#47 TNT Mini Mysteries from the Pittsburgh Writer’s Studio

by | Jan 15, 2020 | Blog, Podcasts | 0 comments

These short writing pieces were written within 25 minutes each. The first time I ever walked into the Squirrel Hill Library (where I would spend 100’s of hours writing and reading for the following six months), a dry-erase board displaying several announcements caught my attention. An illustrated summertime poem graced its surface. It was about seeds and sunshine. And then to the right was a separate white board that read “Pittsburgh Writer’s Studio 2:00 p.m.” It was 1:50 p.m. 

I walked into the enclosed meeting space and was greeted by smiles and handshakes from mystery folks. We sat and read another poem, then heard a few prompts, one of which we could choose or not choose, depending on personal sentiment. Roughly 25 minutes later, we dropped our pens and prepared to read/listen to our collective stories.

The below pieces are some of my recent free-writes from this class.

Thanks for appreciating some absurdist writing from The Nomad Theory and A.C.E. the Theorist.

Puberty is a Thing

“These ones are always bigger at the start of the week until I can’t take it anymore.”

“The temptation gets to you, huh? I think it does everybody.”

“Even beyond aesthetic, I don’t know anything more satisfying,”

“It’s hypnotic,”

“Yeah forget a watch, find a mirror,”’

“Do natives get them? Like uncontacted tribes and that?”

“I don’t know, wherever they sell Coke products I guess.”

“Mine were from stress in high school, when it all started.”

“Puberty is a thing,”

“I used to break down crying,”

“Used to?”

“Used to.”

“You gonna get that one?”


“That big white one on your left forehead,”

“It’s not ready yet,”

“Like hell, lemme do it.”

“No way.”

“Come on,”

“What’s it gonna do for you?”

“Hmm, fulfill my deepest desire as a sentient being…”

“There’s nothing else you’d rather do?”


“Go on then…

~ 15 seconds later ~

“Was it worth it?”

“Yeah but you’ve got another one. Lemme get that too…”


The Resulting Cycle is Inevitable

From the flesh it drops, exasperated having suffocated under the pressure of its purpose, having given everything it had.

Oxygen consumes and somehow the hydration that once liquified its core is sucked into the surrounding saw dust.

Any remaining nutrients are blended with more plant based carbon, and a musky sponge-like substance accumulates beneath the wooden boards. The encapsulation providing haven for interesting fungi.

No longer we can wait. Somebody’s gotta do it. A shovel. A bucket. And a place to put it.

We decide on the banana patch. Last year we did the same thing, 300 pounds of yesterday’s bananas. The shovel comes in handy.

We spread the human butter out like peanut butter. It smells of rejuvenation and heat.

Two years will pass and the bananas will be ready to pick. A yellow phoenix bursting from the dirt. What was inside me, will be inside me once again.

At breakfast, we’ll sit, drink coffee, maybe smoke a cigarette; the resulting cycle is inevitable.

While yesterday’s will surely fall to dust, today’s banana finds its place…

inside my bowels.


Hell is…

Hell is living in a concrete box being fed Monsanto corn with fertilizer sprayed on it for every meal with your nose stuck up a fat old gringo’s butt.

Hell is hearing an illiterate coal miner cheering as Donald Trump imitates a handicapped person struggling to ask where the nearest restroom is.

Hell is eating human hair from a cotton candy stick by accident. Which really isn’t so bad, considering it was freshly shampooed hair. At least it smelled like rose hips.

Rose hips still smell in hell, because the olfactory structures still exists in Hell. In fact, so do taste buds, nerve endings, ear canals, and eyeballs.

What organ we lose in Hell, however, makes this having of senses a sorry scam. Not having one is worse than buying a rotten avocado, or walking in on an overflowing toilet.

Hell… is a heartless place. And without the heart, none of the other bloody organs work.


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