Writing

Full Stories

“They all had their stories. It didn’t matter what happened in life, only what did them in. I tried to slow things down but their golden years accelerated into increasingly frequent doctor visits, higher co-pays, and even more bureaucracy. Then they died.”

From: “A Big Heart.” (Read it now in Chaleur Magazine, Feb 6, 2019)

https://chaleurmagazine.com/story/2019/2/6/a-big-heart?fbclid=IwAR378zxcZ7OAAFzQygE9NdcH25A0DsYVLOkweiT9sWqIG1G1XkOTRkJJFzA

“Though the scent faded over the next year, Orion’s longing for his dead father only increased, along with his confusion about whose son he really was.”

From: “Orion’s Belt.” (Read it now in The Alembic, Spring 2016, p. 25.http://www.providence.edu/english/Documents/TheAlembic.2016.A.pdf)

“Pathology labs are always located in the basement, as if they want to ease your body parts into the ground even before they finish admiring your first tumor.”

From: “Is My Husband’s Autopsy Covered?” (Read it now in Forge, 2014, 8)

“I was always fearful of losing Simone to a gymnast, not a Siamese twin.”

From:  “The Incest Clinic,” The G.W. Review, April 2011 (CAUTION: CONTAINS SEXUAL CONTENT SOME READERS MAY FIND UNSUITABLE)

 

Excerpts

From My Sister’s Heart (novel) 

“Inside exam room six, a fifty-year-old male is dressed entirely in green as if on his way to a St. Patrick’s Day parade. He demands disability papers for ‘Lime Disease.’”

“Smells are potent triggers of emotional recall; just a single whiff ignites our limbic system. In this case, we’re stuck on memory lane–bumper to bumper—and it smells like shit.”

“He just wasn’t a very good doctor. Taking care of patients is the major league. Unfortunately, in baseball equivalents, he’s batting .195. At times, I wonder if he should be sent back to the minors.”

“The patient smiled at me, his hump protruding from the posterior of the gown like a tremendous pair of buttocks, as if an inept surgeon transplanted a hairy ass between his shoulder blades. I wondered if this would be the appropriate place to vaccinate him.”

“‘We need to be mindful of the uterus,’ the pathologist said with a reluctant smile. ‘It rolls through phases like the moon, and when it’s full, usually wonderful—even fairy-tale things follow.’

She raised a cautious index finger, gulping down the remainder of her martini. ‘But it’s also capable of the unexpected; can catch you off guard, sometimes gently like early menstrual flow or worse–like in wolf’s tales. Then things become ugly—not only for the womb itself, but for others around it.'”

From Prior Publications:

“The sugar is not high enough to make you diabetic, but this could be a start; something creepy, like a man sticking his face behind the corner of a door slightly ajar.”

                                                                                        —”An Unethical Publication of a Doctor-Patient Correspondence,” Briar Cliff Review, 2007, 19: 20-21

“Your virtual colonoscopy boils down to the equivalent of a disoriented gastroenterologist wandering through a cave filled with dingy sulfur pools and harsh biting methane winds similar to the surface of Jupiter—in your case more aptly Uranus…”

—”Another Inappropriate Publication of an Abnormal Total Body Scan,” Dos Passos Review, 2007, 4:74-79

“Then again, perhaps this is unnatural after all. Just like a sixty-year-old woman shouldn’t become pregnant with in-vitro fertilization techniques or donor eggs, maybe it’s not normal for a man nearly sixty-five years old to have such an overwhelming rigid and steel-like hard on.”
“I’m embarrassed at first, so I use an empty tennis ball can to shield my genitalia as he wheels me into the emergency room.

—”The Alligator Wrestler,” Red Cedar Review, 2006, 41:53-58

“He thinks back to his mother’s mastectomy. The often phony smile she gave him when he finally saw her in the hospital room, the new bathrobe he learned to hate. His mother came home with a new striped pink and white bathrobe and without a breast.”
“Soon it’s obvious that his mother has lost a lot of weight, just like his old patient, as if they were bunk mates at Bergen-Belsen.”

“Under Her Bra,” Red Wheelbarrow, 2006, 7:160-169

“The train descends farther into the volcanic depths, where the crisp and flowery smell of the island gives way to a more metallic and industrial scent. Within minutes it seems we’re descending so far down, I wonder if we’ll hit lava.”

“A Uterine Transfer (for America),” Eleven Eleven, 2009, 7:168-172

“‘When you were thirteen,’ Mrs. Herzweig told me, ‘instead of a bar mitzvah, you got a Jewish heart.’ It happened to be the heart of her son, Marty. He died in a motorcycle accident, a few weeks after his 17th birthday. I learned a lot about my donor from his family, and it began when I received the letter inviting me to my first Passover Seder.
‘It is not polite to refuse such an invitation,’ my father said. ‘It was their son who gave you his heart. Attending a dinner is the least you can do.’”

“Graft vs. Host,” Confrontation, 2009, 104:213-226

“The modest-size ranch, which seemed so comfortable growing up, was now a decayed and withering box, something I imagined would house my poor father’s remains–bloating, liquefying.”

“My Father’s Oz,” Quiddity, 2010, 3:120-126

 

 

Poetry

“Blue Storm,” https://richiesmithwriter.com/2020/05/24/blue-storm/

https://richiesmithwriter.com/thoughts-prior-to-dreams/

https://richiesmithwriter.com/prison/

“Grieving with the Statues,” Compass Rose, Winter 2009

“Cremation of a Memory,” The Texas Review, 2007

“In A Gravitational Meadow,” Mudfish, 2007, 15:42  

 

 

Other Credits

“Dual Images (Requiring Parental Guidance),” The Griffin, 2009

“An Equine Friend,” Mudfish, 2007, 15:43

“His Child Eating,” The Distillery, 2007, 13.2:84

“Observation of a woman in a hotel room,” Cairn, 2007, 42:29

“Fog Land,” Slipstream, 2006: 26

“Following My Shadows and Menopause,” Ducts.org, 2004: 13

© Richie Smith 

© Richie Smith