Publicat de: leonard oprea | 26 August 2013

JEFF HOWE – the American hyper-realism’s beauty, or “No Time Outs Left”


JEFF HOWE – the American hyper-realism’s beauty, or “No Time Outs Left”

A Short Bio

Oh, let’s see. My name is Jeff Howe and I like to write sometimes, mostly when the mood strikes, I guess, which really sort of lets on that I don’t do it for a living.

I have written poetry, fiction, blog entries, even advertising content, but there’s none of that here.  These are all books of compilations of some of my work.

There’s love poetry, light poetry, dark poetry, poetry that deals with death, life and relationships.  Some of it is autobiographical, and some of it is downright humorous.

There’s also short stories, both in prose poetry form and regular prose.  I rather enjoy stories that have a neat twist at the end (like the Twilight Zone), so I have incorporated those into my own work.

There’s also commentary to be found in some of the introductions and in the essays I included in Hallucination of Majestic Elephants, Echoes from the Antechamber and Patterns at the Periphery.

I have entered poetry contests and fiction contests with some success.  I have also been a member of several online poetry review sites, but that has lapsed somewhat recently.

I do not write erotic poetry or stories, nor do I write anything having to do with demons, vampires, werewolves or anything occultic.  I am a firm believer in the idea that a good story will always entertain without having to include prurient or occultic materials.  Additionally, the language I use could be rated no worse than PG 99.9% of the time.  If you have any questions about the other .1%, just email me.

I am originally from Maine, went to college in Massachusetts, did a hitch in the US Army where I met my wife.  We returned to Maine in 1987 and have lived here ever since.  We have two sons and a town government that keeps increasing our property taxes in outrageous fashion.

Just a regular guy.

Hope this tells you enough to pique your interest.  See ya ‘round the web.

***

No Time Outs Left

It was a lazy summer night with just a little humidity, not the kind that makes the skin slick as if coated with mucilage, but just enough to feel like a cozy warm blanket pulled up around the neck.

Across the road was a large field of tall grass that would be hayed in less than a month. It was dotted with clover, Queen Anne’s lace, daisies, all silver-rippled under a hazy full moon.

A dense forest at the far end of the field provided a dark backdrop for the diamond dance of fireflies flickering their neon attraction, like so many cigarette tips glowing from a puff.

Don sat on the dark porch facing the road, the field, iced tea glass in hand; its condensation moistening his palm. His face was dimly lit from a small AM/FM radio on the table next to him as he listened to a ballgame. It was the bottom of the ninth inning and the Cleveland Indians were leading the Red Sox, 5-3.

The sounds of the game, the steady drone of cicadas chirping their night anthem, and the occasional squeak of the chair as Don shifted his weight were the only sounds that could be heard in this country evening.

Except for maybe a soft moaning from inside the house.

Bottom of the 9th and there are two outs with two men on, Lowell on second and Gonzalez on first. At the plate is Coco Crisp. Crisp has gone 1 for 4 tonight, a single in the third inning. Matt Davis goes into his windup….

‘… Coco Crisp,’ thought Don, ‘Now there’s a hell of a name. Guy is fast, plays the field better than Damon ever did and can hit. But he sounds like a friggin’ breakfast cereal.’

Strike one on the corner. Looks like it caught Crisp by surprise. Davis is throwing in the low nineties, and he’s got some movement on it…

Don gently shook his head, smiled a bit and leaned back into his creaky chair, sipping at his iced tea.

Smoking.

Too many years, too many cigarettes. He felt numb.

His thoughts wandered…

Back… back… back…

He could see his and Emma’s wedding day as if it were just yesterday and what a day it was all satin and lace and ribbons and
grace and smiling faces.

The honeymoon in Cancun where both were so terribly sunburned that there wasn’t much happening for romantic evenings, burnt to a crisp they both joked, but the laughter didn’t come till later.

The days the weeks the years the jobs the houses the kids a lot of water under the bridge and ….

‘Damn, there’s that moaning again.’

Strike two to Coco Crisp. Oh he got jammed on that one. They say that Matt Davis had a real talent for going up and in on batters in college…

Don swore. Two strikes and no time outs left.

Coco Crisp, his real name Covelli,but his grandma called him Coco as a little boy and it stayed with him. Covelli Crisp.. Coco Crisp. Coco is better even if it does sound like a breakfast cereal.

‘One ball and two strikes and damn if Crisp ain’t gonna strike out and lose the game for the Sox…

just like last time and if he keeps it up Red Sox Nation is just going to

… burn him to a crisp.’

Don chuckled at his own thought. Every night he turned on the radio

and listened to Red…

The Red Sox. Does color have a sound?

Sure does, it’s the sound and smells of beer in the stands, peanuts in hand yelling at umpires, yelling at the other team, turning red from sunburn because you forgot to wear a hat to the afternoon game. A more innocent time, a more innocent color…

More moans.

Don stood, stretched, went in the front door and walked to the master bedroom where the moans were coming from. He picked up the shotgun and gasoline can he had left earlier on the floor.

On the bed, the blood-soaked bed

… HIS blood-soaked bed,

where little Alison and Don, Jr. were conceived….

Little Alison, now married with children of her own, would always be little Alison to Don. And Don, Jr now serving with the Marines, those friggin’ jarheads in Iraq.

Those glorious, hyped up, motivated JARHEADS!

… on the bed were two naked, bloody bodies, eyes closed, blood oozing from many small puncture wounds in the chests, stomachs, and necks.

Moving slightly with each moan, it looked like a grotesque form of foreplay.

Emma.

Emma and Tim Covelli, Don’s best friend.

ON DON’S BED.

Don stared at the two. He saw red.

He’d suspected for a long time.

Birdshot (it was all he had) just didn’t get the job done.

Now Don was going to have to burn Emma and Covelli (Coco?) to a crisp. Then maybe they’d look like a breakfast cereal, maybe Cocoa Puffs.

He opened the gas can and sprinkled it over the bed. His wife and best friend stirred a bit, started moving with a little more purpose.

Don emptied the contents of the can on the bed and splashed the rest around the bedroom. He then took his lit cigarette – Emma and Covelli were struggling now to get up – tossed it into the center of the bed and quickly went out the door. There was a loud

WHOOM!!

… then came the screams.

Don moved some furniture in front of the bedroom door and went back out to the porch, shotgun still in hand.

It was a warm, lazy summer night outside. There was a silver, hazy moon in the sky.

The radio was on – baseball was on!

Crisp has now worked the count to three and two. The pitch, Crisp fouls it off into the stands…

Don sat in his chair and said, “Coco, yeah that’s much better than Covelli.”

He placed the barrel of the shotgun in his mouth and thought.. ‘They’re gonna burn him to a crisp. And there are no time outs left.’

He pulled the trigger.

The pitch, Crisp swings, connects .. it’s a towering shot .. it’s going going, it’s out of here!

COCO CRISP HAS HIT A THREE RUN WALK-OFF HOMERUN!

THE RED SOX HAVE WON!

THE RED SOX HAVE WON!

***

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