fictionary… 8 megapixel artist… bloody awful poet

Remembrance Day

remembrance day

The day my life began, I was already seventeen-thousand, one-hundred and seventy days old.  And about one hour.  But what an hour.  I wasn’t ready for her, but she was ready for me.  She was brown, if brown could be its own shade of pastel.  Built like bull wire and tenderness in equal measure, beneath a newborn exterior.  Mine, and more than my redemption.

Today is her day.  The eighth celebration of her life that we, the ones who are graced by her, remember her with.  She is a normal eight-year-old girl.  She loves dolls and hockey, mac and cheese and Brussel sprouts, Shel Silverstein, and Bob’s Burgers.  She is loved, thank God, by her peers and her elders.  And she, thank God, loves her peers and her elders just the same.

And today, because there is love in this world that would not have existed had she not entered it, I write this.  For me.  For her family.  For her.  Because one day, she will read this, as she has already read my poetry.  And she will know that this is who she is to us.

She is the daughter of my daughter.  She is the heart of my heart.  And this day will forever be her birthday.  The eighth so far.  The remembrance day of when my life began.

And hers.


© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Before the Scream

wall 3 scream


I screamed into the night.  There are only so many times you can strike a pillow in the dark, without moving on to the headboard. Or the walls beside your bed. Kicking, outward, at the monsters that manifest, when they should have stayed deeply buried, with the voices, in your head.

Childhood is that place where outbursts are born, and hopefully they find their graves there, forever.  But sometimes, if the outbursts are not buried deep enough, they return.  Mine do.  Though not without just cause, and not because their cultivation was unforeseen.  These things can be felt, if you know what you’re feeling for, and I do.  It’s when the irrational overwhelms the rational.  When the past catches up to the present.  And when the angry little boy takes over the body of the man, trying to sleep through frustration he was never made fit to control.

I always wanted to please him, but he never showed me how.  There were no rules, only accidental connections with whatever it was he wanted out of me.  Smiles, as random as they were unexpected.  And severe rebuke when, in retrospect, a calm word would have caused all the tumblers in all the locks to all at once, miraculously, click into place.  He was harsh, not hurtful.  And when an apology was necessary, it came.  If not in a hurry, then just in time.  So it was, in those apologies, that I learned to give them when they were not asked for, and more so when they were.  And to anyone who required it, for the deeds that I had done.

Yet the last remaining anyone to whom I have to give those words of unconditional acquittal, is me.  Right before the scream.


© 2016 William S. Friday

The Next Time

van gough CUT one

My childhood is the nightlight
of my waning years.
My dad died,
on the front porch of my childhood home,
at the age of 68.
His dog at his side.
Only God could tell you what he,
and the dog,
went through in that moment,
like they spent most days of his retirement.
My mom still worked,
so she was not there when it all went down.
His final heart attack,
with Harry,
their next door neighbor,
finding him long after it was too late.
And Jo-Jo,
his little girl,
the Sheltie who kept him company.

Things we learn so late.
The hug.
The smile and nod.
The dismissal of anger
when anger’s escalation feels so much more natural.
And the acceptance of the flaws of history,
in the things that can never change.
Because the past dies before we do,
yet we hold onto it tighter that we do our own departed loves.

Three days before his passing on the porch,
I had my last dismissal,
in a dinner and a game
with the man whose whole existence would shape my own.
Weakened by years and a failing heart,
he was now not the man of my youth,
but merely the container.
A shell of clear glass,
incapable of concealing anything,
especially the truth.
He was almost dead that night,
but in him I saw only life.
We said goodnight,
not in any sort of dramatic understanding of what was to come,
but in the knowing way two people
of the same DNA hug,
then smile and nod,
expecting nothing more than to do it all again,
the next time.

Except the next time never came.

© 2016 William S. Friday

Breath on Windowpanes


Before I got there
it was gone
All the words that
went with every feeling of my heart

not acute enough to notice
except when accompanied by the will to
give in

Give up
my pursuit of happiness
in the way that turns colors to
chalk beneath December rain

And breath on windowpanes
into wishes
that will not fade until
the coming of spring

© Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

Once Burnts

once burnts

Quitting is easier
You just stop
Of course the consequences
of concerns
laid bare

and the scars that accompany
Twice shys from
more than once burnts

And the dreams
The visions of your heart
that come
if only to explain
what it means

© Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

Serial – Three: Purged

man over toilet bowl on white background. Isolated 3D image

man over toilet bowl

I’ve been asked if I will ever write ‘light’, as if the only emotion I have within me is ‘dark’.  When that happens, I usually shrug.  Not the literal kind, with shoulders that move, and a face like an open-mic comic delivering a punchline.  But an internal shrug that says, “You wouldn’t understand”.  These words of mine, in their form and ordered on the page, are not an extension of all that is within me, but an expression of all that must be purged out of me.

© Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

Serial – Two: In the Distant Shimmer


Happiness is an illusion.  We are told it can be found like water we are convinced exists in the distant shimmer of a mirage.  One step, one lunge, one gulp of hot sand meant to slake the very thirst that was created by the illusion itself.  Self-perpetuating.  Self-fulfilling.  Self-defeating.  It kills as it gives life.  Slowly, and with the surety of a lover’s skilled hands.  Convincing us that the way things are, is the way things should be.  Even if we die in the process.


© Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

Serial – One: I’m Sorry

billfridaydotcom SERIAL 01

I say “I’m sorry” almost every time I stop long enough to take it all in.  A breath held deep, and released slow.  A long pull and swallow of a cold, bitter beer.  A glance that lingers in the wrong direction.  Every one an unfortunate reminder of a broken something that can never be set right, like a bone to be mended.  Only to be lived with, limped on.  The pain, dull and almost forgotten, a reminder.

© Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

I Imagine (my Ex)



I imagine a world where my Ex falls for the guy she bitched about the most during our time together.  A world where he treats her like shit, because she deserves it.  Or so she says later.

I also imagine a world where Exes can wish each other Happy Birthday.  Not just one of them, and then silence from the other.

I imagine a world where I am fulfilled and loved, and in love.

And then,

I imagine a world where all my mistakes never happened.  But in that world, all the mistakes go away, and with them all the good that has come from them along the way.  And I stop, and wish for my Ex all the happiness I don’t think I deserve.


© Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

Turn Your Head And Drive



Here it is.  Day 30.  The final day of NaBloPoMo, 2015.

No holding anything back for another day, another week… another year.  It’s all-in day.  Go big or go home.  Ride or die.  All clichés on the table.  A way for a writer to leave an impression that lasts for 11 more months.  So what are you getting out of me?

A song.  A blues song, to be specific.  With music and lyrics, and vocals, by this guy…

Bill Friday

So here it is.  For the last day of November, this is…

“Turn Your Head And Drive”



Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

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