James Hart / Fiction

If fiction is dead, reality is not far behind.

James Hart

James Hart
Be Home Soon,
December 31
Hart will have maintained this blog for One-hundred-sixty-nine million, nine-hundred-forty-eight thousand, six-hundred seconds through 31 May 2014. Times two (roughly) deep in the Twenty-Fifteen. ******************************** ******************************** ******************************* A carpenter's level designs a calm sea. ******************************** ******************************** Violent movies and prime-time TV shows ought to have disclaimers as reality checks during curtain calls. The cast could gather for a bow and civil handshake and or cheek kisses in order to demonstrate (to the least sophisticated among us) to let us know that the aforementioned carnage was make believe. A fiction. An entertainment. Such reality checks (and stage craft tribute) would well serve a fairness to the deranged among us who are prone to confuse the fantasia of entertainment violence as 'acceptable reality behavior'. There are legions of empty vessels awaiting sustenance about 'how' to react. With sure-bet frequency, the ubiquity of guns and conditioned criminal reflex results in aberrant behavior with subsequent ruinous acts of violence. We see it along the road. We read it and see it and hear it in the news. Such a paradigm! Odd that bow and bow and bow and bow are the same word. One for thank you, one for protection (?}, and the other to stay off the icebergs ... and of course there's the shoe tie, and gift wrap and that bloke from Saginaw, reading USA Today on the Greyhound. Here's a limerick from my Average Guy series: Of all emotion, the grin 'n frown, the best among us, stand down. ******************************** Here's a paragraph from my Average Guy: a couple of satiate dinner guests had ensconced themselves on the living room sofa.* * Whoops that was an abandoned paste, thanks, Merriam W. }One Moment{ Like all boys they wanted everything: the wild treetops and Tarzan hollers, then back to the soccer game on Channel 9 with their buttered microwave popcorn and tough-guy toothpicks. The painted fancy news ladies, in high skirts. Slivered clapboard was a place to carve initials. Not far, canaries built their own thatch nest, hunkered and still against the wind from all directions. An onyx black crow its wing tips torn of feather like a shrapnel-wounded plane, stood watching. Until it was yellow and black, a flurry of woven grass and fallen scatter of shadowed ruin. A swooped escape of yellow dots and the black clawing predator of powerful wide wing, its bright beak triumphant to the sunshine, the white fluff chicks burst within merciless gripped coil. A quick flight toward 3 o'clock backward through nascent Linden buds. An automatic trick spiraling, a mystical bullet, the motion at once there and gone to stellar over soul of weathered naked branch. Its prize of canary chicks: a satiation to the endless March blue. ******************************** (more) Average Guy Then the Old Spiced Fuller Brush man shows up blowing Lucky Strike smoke rings, Dinah Shore had her own hour, and ol' Ike poured concrete, coast to coast. Sundays? Victory at Sea, Archbishop Sheen, Groucho Marx, I'm never sure, such awhile back, weren't the Commies about to attack? Then who'd blink first, Nikita or Jack? ******************************** She spoke of life she did. I'd a fascinating 'eye in the sky' riff' invoking the richly named Auden, at midnight: A to F, clamored-clack of generous muse, nearly always helmeted faces appeared, dusty in white powder, an encounter along the parallel hedgerow , of dog-eared tome, her lips an alabaster meow: some kindling, Edward R. Murrow, the who, what, where when and howl Another magnolia time, first daffodils, another year from June, cold-level ferns as white knuckles; O the color of yellow sugared Chuckles. a sow with piglets, upon the soil: where oil prisms the mud, A new day, so near insane, this autumn an abject postpartum; O bacon, o eggs, why did I start'em? Now I have to eat, the ceiling fan, an aeroplane prop, a yolk slurp, one more word, perhaps a fast break, maybe a dark hour, nothing but cake ... a belly ache ... cooler by the lake. &ah:It's a bit early, Oxford level though, as I'm left, in our adage: truth may vary. If only Aynie would have used "Atlas Mugged", as real utopian form. Keep those Dreamliners rollin'! Until greed and fear return to the dictionary, beyond the zone of human nature. Operative words above: OXFORD & ADAGE &/or: PEOPLE WE GOT THE POWER


NOVEMBER 23, 2011 12:19PM

Where Jaws was Filmed

Rate: 3 Flag

Bright red ankle skin shinned her alabaster legs, and the sun was white               over here,      here, high noon to the left over the beach. I fluffed the towel over her just-beginning-to-sting redness. You should know the girls and I sat knees up--now and again prone, relaxing on Navarre Beach. From our vantage the sun was to the left nearly centered. If you are on the internet you may wish to search elsewhere for beach images, maybe in Google images, and find waterfront scenery to view. Or if you printed this narrative, feel free to paint your own watercolor, or scan the television until you find sand and water images.

Mood, like the blues, is everything.

crowded beach, families at leisure, Gulf of  Mexico breeze

And at the edge of the beach a pronounced shrill whistle sounded louder than the surf and radios: a round woman in a floral, star burst red-orange, pink blue pattern on her taupe swim suit, X’d her arms over sunglasses midst the to and fro shuffle of the Memorial Day throng, one of the nearby radios going: birds singing in the sycamore trees, and Pom said, “That’s a shark whistle!”

Red riptide ribbons bent like windblown tight streamers or contrast lines, the ribbon standards every so often in the wet sand-- arms length height--backed by rich federal blue water and white-caps.  The high surf and constant wind scrolled the sand, pushing-wafting charcoal fires, its eye-stinging black smoke wisps, to invisibility.  Sixty or seventy children scampered seemingly running everywhere. A little boy with black curly hair tore his calf on a clam shell, “Safe at second!” According to an older sun browned cousin.

While on the horizon what must have been a pair of military planes streamed white heat parallelograms to the edge of the ocean beyond which you could watch the deep distance, alert for infinity.

The girls pretty much in the same position, Pom massaging her sun burnt feet with lotion, and then filling my palm with it.

The lotion glob a cool surprise on my wife’s reddening back. My palm could leave a white image on her red skin.  Natchez cooed.  Her left breast flopped loose as she rose and nudged me. “Kumquat!” She yelled, looking for her sunglasses, holding her top in place.

  A wide-eyed young boy with his parents next to the girls and me sucked in his cheeks, crossed and then averted his eyes, fart mimicing with an armpit ploy.

 “…she might mean there’s a shark…that’s what that is,” Pom said.

Seated toward the sea, I went back to Mailer’s, ‘Genius, Lust and Narcissism’.

Down the way, two life guards ran toward us as fast as they could: white helmets, red trunks and white muscle shirts with red crosses, a yellow nylon twill rope between them, carrying bull horns, their noses opaque white.  I never saw anyone sprint that fast --- remember there was a brisk wind --- and the guards raced in the sand to the clutch of folks and children jumping around the lady with the piercing  shark whistle who hadn’t stopped waving her arms.

“A girl’s gone missing …”

“That’s what’s going on down there, that’s what that whistle is.”

“Look at those people fighting the waves!”

“Where’d she go in?”

“The professionals are coming. Fuck the camera!”

“That crowd down there…”

“God those guys are still running.”

“See if that motor home has a CB---call the police--- call the rescue squad.”

“How’d they know she’s in the water?”

“Maybe she’s gone for ice cream. It’s boukoo crowded,” Natchez said to Pom.

 I put Mailer down and stood up between my wife and Pom.

“The waves are too wild, too high.”

“That woman the guy’s holding back, that’s the mom?”

“Keep those kids out of the water,” people yelled, gathering their children to dry beach.

I found and put on my sandals of chop-saw cut, steel belted radials.

Sand fell from my arse as Natchez fastened the string of her black top and she rhythmically snapped her thumbs beneath the top, fleecing out sand and fine green detris.

The copper who’d whirled and blurted his siren spanking the windy, salt-sprayed air, having had arrived on the faded, cracked asphalt—the black of his black and white Ford Galaxy hot and glinting as though in competition with the closely packed heat reflecting greasy eye-damaging glints of hundreds of other vehicles.

All of the beachfront parking lot was jammed. Slippery with drying sand wash--the consistency of renegade cement.  The cruiser’s roof had a row of circular red dot-like lamps that alternately incredibly quickly flashed off and on in an hypnotic sequence.

[Readers please consider sunglasses in order to visualize the squad car’s emergency lights.]

                           No luck?                    

                           Okay, here:



             (Blink rapidly at the five flashes) 

Police, hands on hips, assessed the holiday beach melee.

    half a story from the archives; ergonomics are not on my side, to be continued...fields are ripe etc etc etc etc


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Wow! This just sings. Tremendous piece of work!
thanks, Roger. your column these past several years on O
$ have been evocative and inspirational
Detailed descriptive writing. Unique style, as well.
kind of you to lose the marathon just to call
glint, glimmer gist!
I can still make
where's the first Robin of spring?
there's no A in Oklahomy
sure as luck don't looklike
getting beat up in Dane county jail with your own sketchers before skate boards with thoughts
going lightly from the ledge
yoga in a fireball
let me tell
the loney
getting beat up in Dane Co. jail with your own sketchers on past
(it was enchanting upon us to forgive)
chasing the chum over hill and dale - wouldn't it be half a girl's gone missin'?
light planes due nort?? a gun at my temple in an elevator

where's (have)

Belushi? Candy? Phil?

If you could

eyeinthesky; post op
civil war
I know about Cheryl, I passed up a whole lot of Dusty just to listen to Dax Cheney talk about sustaining three hits.

How bad is it? Pickers x what, 6,7?


PAX ()
Damon, is that a thing to say right after I have been graced by an eloquent creature of the depths? Who was it that innovated those symbols, the mask smile, the frown mask? As you well know, in this age of ballistic missiles, the lock down of it, the inconvenience of freedom, the wrong-headed indelicacy, the incessant duplicitous observation, the educated guess of ethics, the low-hanging fruit of unpredictability, the speed of the universe (I forget) the escapologist in me has it as 5.5 (a better supposition for Medicare)), the remaining the same of it. The graceful lady compelled a countrified lyricist to the fresh air: I slept in my clothes again last night, the grease in my gullet said get out of Memphis, there was frost on the morning, the sound of hounds, and the bramble bush lair.
(we got a great big convoy >wire fans whispering drums
dead soldiers in the wet air, refugees bent, vulcher in the next tree for you for me, beneath the glimmer and gist, I can still make a fist, and roll my way home, the fiddle festival on God's roof, where the easel waits, and baby falcons cry, me, Tom Joad and I.

more from the island later thanks from reading ranting rating rithmitic reeling [excerpt from Hart's latest noncontinuous novella: The Funny Things That Did Not Happen On The Road to Baraboo] -or-
[as the smoke clears]
to all the girls i loved before:

Carol Muske-Dukes
Continuing his support of California's rich literary tradition, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Carol Muske-Dukes California's poet laureate on Thursday, November 13th. The poet laureate is charged with educating Californians about the many literary icons who have come from California and added to its cultural heritage.
To learn more about California Poet Laureates, visit the California Arts Council.
from my last happy winter:}Cher child without a home

Where do I begin,Cher child without a home,must I sing it to youCher child without a homewhy I still bother, Three Knights, 2009 Los Carneros Pinot Noir; sawing wood, astral projecting, something about the Maginot Line, the simulcast, the film (239 minutes) of Columbus's
Voyage, lucky the cocksucker broke the bottle over my right eye,
otherwise I'd have him in a block of ice.

I know about you. I forgive you. I love you.
well, well, well, Shirley's toes before it snows.
i know
i know
it's an old time movie
can't they fix the fucking chairs?
Dag and me, the sanctification of misinterpretation. Send it now or I'll unleah
one hundred fifty dragon flies
too dule, too dule


I had
a window
throw iT
masking tape, taupe, hysteria, myleria faster than foo gas
(newspapers, The Churches of Southern WI, the day Dennis Shubert and I found a Martin Guitar on Big Sur, we were young.

Possibly not knowing a proper noun from an Indian.

On the porch shouting out to the Jesuits.

Grandma Mary, of pure talent.


in charge


it is free


what I