Archive for the ‘Robert Vaughan’ Category

Four Myths

By Robert Vaughan

Myth One

Against the fog he was a big man. Against the fire tower he stood out like Paul Bunyon. And there were a great many folks who respected him: firefighter, crusader, bowler of the year. Award-winning spelunker. But we’re his other family. Who would have even known? Not me, not my sister. I try not to remember. I try to tamper down the stink.

Myth Two

Somebody said she did it for kicks. Another said it was all for attention. I thought it was pretty stupid. Christmas day. Hovering over a fence along a country road? Wearing just a gauzy slip? A surefire way to end up in the loony- bin where Aunt Tina is a lifelong resident. My sister has done some fairly idiotic things, and this was just another in the line of icy dumbass dumb-ness.

Myth Three

Let’s play marco polo she said. I’m unsure you can do that in the ocean. The roar of the waves, the salt in your ears. The leadbelly bottom and sandy rewards. I said let’s disappear into the surf, dissolve into foamy crests, creammate our desires into damp, fertile depths. {hold our breaths forever, in unison}.

Myth Four

Another small town filled with cheer. You couldn’t miss the liquor sign. Tallest sign in the county, higher than any billboard, larger than every building. Lit up at night, like my daddy was, mostly. Sometimes, the ‘q’ and the ‘u’ would flicker off, and the rest of the word, ‘lior’ reminded me of what I did after he touched me.

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One Night Out

By Robert Vaughan

Tonight I will go out.   Stand in a corner.   Couples will look.   Everyone once in a while someone will be standing close.   Mitch.   Or that actor Jack.   They may say howsitgoin or whassup or happnin.   Or just stare.   I could dance if I wear the proper pants.   I may get shitfaced and breakdown my barriers.   I would laugh where I’m not allowed.   Giggle then get real solemn.   Bold.

Maybe if somebody looks long enough I might walk over there.  But I highly doubt it.

I’m ready to be up all night.   Guys and girls might come over.   Watch T.V. or sleep.  Talk.   Then I’ll slip out.   Leave them right there in my own place.   Call the cops and have them arrested.   I’ll split for Vegas, spend all their dough.  They won’t care.

They just go out again.   Cycle.   Rinse.   Repeat.

I’m the one who grows.   And I win every time.

So what.   So you left.   I’m glad you did.   Look at the fun I’m having.   You had just better hope I never run into you.   It’ll be worse than the last time.  You wait and see.   I carry a chainsaw in the trunk of my car.   Just in case.

Won’t be long now.  I’m thinking all this while I get ready.

Tonight.  The first night in a long time.

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Fill the Void

By Robert Vaughan

She asks inane questions like will bing cherries help my heart?
Or: have you decided which tires you will purchase?
How does your new car handle snow?
She can’t stop the incessant chatter in her brain. Talks to
endless relatives, even those she only partially related to,
probing, over-sharing, offering them unsolicited advice.
When husband asks will you massage
my sacrum, she recoils in disgust.

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Cowboys & Indians

By Robert Vaughan

It wasn’t that it never happened,
it’s that I had to change it. Because
once I was tied-up in a harmless
game of cowboys and indians,
I discovered it was the only
way for me to
feel aroused. No, to
feel anything. And then I
went from being tied up, to blindfolds,
to harnesses, and various
forms of thrills. Who knew
some harmless childhood game
would leave such lasting impressions.

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By Robert Vaughan

He was overweight and talked
to himself with relish.
He squinted suspiciously,
mostly on overcast days.
His bubblegum stench
was apparently due to gum
wrappers washed in his
pants pockets. He fought the
law and went bankrupt. Joined
crew on a vessel cruising
the South Pacific Seas. Directed
their production of
“Best Little Whorehouse
in Texas” which performed
during both breakfast
and dinner buffets. Ended up
in Malaysia running a
teenaged prostitution ring.

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By Robert Vaughan


The teacher released the deformed creature.

“Won’t a wolf get it?” Timmy asked.

Mr. Jamison said, “No way to know.”

We watched it hobble through the grass, toward the copse of trees.

“I think it’s sad,” Juanita said.

Part of life, I heard dad say a millionth time. Just like mom’s lymphoma.

Part of life.


The teacher let the deformed creature go. We were a small handful of chaperones

at the Science Center. No one saw me grab the creature from the bushes. My little Debbie

turned and threw me a look, mom, you coming? The creature didn’t stir, not a peep.

I started to salivate. Would it taste better with cumin or cardomom?

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