Sukkot .. Three Musings Regarding Hamas’s Surprise Assault on Israel .. What Really Matters .. IF ⁄ THEN ⁄ ELSE .. When There’s No Plan B .. Reaching for Greatness .. Going Out in Style .. Jackie Boyd at 32 .. Hanging Out With a Cool Kid .. And I Just Couldn't Refuse .. When True Justice Is Rendered .. No One Repents Of His Own Accord .. Making the Right Move .. An Act of Discovery .. She Doesn't Deserve the Aggravation .. It Wasn’t Supposed To Be This Way .. Just Boys Being Boys, Circa 1960 .. When Enlightenment Was Most Needed .. In Golda Meir Square, of All Places .. Struggling With Uncertainty {№ 525} ..   I Can Only Go So Far .. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together .. Making It Up as We Go Along .. Misplaced Mishegas .. Some Musings On Pearl Harbor Day .. Never Alienate Your Computer Guy .. You’d Think They’d Know What They Were Doing .. Breaking the Rules of Conduct .. Even Principals Have to Play by the Rules .. Lying in Fear

2024 —   Bastardizing the Beauty of Basketball .. Back to Where It Began .. When Enough Is Enough .. Everybody’s Got a Breaking Point .. When the Gene Pool Has Been Polluted: A Case Study .. One Thing He Just Will Not Do .. Beseeching Once Again    Δ (up to contents)

Having Been Dealt a Bad Hand,” prompted by “a good story” is about Richie, a twelve-year-old boy who asks his mother why kids are so cruel to a disheveled man who hangs around drinking beer outside a local convenience store. When Richie doesn't understand her when she says he’s a “lost soul,” she suggests that he should go talk directly to the man.   (2023)   Δ (up to contents)
Prompted by coming home, “With My Tail Between My Legs” tells about my attending grad school at Texas Tech College, deep in the bible belt, for only one semester in 1967 after graduating from Stony Brook University. Besides my general lackadaisical attitude towards studying, I was definitely a stranger in a strange land.   (2023)   Δ (up to contents)
Vivien and I and our children were waiting for the rabbi to appear in “Renewing Our Marriage Vows.” Six months earlier, Vivien and I had attended a Jewish Marriage Encounter weekend and fell in love once again. Over the past 36 years since that weekend in 1987 we are still deeply committed to our marriage and we show our unending love for each other in so many ways.   (2023)   Δ (up to contents)
An Education and Bureaucratic Tragedy” tells the story of how our special education classes were designed, in the 1970s, in part, to teach travel training to our students and how successful it was for most of them – but especially Patrick J. But when Patrick was tested on the last day of his senior year, he was tested out of our program. The ramifications were devestating to him and exasperating to us.   (2023)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Yet Another Really Close Call,” I was injured by a wrought iron fence while walking with my wife, Vivien. When blood began spurting through my lycra bicycle tights, we knew I was in danger of bleeding out. The story reflects on this really close call in relation to others that I've had in the past, and how fortunate it has been for me to live – so to speak – to tell the tale.   (2022)   Δ (up to contents)
Prompted by the word “hiding,” “Hiding Out” is a mostly autobiographical piece about growing up in a family where dysfunctionality was hidden behind closed doors and storm windows, rather than exposing raw anger and animosity to the world outside. It was also about my hiding in the basement assembling train layouts or finding protection and solace in a clothes closet.   (2022)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Defying the Law of Equilibrium,” “Bungee,” a teenager, was injured in a tragic bungee-jumping accident, and, after, had serious trouble learning and concentrating. He was recruited by his father and his uncle to guard their hidden methamphetamine lab. The teenage boy was a remarkbly good shot, and his uncanny skill changed his life forever.   (2022)   Δ (up to contents)
I CAN’T TAKE THE BONES ANY MORE” is a true story about what happened on July 4, 1995, when Randy, a young teenager, was teasing and trying to impress two friends with an M-80, which is 100 times as powerful as a legal firecracker. And it is about how we, who necessarily had to respond to the ensuing emergency, were also greatly affected.   (2016, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
Capo a Capo” follows two young men who’ve known each since fourth grade. They’re now collectors for a small-time loan shark and each of them are forced to face a future that is no longer so predictable.   (2016, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
Eddie Hotchkiss was “My Drinking Buddy.” When he’d show up at Flanagan’s, it was always like a storm blew in when he’d yank the door open, and barge in, booming “How’s all of yuz doin?” He often regaled us with stories from his time in Nam, where his head would always return to once he got a couple of drinks in him. But he undoubtedly had his problems and his demons.   (2010, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
Sometimes I feel “Tired of it All,” especially “on a gray and snowy afternoon in January when I'm cooped up in our house and salt covered the roads, the sidewalks were iced up and it had been below 20 degrees for the zillionth day in a row.” I feel “like there’s no reason to go on. Do you ever feel that way? Do you get what I’m saying?”   (2004, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
The Numbers Guy” was rarely able to calm his mind. He would determine in his head if four- or five-digit numbers were prime using the sieve method. His wife seemed to constantly demand his attention and he was growing progressively weary of her verbal onslaught. At a service area on the New Jersey Turnpike, things started to abruptly change.   (2008, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
The Bear Truth Staff Columnist Francine Tucker is conducting “An Interview with Michael “Big Mike” Bear,” “whose exploits are well known through the Bear World as well as outside of it. He has been called both a degenerate and a prophet, a pariah and a demigod. The Bear Truth has set out to explore this living legend.”   (1991, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
Kenny, in “Twelfth Day After,” is entranced with Greta, a jazz singer, and finally has the opportunity to ask her out. She soon moves in with him, but shortly after, leaves. All the while, Kenny is obsessed with her and then tries to reconcile what had gone on between them.   (2008, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
Charlie Jefferson, in “No Matter What You Say or Do,” is trying to keep his two young teenagers safe … and alive. He’s worried that they’ll do something stupid and dangerous. As a part-time EMT, he has seen more than he ever wanted to.   (2015, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
At age 8, and age 9, Davie began learning a fuller meaning of the word “Resentment.” He saw and heard it in the eyes of his parents, he heard the stinging words from his older brother, and he heard it even more clearly from his classmates …   (2004, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Thou Shalt Not Return,” Lawrence Arnold knew deep down that he shouldn’t go back to visit his old school. He had worked there for many years, and it had been two and a half years since he retired. But he felt compelled to return, to see if anything had changed and, maybe, to see if he had even been missed.   (2005, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
The two major story lines in “Most of this is True,” are, for the most part, factual. Some of the details, however, have been conflated to make the two story arcs merge.   (2014, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
In “The Unhappy Life of Riley,” Riley Youngar’s “sole claim to fame was that his name was comprised of all five vowels, plus the two “Y”s.” In school, he “shrank down in his seat to gaze out the window, to follow contrails in the sky, to studiously observe the pigeons roosting in the nooks and recesses of the building next door.” With a mother who resented him from birth and who gave him little emotional support, Riley was one of those children who nowadays could be considered “doomed.”   (2005, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
Afternoon Interlude” is a micro-story about an afternoon tryst on the roof of a city building, with danger always lurking.   (2010, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Shortwave Alert,” a man clicks on his shortwave radio when he has trouble sleeping. When he tunes to a certain station, he becomes deeply troubled about what he's become privvy to.   (2002, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
Our Weird First Day in Paris” recounts strange things that seemed to be happening on the first day of our whirlwind four-day trip to Paris that Vivien and I took in the fall of 2009. Perhaps the feeling of weirdness was exacerbated by our being stuporous and jet lagged. Or perhaps not.   (2009, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Incident at the Beach,” Jennifer Wiseman brings her three children to an ocean beach after being land-locked with them at home after a winter nor'easter. There, insurmountable pleasure gives way to unfathomable pain.   (2011, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
In “I Speak for These People,” a mysterious infinite entity claims to speak for all those who have been imprisoned and oppressed and, especially, those who have been silenced.   (2011, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Bulletin Board Sexploitation,” a new computer user “hacks into” a local bulletin in a not-so-above-board manner.   (2016, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
Charlie Mufson, “A Man of Honor,” was a singular, remarkable character in our dwindling congregation. This is true story from a Saturday morning service in August, 2006.   (2006, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
In “When Uncle Eddie Became a Hero,” my father's larger-than-life brother takes it upon himself to solve a problem that could have caused heartbreak to the 65 graduates of the Islip High School class of 1957.   (2019)   Δ (up to contents)
On the evening of “The Last Halloween,” an awful plague is torturing your land. People, your neighbors, strangers in the emptied-shelf Safeway, truck drivers on the interstate, are turning against each other. And now you're starting to get it. Now you're starting to feel the burning of mass hysteria deep in your belly.   (2019)   Δ (up to contents)
Surely a Special Student” tells about Simone, a student who was in my classes when I taught high school mathematics before I retired in 2002. It is about her excellence as a student and about how hurt I was when I saw her in the high school lobby late in her junior year.   (2019)   Δ (up to contents)
The idea for “Undying Love” came out of the workshop prompt “catching up.” This autobiographical story encapsulates 46 years of a love affair that was never consummated, never taken to the next step. The heart doesn't always get what it wants.   (2019)   Δ (up to contents)
The Furniture Maker” had been an electrician by trade. After he retired, his wife gave him an ultimatum about stopping his drinking. So he started to build furniture for their house. Many years later, when he was out walking, he met a man who wanted to know how he had spent his time.   (2019)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Just a Walk in the Woods,” a man dying of cancer asks his son to drive him up to his old cabin to complete some unfinished business.   (2018, 2020)   Δ (up to contents)
In “My Estimation of Him Drops Precipitously,” an aged man makes a nasty slur under his breath against a woman during Sabbath services. Perhaps I should have said more.   (2018)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Strife in the Fast Lane,” a man is driving with his wife to Mnhattan to see a show. The driver is in a hurry because they had missed their train due to a schedule change. — based on the prompt "go slow"   (2017)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Trick or Treat … or Trick,” two young children want to go trick-or-treating by themselves. As the story unfolds, their father states his serious objections about both Halloween and trick-or-treating.   (2017)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Five-to-Seven to Life,” Danny talks about his brother's sinking into a world of drugs and prison … a world from which even he, his father and mother couldn't help him escape.   (2017)   Δ (up to contents)
Charlie has some “Fun at the Barbecue” in an idyllic suburban tableau on a balmy August afternoon.   (2017)   Δ (up to contents)
Sheriff Lou Gorman, known as “Lock-’em-up Lou” has come up with a novel and experimental way of dealing with crime.   (2017)   Δ (up to contents)
What Could’ve Been … But Never Was” is a short autobiographical account of a coming-together with an old flame over half a century ago.   (2017)   Δ (up to contents)
Dancing Girls” takes place shortly after midnight in a nondescript Paris hotel surrounded by wig stores. A married couple is on a whirlwind trip for their twentieth anniversary when several dancing girls start pounding on their door.   (2016)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Party Pooper,” a man declares not only that he has a limit to the amount of time he likes to spend with company, but also has a hatred for most party games. Find out why.   (2016)   Δ (up to contents)
In “A Halloween Treat,” a young boy, Tommy, and his friends are tyrannized by a nasty old man and his dog. Although he's taught to “love one's enemies,” he decides that “an eye for an eye” might be more appropriate.   (2016)   Δ (up to contents)
In “A Molotov Cocktail on the Road,” a highway patrol office notices a gas tanker truck pulled off on a highway shoulder. The driver is asleep but he had obviously been drinking. This is a true story.   (2015)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Keeping Safe on the Slide,” Danny's mother calls him down from the top of the slide and warns him about getting hurt. Meanwhile, back home, her safety is the last thing her abusive husband cares about.   (2015)   Δ (up to contents)
And It Was Good,” is about a secretive technology company's need for a special test subject so they can perfect their research into neuronal computing.   (2015)   Δ (up to contents)
Rhonda Pearl, in “Be Careful What You Wish For,” is a high school teacher who is forced to make an ethical decision that might come back to plague her. This is a story based on fact.   (2014)   Δ (up to contents)
In a mostly biographical story, “In His Merry Oldsmobile,” I relate an episode before our high school's Moving Up Day ceremony when I took my father's new car without permission and went joyriding.   (2014)   Δ (up to contents)
Lenny is certainly “In a Pickle” when he accidentally hit Joey Pena in the face with a baseball. He claimed it was something he did not mean to do.   (2014)   Δ (up to contents)
Leo’s Summer Vacation” takes place beween Leo’s fourth and fifth grades in 1956. His favorite teacher had put a stop to his being bullied, but he is still trepidatious about the future.   (2014)   Δ (up to contents)
Caught in His Arms” is about a serious motorcycle accident I had on January 31, 1977. Some say it was a miracle I survived. My wife claims that God was there to catch me.   (2011)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Angel” a Viet Nam veteran in a present-day hospital tells a harrowing story to the nightshift nurse about a life-affirming nurse back in Nam.   (2013, 2014)   Δ (up to contents)
Afraid of Dying” is a short confessional about how the prospect of being no longer hits me with its full force.   (2011)   Δ (up to contents)
When Someone Who’s Other,” is about love and relationships involving people who are other than I.   (2011)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Finding Myself,” is an exploration about finding my own “true” essence.   (2011)   Δ (up to contents)
In “A Mid-term Election in the Heartland,” Alvie Beckford conjures up a scheme to have his brother run for County Executive, thereby profiting both his brother and him.   (2011)   Δ (up to contents)
Ellen Mowbrey and Kati Hatsis are “Best Friends for Never.” As the two girls are leaving a department store on a Saturday night, they're asked by two boys in a mud-splattered sedan if they'd like a ride.   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
My First Real Girlfriend” is about a young man's first serious relationship and complications that came out of their closeness.   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
Killing Grandma” is a short memory piece about my grandmother's depressive condition.   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Rejection Slip,” a writer receives her one hundredth letter of rejection. Unlike the other ninety-nine form letters, this one contains a handwritten note that causes her a certain degree of consternation.   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
Home Invasion” begins: “The crackling sound of breaking glass crept into a dream. I've always been a light sleeper. I awoke with a start.”   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
Chuckie Being Chuckie” begins: “Chuckie Wilkes was a dim-witted boy. At fifteen, he had the hormonal drive of a normal teen-ager but the impulse control of a seven-year-old. And he had a thing for fifth-grader Lisa McCauley, a precocious pubescent who lived down the block in a white clapboard house.”   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
On the Right Track” is a brief memoir about my love of and fascination with trains.   (2009)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Coming for to Carry Me Home,” Charlie is beset by a numbing, agonizing fear in the middle of community concert.   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
In “The Mole Children,” four severely malnourished and pasty-white children - two boys and two girls - were found by state troopers, huddled together naked in a hidden basement under a dilapidated, seemingly-abandoned farm house ...   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Fallen Toward Grace,” a young woman grievously hurt by her family returns home after her father's death.   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
Laughing with the Reaper” is about an imperfect man reminiscing and asking for forgiveness while facing his imminent death.   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Park Girlfriend,” Denny plays paddleball with a newcomer, Jayzee, a young woman, as his partner. Since they complement each other, they play well together as a team ... until a final realization.   (2009)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Last Call,” Donnie Childs wonders why his girlfriend, Lenore is giving him the brush off. To find out why, he invites himself up for a two a.m. visit.   (2009)   Δ (up to contents)
After a birthday party, children go to the lot “Behind Havermeyer's” to hang out and play. “The blame for what happened mostly belonged to Bobby, Joanne and me.”   (2010)   Δ (up to contents)
Graham Farnsworth, a “Dealer of Antiquities,” was a purveyor of collectibles who was "just another junk dealer fleecing the summering rich." When Melinda Gilbert sashayed into his shoppe, he decided he had to have her.   (2010, 2014)   Δ (up to contents)
Faceless One” is an otherworldly tale about about internal conflict within a tribe and about a Faceless One who opts for life.   (2009)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Avenging Angel” Hector and Angelina loved each other. Then the baby came. When he got violent, things changed.   (2009)   Δ (up to contents)
Resolution” is about a young man who led a life of petty crime and is now trying to make things right.   (2009)   Δ (up to contents)
Indian Summer Afternoon” is short fiction piece based on the prompt, "end of summer." Both Manny and Rose are alone in their memories as Manny helps Rose carry a lawn chair up from the sidewalk.   (2008)   Δ (up to contents)
Four Birds”: Four stages of one's life ... four experiences with the life or death of birds.   (2008)   Δ (up to contents)
Happy Family,” is a quasi-satirical, quasi-moronic story told from the point of view of an omniscient narrator who has nothing better to do with his time. In it, we meet the eccentric Crawford Family: Roy, Jenna and their son, Harry, who have been joined by an equally ecentric dog and a rogue chimpanzee.   (This story might need extra work, but I don't know if it's worth it)   (2008)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Unhappy Hour at the Wander Inn,” Joey and Chuckie are sitting, drinking and wondering if Estrella will have anything more to do with Joey after an incident, caused by inebriation, when Joey kept on shouting a Brando-esque “Stella!”   (2008)   Δ (up to contents)
Two Obituaries for Uncle Marty” contain two versions of obituaries for my Uncle Marty, who died on September 23, 2005. One was published in the Salt Lake Tribune, and the other, somewhat irreverent, was passed around by his son.   (2005, 2008)   Δ (up to contents)
My Noise” is QuickFics -- my term for a story written and revised in one day -- with subsequent editing, of course. This story is based on the prompt: an epiphany and its backstory. Ever since he was a child, a man has experienced uncontrollable multiple sensations he refers to as his "noise." Today is the first day that his noise is not present.   (2008)   Δ (up to contents)
Singing Floral-gram” is another QuickFics. A singing floral-gram deliverer dressed as a chicken brings roses, a song and a surprise to an unsuspecting woman.   (2008)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Rebecca David,” Rebecca Heller, a high school guidance counselor, has a been having a contentious work relationship with David Stroeman, who occupies the next cubicle. After he confronts her in the school's parking lot after dismissal, she finds out that there's more to him than meets the eye.   (2008)   Δ (up to contents)
About Uncle Ezra” begins: “My father and Uncle Ezra might as well have been twins. They had the same quirks and mannerisms, they finished each other's sentences with the same Yiddish inflection, and they had almost identical blue concentration camp numbers tattooed on their left forearms.”   (2014)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Most Likely to Succeed,” sixth-grader Janie Merkin is the class clown who has become the punching bag of a boy in her class. She vows to get back at him and comes up with a particularly fiendish idea.  (2007, 2018)   Δ (up to contents)
Hot Town, Summer in the City” is a snapshot of an incident -- and the time surrounding it -- when I was almost robbed at knifepoint while driving a taxicab in Manhattan almost four decades ago.  (2007)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Tidings of Comfort and Joy,” it is the night before Christmas. David and Rebecca are watching television when the telephone rings. On the other end is a voice from the past.  (2007)   Δ (up to contents)
In “The Green Box,” Richie, Albie's older brother, unexpectedly comes home after serving in Viet Nam. There “was a banged-up, army-green box, about the size of a kid's lunch box” sitting on the dresser when Albie woke up.  (2007)   Δ (up to contents)
In “The Zekeinim of Northridge Creek,” a police investigator receives a late afternoon call from his father, who claims that there's a group of zekeinim -- elders -- who are killing other residents in their retirement village.  (2007)   Δ (up to contents)
Five Years and Bust” is a quasi biographical story about the unforeseen loss of one's livelihood caused by irresponsibility and a beaurocracy's byzantine requirements. It was prompted by “I never found out who did it ...”  (2007)   Δ (up to contents)
Pa takes Davie to the park in “Davie ’n Pa.” Davie keeps on asking, “Why, Pa?” but Pa ponders the secret that bares a family's soul.  (2007, 2008, 2014)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Burying a Body at the Beach,” Mickey, after a number of beers, asks his long-term friend, Lenny, to help him with what is supposed to be a simple task.  (2007)   Δ (up to contents)
Lady Godiva Hair” begins: First she was a she, and it turned out she was a he. After that she became a was, and that's when then trouble began. Lest you prejudge me, as some say as a disclaimer, let me tell you the truth right from the get-go.  (2007)   Δ (up to contents)
A radio announcer picks up the phone and answers, “It's Bobby Zee, Cominatchya.” The mysterious female caller on the line forces him to dredge up memories that have long been suppressed.  (2007)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Pain in the Attic Window,” a dog owner speaks to a man in the park who is staring at the sun. After a woman comes to get that man, the dog owner follows them home. The little he discovers about the people intrigues him into finding out more.  (2007)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Crushed,” forty-something Jason Alter attends his twenty-fifth high school reunion, where he encounters Catherine Keenan, with whom he was infatuated in high school. Long-repressed yearnings engulf him as he tries to unite with her.  (2006, 2012)   Δ (up to contents)
Erev Yom Kippur” is a short, quirky story about a family that sits down to dinner on the evening beginning Yom Kippur. The story was prompted by the word, "please," given out at a writing group.  (2006)   Δ (up to contents)
So Here's the Story” is about Hal, a.k.a. Froggy, who hangs out at Flanagan's, and regales his drinking buddies with stories in exchange for glasses and pitchers of beer.  (2006)   Δ (up to contents)
The Summer of My Fourteenth Year” is a novellette-length story about Leonard, a boy who is about to turn 14, whose parents have suddenly decided to relocate to western New York State. Lenny worries about fitting in and he soon makes one friend, who, he all too quickly finds out, becomes a bad influence. And then he befriends an older man, who becomes his “most unforgettable character.”  (2006)   Δ (up to contents)
An aging father is visited by his son in “From Generation to Generation - L'Dor V'Dor.” Both father and son are chased by their own sets of demons, some of whom they also share. Both father and son are plagued, and, subsequently, both suffer.  (2006, 2007, 2011)   Δ (up to contents)
Two Trains in the Night” was originally written during the middle of February, 1998, and titled “Danger...Thin Ice.” A married couple, on the way home on the train after an evening in the city, cannot seem to stay on the same communication or emotional wavelength. While the woman craves intimacy and wants to be heard, the man shies away from her affection and her conversation. This dissonance inevitably leads to alienation and loneliness.  (1998, retitled and revised 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013)   Δ (up to contents)
In “At the First Seder,” Aunt Roz, the presider-over who did no actual cooking on her own, but who coordinated the army of cooks and purchasers and preparers for the Seder, tells a story about impossible redemption for someone she came upon in a cemetery in Germany. This story concerns the sins of fathers and their impact on their sons.   (2007, 2011)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Chava and the Tzadik,” Chava and Avraham Rosenbaum are childless and have been growing apart. At the recommendation of one of her co-workers, Chava decides to consult with a most unusual sort of tzadik -- a wiseman -- who holds court at the back table of a pizza and felafel place.   (2006, 2018)   Δ (up to contents)
Harry Roth, at 59, is still “The Souvenir Salesman” who makes the rounds of luncheonettes, drug stores and gas stations peddling mugs and postcards. He also travels the Civil War reenactment circuit, selling his wares out of the back of his van. When he stops for a bathroom break and a burger at a backwoods "EATS" place, he finds himself smack in the middle of something that is not a reenactment.   (2006, 2011, 2012)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Sarafina, the Poet,” Ellen adopts a new and exotic name after seeing the show which indelibly changed her life. But her life is now dissolving around her. She hopes that poetry writing could give her creative muse a voice and her emotions, an outlet.   (2006, 2011)   Δ (up to contents)
Thirty-eight year old Joanie is visiting her parents in “My Florida Visit” She is told some disturbing news about her father and is prevailed upon to find a way for him to deal with the problem.   (2006)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Between the Doors,” Julian feels that something is off even before he gets on his train to the city. He thinks he is getting on his usual train, an express to Penn Station, but he finds that that his train— and he himself—will have another destination.   (2005, 2007, 2014)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Two Lives, Extra Lean,” Arnie Schoenfeld has been on a losing streak lasting over fifteen years ... and counting. Every Sunday, he takes his mother, Ida, out to lunch at the Kosher delicatessen. As usual, however, he is preoccupied with placing a bet on the Mets, which just might get him “even,” but it leaves little energy and time for his mother.   (2013)   Δ (up to contents)
A young boy plays “Hit the Penny” with his mother after coming home from school, where he waits for Friday night dinner with a mixture of dread and hope.   (2005, 2006; updated 2011)   Δ (up to contents)
Elliot Silver, a recent retiree and widower, makes “A Visit to the Nursing Home” to volunteer to visit with patients. His first assignment is a cantakerous old man who noodges Elliot to talk about himself and just might get Elliot to reach for possible happiness.   (2005)   Δ (up to contents)
Gerald is “Coming Home” from work. When he walks through the front door, he feels paralyzed. “He was on such high alert that his senses were misfiring. The ordinarily welcoming aroma of pot roast, wafting from the kitchen, smelled wrong—acrid and greasy and burnt … He wanted to run, but an overwhelming malaise enveloped him. He wanted to flee but he could not move.”   (2005)   Δ (up to contents)
18th Street on the BMT” is a submission to an LIWG contest. The challenge was to write a (no more than) two page story about a journey in which each stop symbolizes a stage of life.  {The story tied for first in a field of three.}   (2004, rev 2010)   Δ (up to contents)
Dissolution in the Attic” portrays a typical suburban family whose members fall into the abyss of dysfunctionality. At the start, the police are called to the home to lift the crippled father back onto his bed while the son, unwilling to help, watches from the window in his attic room. How and why the physical and emotion living conditions have deteriorated, and how - and if - the main character might ultimately find redemption, is the crux of this story.   (2005)   Δ (up to contents)
Two older people are forced to sit in the waiting room “At the Doctor's Office.” They have been together for so long that each knows the exact role each must play in the vignettes that comprise their life together. “Their dance was so well-choreographed that it could be set to music that only they could hear.” A young man sat watching them. What a pair, he thought. Shoot me if I ever get to be like them.   (2004, 2012, 2014)   Δ (up to contents)
In “A Visit to the Cemetery,” a man rides from home on his bicycle to visit the graves of his parents. He ruminates that this new cemetery, with its monotonous, homogenized design, is not where he really wants to be buried, although a grave has already been set aside for him.   (2004)   Δ (up to contents)
On “One Easter Sunday,” 1957, the father of a ten year old boy has a sudden heart attack. Not only are the 10-year-old's needs pushed aside, but he feels that he is being blamed. Later, he adds: “Even though my mother never again mentioned the Easter Sunday accusation, I knew, as irrational as it sounds now, that it always simmered just below the surface.”   (2004, 2008)   Δ (up to contents)
The Silent Son,” says, in his own words: “I was the one who closed myself off and shut myself down, much like my father had when he could take no more...Why get serious, when you could always joke about it? Joy, as well as pain, would simply evanesce like the smoke from my ever-present pipeful of marijuana. And I could go on toking on life, untouched and unaffected.”   (2004)   Δ (up to contents)
It is “His Last Days at Work” for a man who is retiring after years of loyal service. “At first, Richard was idealistic and enthusiastic, and full of ideas.” One day, “he imagined an organization in which all workers were able to buy into its mission, where they were rewarded for their efforts, not only financially, but emotionally and personally.” But he met with resistance when he tried to present his grand vision to his superiors. Thirty six years have passed and he is at the end of his career.   (2004, 2019)   Δ (up to contents)
In “A Strange Happening in Williamsburg,” a young man in search of his Jewish roots takes the bus up to Williamsburg to watch the ultra-orthodox celebrate Simchas Torah. In the vortex of their dancing, he sees more than he was ready to see and experiences more than he is willing to experience.   (2004, 2017)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Getting Closure on 103rd Street,” an old man is an unwilling witness to a stabbing. He is forced to deal not only with its aftermath, but with his own dredged-up memories.   (2004, 2012)   Δ (up to contents)
Cracked Ice” highlights a man and wife who are in their early 60's. Things go from bad to worse when they attempt to relive a magical experience that took place almost four decades before. A sudden realization results in a tenuous, but very much welcome, truce.   (2004)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Finding Love on the Tree of Life,” Daniel discovers, at his Bar Mitzvah, that he has a very unique ability to feel - truly feel - what other people are feeling. This gift, which is involuntary, is often much more of a a curse. As he gets older, his talent becomes more intense and intrusive, more useful but more devastating. Then he meets Yocheved, his besheret, his soul-mate, and his life is changed forever.   (2004)   Δ (up to contents)
Numbers Are His Friends” tells a semi-autobiographical story about a boy's love of numbers and how they helped him, years later, to get through a particularly difficult time: “Larry loved math, loved the structure, loved the inherent truth, loved its sheer beauty...Everything and everyone else was fraught with doubt and gray areas, with amorphous intangibles and half-truths that lay in wait to entrap the unwary.”   (2003, 2010)   Δ (up to contents)
People from her neighborhood come to “The Seer” to tell her about their dreams. In turn, she tells them about their futures "so they can plan accordingly, or make amends, or skip town, as the case may be." Our burnt-out protagonist has a particularly horrifying dream that he must share with her, but only if she tells him about her own dream. She has none, except for a living nightmare.   (2003, 2019)   Δ (up to contents)
The Art Therapist” highlights a woman who has lost both her son to a fatal degenerative disease and her husband to suicide. She is called upon to help a young girl who has been found by police. The daughter has remained mute, and the art therapist is drawn to the girl.   (2003)   Δ (up to contents)
The main character of “Hell is a Four Letter Word” is lying on a bed in a skilled nursing facility, unable to move. In his words: "Because no one thinks I can communicate, the logical conclusion is that there is nothing inside to communicate. They're mistaken." Sitting next to him is an intangible being, an outrider, who is transcribing his stream of thought and the outpourings of his soul.  (2003, 2009 including title change, 2013)   Δ (up to contents)
In “The Retiree,” Jacob Horowitz, an angry and lonely retiree on a "long sabbatical," spends an afternoon in the local branch of the public library. We share his inner thoughts as he goes about his mundane activities until he comes up with an idea that just might change his life.  (2003)   Δ (up to contents)
A Face in the Crowd” was inspired in part by a Writer's Beit Midrash I took part in at the Skirball Center of Temple Emmanuel in Manhattan during the Spring of 2003. A father is looking for his estranged daughter in Jerusalem during a heat wave and, in his search, has to face his own particular demons.  (2003)   Δ (up to contents)
The main character of “The College Visit” is an extremely gifted "Yeshivist" high school student who, on one hand, wants the freedom to make his own decisions, and, on the other, is controlled by his heritage. On his visit to a major university, he stays at the Chabad house and has an encounter that will shake his very belief structure.  (2003)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Friday, Period 4,” students are forced to witness the death of a fellow citizen as part of their new curriculum. This lesson is particularly important because the teacher is being observed. Everything goes as planned—the terminant makes his speech and pleas for the children to fully understand their place in their exciting and challenging world. But even the best written lesson plans find a way to backfire.  (1985, revised 2003)   Δ (up to contents)
The main character in “The Sister's Marriage” sits in a backwater tavern and tells us about the younger sister in a dysfunctional family who comes to him to supposedly have her fortune read. For reasons known only to himself, he gets drawn into the family drama that plays out in Smalltown, USA.  (1984, revised 2003)   Δ (up to contents)
During the beginning of February, 1998, at the beginning of my independent education creative writing course at Empire State College, I wrote a story entitled “Early Friday Morning,” which parallels an old woman’s waking hours with her son’s many miles away. The story line was inspired by a recent visit to my mother, who lives in a retirement village in Florida.  (1998)   Δ (up to contents)
Driving down the seemingly unending miles of I-95, a driver notices a destination sign that strangely says “Find Yourself / Exit 2 Miles.” Exhausted, he decides to get off at the next exit. After he checks into a cheap motel and grabs a bite to eat, he decides to go for a walk on a back country road in the middle of the night. What he bumps into will possibly change his life.  (1998)   Δ (up to contents)
Riding Around to the Parks” is a sequel to, or maybe an extension of, “Green Baseballs,” which was originally written in 1985 and revised subsequently. A man who is in his early 50's suddenly realizes that he is still riding to the parks in search of rejuvenation or, possibly, for rebirth. He looks back at his years riding the roads and the glorious—as well as the desperate—times he has spent in the parks—time that might very well have been better spent in more meaningful ways.  (1998)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Purgatory,” an old man—once the principal, we find out—is eternally driven to walk the halls of his derelict school building, possibly trying to vicariously relive times of joy, as well as times of challenge. We walk and reminisce with him as he makes his rounds, followed by his personal ghosts and apparitions, until he finds that his office is filled with more than dusty air and memories.  (1998, 2008)   Δ (up to contents)
The Wailing” was inspired by some disturbing and violent events that occurred in New York City around the time that I originally wrote the story, which was during the fall of 1984. I revised the story during the following spring and in subsequent years. Chaim Bernstein, a simple man who had survived the Holocaust, meets up with a man from the ghetto who has other needs on his mind—needs that had to be fulfilled. The aftermath is particularly horrifying and disconcerting.  (1984, revised 1985, 1998, 2012)   Δ (up to contents)
The “Incident in the Main Waiting Room” takes place in New York City’s Penn Station. In the story, originally written in November, 1984, with major revisions during February, 1998, a burnt out man, assailed by the unpleasant memories of a crappy job, two failed marriages and a couple of empty love affairs, is happened upon by an old man in Hasidic garb. Their interplay and the outcome of their meeting is the crux of the story.  (1984, revised 1998)   Δ (up to contents)
In “Green Baseballs,” an adult explores the connection between driving around to the parks looking for a paddleball game and riding around on his bicycle, when he was a teenager, looking for a baseball game. In the story, he focuses on the metaphorical emotional reference between an empty baseball field or paddleball court and an amusement park after closing.  (1985, revised 1998)   Δ (up to contents)
An old man’s daily chore consists of feeding the birds at the local pond in “The Migration.” Resigned to living out the remaining days of the remnants of his life in the home of his daughter—the daughter he had cared for all by himself—he has found that he has become the focus of their irritation and anger, yet he doesn’t understand why. Perhaps his main wish is to fly off to freedom with the birds.  (1985, revised 1998 & 2010)   Δ (up to contents)
Shiva Call” was originally written 17 years ago and is begging fora follow-up story. After the death of a loved one, it is traditional in a Jewish family for members to “sit Shiva” in their home. Mirrors are covered up, grieving family members, wearing clothing that is ceremoniously torn, sit on hard stools or boxes, and services are offered in the home in order for “Kaddish,” the prayer for the dead, to be intoned. Close friends often supply food and take care of hospitality when visitors come to pay their respects. “Shiva Call” is about one such visit.  (1985, revised 1998)   Δ (up to contents)
A son brings his mother to the airport to return to her Florida home after a brief visit in “The Annual Good-by.” The story explores their interactions and their connectedness, despite the awkwardness of her emotionality and his inability to respond in kind. He tries to come to grips with his thoughts about her visit and his hopes for her—and, by extension, his—future. Thirteen years later, little has changed. Twenty three years after writing the story and eight years after her death, the story still resonates.  (1985, revised 1998 & 2008)   Δ (up to contents)
I wrote “The Sea is Me...” in my English 12 creative writing class. I recently found the story, scanned it, and cleaned up only the typographic quotes and em-dashes. All the warts -- misspellings, redundancies, punctuation errors, and awkward sentence structures -- have stayed the same. What is intriguing is that, in some ways, my writer's "voice" has not changed much in the past 40 years. In this story, a religious fanatic who worships the sea decides to embark on a journey on a raft that tests his mettle, as well as his beliefs.  (1963, scanned 2004)   Δ (up to contents)

A few words about me…

During the past 30 years or so, I have wanted to spend my time putting thoughts and feelings down "on paper." Before becoming adept at using a computer and a word processing program, composing was an onerous task because editing and rewriting meant, more or less, having to type the whole damn thing over. Correctotype, Wite-Out and later, Corasable paper, didn't make the writing process very much easier.

When I became involved with the New York City Teachers Writing Project in 1985, I started writing directly "on" the computer, using an Apple ][e and the wonderful Appleworks program. When I was writing and composing on a 13-inch green-on-black monitor, I found that I was able to combine words in such a way that not only a story was being told, but a feeling was being elicited, and the words together became musical – i.e., they had their own sound, tempo and texture. What's even more amazing to me is that when I sit down to write, I often don't know what's going to happen next until I actually begin to type and I'm able to watch the story unfold. This process of creative discovery is intensely exciting.

Now, I work with the latest version of WordPerfect on a fast computer, multi-tasking with Firefox and Google Chrome for background research and for the on-line thesaurus and dictionary, and, later, a text editor for html encoding. But the basic creative process has not changed, for I still struggle to find just the right words to capture a feeling, to describe a scene, to tell about people in general, and, thus, to often to reveal parts of myself in semi-autobiographical terms.

During 2003, I twice took part in a Writers' Beit Midrash at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-el in Manhattan, and again, in 2004, 2005 and 2011-2102. Liturgical readings that were chosen and the themes we covered in this very special community of writers - birth, life and death, dreams and visions, visions and prophecies, the hidden and the revealed, water, gender - inspired me to create many of the stories written during the years.

In early 2004, I started reading some of my stories at Long Island Writer's Guild meetings. Besides having an audience that provides encouragement and support, I have gotten many meaningful and insightful suggestions from members of the Guild. I have also read my stories at a writer's group that meets twice a month at Barnes & Noble, Carle Place, Long Island, and another that also meets twice a month at the Farmingdale Public Library. The feeback I have received has been invaluable.

Recently I've been taking part in open reads of my poetry at many different venues on Long Island. I've been a featured reader at the Bellmore Library; at the Hicksville Library; at the Oceanside Library; at the Mid-Island Y JCC Poetry Series in Plainview; at the Bellmore Bean Cafe; at the Wyld Chyld Tattoo Parlor and Cafe in Merrick; at the Sip This cafe in Valley Stream; and at the Summer Gazebo Readings in Oceanside. Some of these venues are sponsored by Poets in Nassau and others by The Performance Poets Assocation. I have also been a member of “Stray Feet,” founded by Gayl Teller, who was a Nassau County Poet Laureate. We Stray Feeters read our poetry in front of Language Arts classes in local schools. During the past several years, I have attended Barbara Novack's writing workshops in the Oceanside and Rockville Centre Libraries.

Everything I've written is either finished or a work in progress. There is a hazy line – maybe no line – between these two states. When I pick up a piece I've written, I can always find something that can be revised to sound better, to be clearer or to have more impact. And, of course, days, weeks or years later, I'd be in a different emotional, physical and mental place.

Do enjoy my stories and poems. All suggestions are welcome. Click to send email.
-- Lloyd B. Abrams, Dec 2003; Mar & Jul 2004; Mar 2005; Jan 2006; Jan & June 2007; Oct 2009; June & Aug & Nov 2011; Apr 2012 & Apr 2014; Oct 2015; July 2017

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February 20, 2024   Δ (up to top)