Month: February 2017

Fist Shaped Kisses

Photo by Mad Otaku
She slaps my face and I don’t move

My cheek flares in shades of red

Her hand cuts through the air

The sound of it cracking into my skin

Echoes through the halls of the small apartment

I stand there like an unmovable oak

She swings again

Her hand was closed

Her rings raked my soft skin

Currents of crimson streaked my face

I would never hit her

I was raised better

She wasn’t

But love makes you do stupid things

Trying to prove how much you cared

By bleeding on the kitchen floor

I can’t even remember what started it all

I think I made chicken

I think it was lemon chicken

She doesn’t like lemon chicken

I think I knew that

But I forget sometimes

Her left hand’s knuckles crack into me ear

The ringing is intense as I stumbled

She called me names

I could feel my eyes deceive me

They begin to well

I loved her smile

I loved her soft touch

I loved her sweet words

At least I think I did

I haven’t heard them for years

I have not heard much aside from how I failed

I have not heard much but my shortcomings

I brought home my money to see it disappear

I made the food to see it get destroyed

She stands over me now

Mocking my tears

Calling me less of a man

I could crush her throat with one hand

But I take it

I take it for what I thought was love

She throws the plate of chicken at me

The plate busts my forehead open

The hot blood fills my sight

Tears mixed with blood

The taste of iron and salt on my lips

I rise to my feet

I walk away from her

My movements are sluggish

She shoves me from behind and I stumble again

A bloody handprint on the wall

I make it to the bedroom

She is right there

Telling me I am scum

Telling me how she should have fucked my friend instead

I pull out a suitcase I haven’t used since our honeymoon

I empty my two drawers

I put my six hangers of pants into the case

She tells me I’m a fuck up

She would be better off

I grab my hat and coat

My hand reaches the doorknob

She falls silent

She grabs my arm

She asks me to stay

I turn my swollen bleeding head

I stare at her hard enough for her to break her hold

I turn the knob and the evening sun burns my eyes

But for some reason

Some strange reason

I am smiling

“Fist Shaped Kisses” by Rio Martin


Insomniac Padre de los Niños

Life drains from me drop by drop as I stare at different parts of my room. TV holds no interest. The rest of the house slumbers. I lay here on my bed with no feeling of being tired. I would love nothing more than to sleep but I just stare. I see images in the acoustic ceiling. A clown is paying his loanshark who is actually a shark.

Pandora streams music into my ears in the hopes that it inspires sleep. But all it does is inspire the words that I write here. I would say that life brings my currents state but I am doing fairly well. I simply don’t sleep. I simply lay here. I tried turning my phone into a white noise machine. It is peaceful but I often imagine being on the beach I hear with my toes in the cool wet sand with a cold beer dangling from my fingertips. 

Is there a solution to this or is madness an eventuality. Will I become a victim of duality? Who is Tyler Durden? Will I find out someday soon? I could shave my head but I think I would get cold. Fighting people at night seems daunting, though being knocked out could be conducive to sleep. Consciousness suddenly being flung from your body by blunt force trauma as you collapse on the floor of a basement with the sound of a butcher dropping a side of beef. A cold slap echoes through the ears of those who witness the event. 

I am trying to find a place in this world where my tires will catch and traction will be achieved but until then the engine keeps revving and the gas burns away with little to no distance achieved. So I will listen to my music in the darkness. Letting it claim me and hope for sweet release to eventually find me. Sent by some greater force who felt pity for the tired father who worked through sickness and hell for the last week. Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead! The darkness swallows everything, but my eyes never close.

The Smiles We Wear

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She sits up in the quiet of her apartment. Not a sound but her movement and a leave blower in the far off distance. She stares at the floor as her toes pinch at the carpet. A sigh escapes her mouth as she brushes her brunette locks out of her face. The quiet already begins to make her uneasy as she grabs her phone and turns on Pandora. She selects a station of French jazz as it fills her room. She pushes herself up from the bed, her legs getting used to the weight of her body. She doesn’t turn on a light because the pain it would cause her eyes at this point is not worth it.
She finally hears a noise in the next room as her girls rustle around. She slips on her pajama pants and comes out into the hall. She pops into their room and says good morning. The oldest is still bed and the youngest is lying on the ground next to her bed, squirming on the floor like a fish out of water. She rolls hers eyes and a small smile comes across her face as she prompts them for breakfast.
Soon the girls are sitting at the table eating cereal and watching Mickey Mouse. She wanders back down the hall after starting the coffee pot. She grabs her work outfit for the day and her bra and panties and heads for the bathroom. She looks at her tired eyes in the mirror and yawns, she pinches her little tummy and hoists her breasts up to where they were five years ago. It wasn’t too much of a difference, but that second child was like a milk vampire and her nipple had gotten so big from her abusive little mouth. She laughed when she made her nipples hard.
She took her shower and braided her hair once she was out, letting it dry in the braid. She slipped on her work clothes and tightened the straps on her bra before slipping on her shirt. Might as well make them seem like they were 25 again. She smiled and admired herself in the mirror. She was pretty, but she was definitely older. She winked at herself.
The oldest had already gotten dressed in the clothes her mother laid out for her the night before. The youngest was strewn around the couch. She prompted them to brush their teeth, and they both went into the bathroom with only being told four times, the last with a little growl. She poured her coffee into her tumbler and put her non-dairy creamer in and one sugar as she slid the toast down into the toaster. She loved bread but didn’t want to eat it all the time, so she started to make toast in the morning with some of her favorite raspberry jam.
She looked up from her toast and her eyes caught a family picture on the fridge. He was there, smiling, now he was across town. Today was the day they were going with him. She felt that familiar tightening in her chest, she would be saying goodbye to her children this morning for a whole week. She breathed deep and pushed the tears back down. She put her toast together into a sandwich and slid it into a sandwich bag.
It only took until the very last minute to get them all out of the house, still dragging the youngest behind her. She hugged them both tightly as she put them in the car. She started her old clunker that she got from her parents and pulled out of the carport and headed to their home so they could watch the youngest for the day. She saw her youngest playing with her chestnut brown hair and using it as a paintbrush on the foggy windows, a small smile played on her face. Her oldest had a thoughtful look on her face and then she locked eyes with her in the rearview. Her eyes were no longer thoughtful, but intense, and with tears at the edge of them. She knows what today means.
They pull into the driveway of her parent’s home and she gets out and walks around to her youngest’s door and lets her out and squats down to hug her tightly and stands up, her daughter’s legs swing in the air as she laughs. She kisses her on her soft rosy cheeks and sets her down. She tells her to be good for grandma and grandpa and she said she would. Grandma comes out and kisses the oldest and her daughter on the cheek and gives her a hug, she knows what today means too.
They waves as they leave the driveway. The road is long to school and her daughter sat their quietly. She told her she loved her. The daughter repeated the sentiment quietly from her seat. She looked in the rearview and saw her looking out the window but knew the face. She knew she was crying. She had a way of crying without making a single noise. She told her daughter she knew it was hard and that she would always love her no matter what happened. He daughter sniffled and shook her head.
 But them her daughter called her name and pointed out the window. In the distance a wide rainbow could be seen in the coming rain, cast by the morning sun. It looked like the clouds were raining colors. They marveled at it together. They talked about the colors. They enjoyed their moment. It was their moment. It couldn’t be stolen, it was something they would remember together. Her daughter said she should have snapped a pic, but then she said that they did, right in their heads. It was a picture for them to share. Her daughter seemed pleased with that answer.
They were at school, she came around and hugged her daughter. Then her daughter saw some friends and said goodbye as she ran away from her. She waved with a smile on her face, shielding her pain from the surface. She watched her daughter disappear into the grounds of the school, she would see her on FaceTime tonight hopefully for a fleeting moment. She got into the car and started it up, she was able to make it two blocks from the school before balling her eyes out. The tears splashed on her pants and she leaned against the wheel. She pulls her parts together and drive to work with her sunglasses hiding the trails of her tears as she wiped the strays away.

“The Smiles We Wear” by Rio Martin

New Grounds


So life as a single father and writer is challenging. Time seems to be one of those things that doesn’t happen for one who needs to write, raise children, work a full time job, and is going through a divorce as well as learning how to be single again. I am ill prepared. I sleep 4-5 hours a night. I take anti-depressants. I am lonely.

I wake in the mornings with immediate action happening in an otherwise zombie like body. I trudge around waking children if they hadn’t woke me already and wander about trying to feed them without waking my parents. Oh yes, did I mention I had to move back home with my already helicopter parents. It sucks big guerilla balls. Anyway, I manage to feed them and then I bypass food in order to shower. I come out and they are usually ready to get changed into clothes at that point. My older boy can pick his own clothes thank goodness. My youngest is like trying to put a tuxedo on a carp.

If my inner beast mode dad hasn’t kicked in yet and my patience has stayed intact, then we move onto grooming them and brushing their teeth. From their I take my goblins and say be free until we leave. They meander into their own little worlds and I attempt to shove food in my face like a death row inmate and pour nearly scolding coffee down my scarred throat in an attempt to jump start my body.

The time has come to load them up. If the youngest is staying with Grandma and Grandpa, I give him a hug and wish them luck. If he isn’t, I drag him out of the house like he is being taken to the gallows. My oldest usually looses his shoes, or looks for his backpack, or finds some other reason to drag his feet. We make it to the car by the grace of the Universe.

I drive around like Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver and deliver them with a quickness to their perspective destinations. I sigh a breath of relief. Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys and would slaughter anyone who fucks with them, but I don’t know one parent whose shoulders don’t drop a little after they drop their kids off.

I then proceed to shove myself through eight house of work. Doing a soul crushing job weighs on you like adding a small pebble to a bag on your back everyday. Do that over nine years and you want to just let your legs go and collapse under the weight. But you can’t, you push through because kids have to eat, alimony has to be paid, creditors circle like vultures waiting to pick the meat from your proverbial monetary bones.

I stopped smoking 9 years ago when I found out I was having my first child. I was like fuck this noise, it’s expensive and my wife smoked and quit and I wasn’t going to be a dick about it. Plus, I had to not be dying of cancer on these kids from doing something stupid like smoking. So, I stopped. I may have one cigarette when I am really drunk, but I usually feel like crap the next day and hate the smell of it. So I am over it. So that little escape does not exist anymore.

I get off work and pick up my boys, I hug them and ask them about their days. Sometimes the stories vary in length or they are like the never ending story. I enjoy hearing about their days as a happy escape from my day. I listen to them talk to each other in the car. I occasionally chime in on their conversations of come in to regulate on an argument.

I come home with them to my Mom cooking dinner or us going out to dinner. I miss my own kitchen. I miss making food for my boys. But it is not my kitchen and I don’t want to overstep my bounds in a place that is not my own. I know they would say otherwise, but it doesn’t feel that way, period.

My youngest debates actually eating. My oldest picks through his food and eats what he wants. I eat the food because I am hungry and have to show my appreciation for the food. We talk, we eat, and we clean up. I wash the boys after dinner and they run around in PJ’s afterward. Washing these boys has honestly gotten a lot easier, so I am thankful for that. I usually just hand out in the bathroom to make sure no one dies and manage time because we are on a septic system. I hang out with them and we watch cartoons or play games.

From there it is usually bed time. I take them to bed. Some nights it is a scene from the WWE and some nights its cuddles and kisses. I have them FaceTime their mother and they talk to her for 5 minutes or so before bed. Then they say goodbye and we go from there. I pull my lil one’s toddler bed closer to his brother’s and turn on music for lullabies and sing them to sleep. they now fall asleep within minutes with me singing to them. It is something that has taken time to figure out. But with a combination of my touching their legs or patting them and singing soft songs to them, it comforts them and they fall asleep. I used to just want to be alone and get them to sleep. But feeling their small bodies finally relax under my touch and hearing their sleep sounds in an otherwise melodic room, it makes me happy.

So by 8-9pm I go by my parents and talk to them for a little before retiring to my room. I go on my writing social networks and talk to friends. My mind is muddled from the day and I try and see if I can find some strand of creativity in my body left from the day. I sometimes do and I start writing. But other days I just end up playing Skyrim or talking to friends. I feel like I am lost in a way but I also feel like I am so different. I am not who I was in either way. I am not who I was before I was married, nor am I the same guy I was when I was married. I am a new creature. I am something else. I am a single father.

I conclusion I feel I must say, my life is crazy, it’s packed, and it’s a regular cluster fuck. But all in all it isn’t half bad. I hope to use my tax return to finance my first and last months rent. I also hope to finally come to a new agreement for the money with my ex because the original six months is up on our agreement and something new must be discussed. I also hope to be filing soon. So this is how it is. This is my life. So if I ever sound a little crazy or a little nuts… Well now you know why.