I sat at a picnic table in the woods, with my pen. I had hoped to honor you.
I would be masterful with my language, weave an imaginary tapestry. All would know of your glory,
had I succeeded. Instead,
I wrote this. My,
what a waste of such precious time.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring something from a mountainous somewhere.
Four AM, there’s the garbage truck. Every other morning it wakes me up. I wonder if he’s as tired as I am.
Hopefully he doesn’t notice how big that darn bag is. It’s heavier than I had expected. I always told her she should diet.
Then I forgot the T.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the early yet dark hills of West Virginia
“With one formula, we’ve reached singularity. Those black skies will be mapped; endless mysteries will become facts.”
That was the pitch, anyway. Now, standing on this… living satellite, I shiver despite the heat.
Overcome by hostile hosts, it dawns. Now that we live faster than light,
so too we die.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the star-scraping hills of West Virginia.
The church bell chimed, a signal of hope.
In the streets, the dead tore apart the living. Ancestor feasted upon descendant.
As the innocent ran towards the high church tower, the sky became red. Buildings burned; mothers cried.
As folks poured in, the priest’s black eyes showed the true cause.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the apocalyptic hills of West Virginia.
It was terminal, sure. That didn’t mean she’d give up.
Even now, when visitors were few and far between, she never left his side. Devoted to a fault. She’d lost her job and apartment, but not her heart.
“I love you, dear.”
Those six feet felt like infinity.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the amiable hills of West Virginia.
It had been a chore, but she had finally gotten her husband to sit still for a portrait.
She took her time, trying to completely capture him: his peaceful expression, the slight messiness of his brown hair, the blood slowly pouring from the cut in his neck.
Simply a masterpiece.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the icy hills of West Virginia.
I watched him pick up those drugs. More than once.
And I watched him smoke them, or drink them, or inject them. I watched him become them.
And I asked, “Why did you let these things change you?”
“I couldn’t change the world. I changed how I look at it.”
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the autumnal hills of West Virginia.
A gentle breeze made its way through the cemetery trees,
and her hair.
She stood shocked among the sea of people, watching her mother descend
into the ground.
Disease or not, this reality hadn’t set in.
That’s when she realized: secretly, every daughter hopes their mother has to bury them.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the green hills of West Virginia.