The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

The Art of Tetman Callis header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'Words'

Intruder

September 20th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Things happened at night and I don’t remember which of them was real and was happening outside my head. Someone was trying to break in through the back windows or the front door. I got up in the dark and went to my closet and pulled my rifle out and walked down the hallway in […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Fire Sale

September 19th, 2013 · No Comments

You don’t have what they want to buy. You’re reading Thomas Aquinas on the corporeality of angels, spiritual substance made manifest through form, and not even you will buy that. It goes in the back room, with the boxes of used quill pens, and the jars of cold and hardened phlogiston. Crowded back there. Arson […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

The Church of Edmund

September 17th, 2013 · No Comments

Edmund sat on the corner in front of the Fourth Presbyterian Church. He rattled a battered McDonald’s cup at passersby, Excuse me, could you help me get a shower? Sir? Lady? His eyes were tired, very tired. No one stopped, no one dropped anything into his cup. Someone had earlier, I looked into the cup […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Words

Her Tells

September 16th, 2013 · 2 Comments

When she stops talk ing in the mid dle of a sentence or even of a word and looks at her plate or the table top or her glass or a fork or who can tell— it means she remembers what was said. When she sits with her hand in her lap and picks at […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Shower Curtain

September 15th, 2013 · No Comments

Lunch is a plastic cup of instant noodles. Pour boiling water in the cup and let it sit for three minutes. Be careful serving it to children, it is hot. You can eat it straight out of the cup. I am not a child. The cup of instant noodles is beef flavor and tastes of […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Words

Chicken Noodle Soup

September 14th, 2013 · 2 Comments

She knew right away. He saw it in the look on her face. He never knew how she knew. He rolled away and said, Sorry. I can’t I can’t do this, she said. I can’t —it will be six weeks before graduation and I can’t. He told her whatever she wanted to do, he would […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Words

The Storm of the Street

September 13th, 2013 · No Comments

There are matters of sidewalk etiquette that now should be addressed. Whom to say hello to and whom not, and principles of eye contact and gaze aversion. The skinny old retired grey-haired Professor of Avuncular Studies, with his kind and gentle smile and his friendly good morning, to him you not only can return the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Mopping Up

September 12th, 2013 · No Comments

Wounded people, injured, sick, they sit out front of the Rehab Shoppe on stone benches and in wheelchairs. People with no legs and with tumors and one guy who’s lost his hands in one of the wars. They smoke their cigarettes, cigars, and pipes and say, What does it matter? That we smoke, what we […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Supermarket

September 11th, 2013 · No Comments

There was only one cashier on duty and she wasn’t there. The manager was pissed off and pushed the restocking cart into one of the customers, careful to avoid eye contact. The automatic change dispenser didn’t dispense any change. The cashier arrived and told the manager, You put it on backwards. She unlocked her register, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Politics & Law · Words

Clubs

September 9th, 2013 · 4 Comments

Foggy morning along a beach populated by shadows. Two in the shallows, man and woman, she giggles, No, it’s not…. His voice low rumbling, she says, Because, it’s because, that’s all…. Atop each breakwater a solo shadow, one taking morning exercise in front of a small jumble of bikes, two others sitting, legs dangling over […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Words

Backswing

September 8th, 2013 · No Comments

Out back of the main building in the hard-packed khaki dirt there’s a long and narrow tin awning supported on slender steel poles painted a nubby industrial beige. Young people wearing jeans or cargo pants and white t-shirts and protective helemts swing baseball bats at each other, not attempting to make contact and do each […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

The Teens

September 6th, 2013 · No Comments

Families gather in the small lakeside park every evening. The parents and aunts and uncles sit in folding chairs and talk. Someone grills meats on a portable grill. Children play on the beach and in the shallows. They squeal and scream and laugh and shout and run around and dig holes in the sand with […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

The Cost of Living

September 5th, 2013 · No Comments

Eight dollars is the cost of admission to Greenwood Beach. Seven dollars and a quarter is the federal minimum wage for hourly workers under certain circumstances.  The state’s minimum is eight and a quarter.  These are the wages beneath which it is considered no worker could be justly paid, unless that worker is a tipped […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Politics & Law · Words

Canute the Ninja

September 4th, 2013 · 2 Comments

A slender boy of about twelve wears a black t-shirt and black exercise pants with a silver stripe up each leg like a cavalry trooper’s pants. He has a stick about as long and curved as a cutlass.  He stands lakeside at the water’s edge.  Waves that reach to his knees and sometimes up his […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Supper

September 3rd, 2013 · No Comments

The gulls circle above the lake, searching for supper.  They eye the clear waters below, spot fish, pause, turn, empty the air from under their wings in a fall that looks as if their wings have suddenly broken, hit the water beak-first, dive to catch their meal, come back up and beat their way back […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Words

Hey, Mister

September 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

It rained last night. (This is not the weather report.) Current conditions: the sun is soon to rise and the cardinals chirp their high, metallic, scrapy chirp that sounds like an effect from German techno-pop of a generation ago (Trans-Europe Express!  First In, First Out!) There is a man who goes every morning and every […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Lost Things and Missing Persons

September 1st, 2013 · 6 Comments

The British litmag Litro published my short story, “Lost Things and Missing Persons,” at the end of April this year.  I’ve added it to the Previously Published Stories sidebar to the right.   Share this… Facebook Pinterest Twitter Linkedin Email Print

[Read more →]

Tags: Previously Published Stories · Words

Lakefront Dusk, Late August

August 31st, 2013 · No Comments

Fat boys with the breasts of pubescent girls take off their shirts do cannonballs off the dock. Toddler soils his pants squeals on the beachfront. Auntie strips him down washes him in the lake. Devil’s darning needles stitch the fading sky with random dancing patterns of appetite and death. Share this… Facebook Pinterest Twitter Linkedin […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Peace

August 30th, 2013 · No Comments

I’m Kelly.  It’s an Irish name. I’m black Irish.  I’m not from here.  I’m from farther south, from that part of town where five people were shot in front of the church last night.  On the steps of the church, they were just standing there.  Not hurting anyone. You don’t have a gun, do you? […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Having Enough

August 29th, 2013 · No Comments

He told his wife, When I scratch my face I am scratching my face, not making secret baseball signs. When I say I’m going to clean the couch, it’s not because I think you “did something dirty” on it or to it (no one says you did), it’s because the generous people who gave it […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Barely Otherwise

August 28th, 2013 · No Comments

Evanston is a town that sits on the left shoulder of Chicago, facing up (right shoulder if you’re facing down). It is protected by an asphalt moat patrolled by civilian traffic, a vast cemetary where fog twists around large monuments to people barely otherwise remembered, and a train track fatally electrified and lined by deciduous […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Words

Rogers Park

August 27th, 2013 · 2 Comments

There’s a party in the alleyway every night. It’s August, it’s hot, what’re you going to do? Sit in your stuffy apartment, puny wall-unit wheezing a lie of cool, refreshing air? Watch some fast-food brain shit on the box? Drink thin beer from cheap cans, scream at the wife who screams at the boy while […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Politics & Law · Words

What It Means

August 26th, 2013 · No Comments

You didn’t ask—no one has asked but this is why I’m afraid of black people: I’m afraid of black people because television shows, movies, newspapers, magazines, and popular songs have taught me that black people hate me and want to hurt me because I’m white and because being white makes me guilty both of injustices […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Politics & Law · Words

Scoured

August 25th, 2013 · No Comments

The weeping man lied to God. He—the weeping man, not God (who may well be a she, or an it, or all three, plus…)— he is in the basement laundry room pulling the clean, wet clothes from the washer to put them into the dryer, where they will spin around for sixty minutes and he […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Block Party

August 24th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Five dollars’ admission. All the neighbors (who can pay) are there. Canvas folding chairs (bring your own) line the curbside along green parkways. Dogs crap in those parkways. The new kids on the block are in attendance.  They are middle-aged and are me and my wife. We are shy but determined, frightened of people but […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Politics & Law · Words

Refugee

August 23rd, 2013 · No Comments

She doesn’t have her great-grandmother’s childhood book of stories and verse her grandmother’s cast-iron skillet her grandfather’s favorite glazed blue bowl or even her mother’s hand-knit afghan collection of imperial stamps and coins rocks from the Garden of the Gods. Her father collaborated with the enemy fled with her mother and older brother he was […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Branches

August 22nd, 2013 · 2 Comments

Boys gone wilding in the night have torn these branches down. Beat each other bloody with the splintered ends. Beat their girls, their lovers and their children. Broken bones, bruises, contusions, lacerations, punctures, abrasions.  Branches litter the breakwater. Leaves surf the waves.  The lake is churning this morning, waters muddy. Share this… Facebook Pinterest Twitter […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Castles

August 21st, 2013 · No Comments

The north wind is a hand it pushes at the Great Lakes freighter moving along the horizon The freighter pushes back its bridge and forecastle all that can be seen from the beach where the hand pushes waves up the sand washing away the castles the children built Gulls stretch their arms and stand aloft […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Down the Breakwater

August 20th, 2013 · 8 Comments

The lake is never still. It can calm to the point where it’s glassy over the shallows, and the waves barely ripple onto the beach, their sloshing easily inaudible when an airliner flies over on its approach to O’Hare. The sky is overcast, the clouds a low, quiet jumble in blue and gray and even […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Gallipoli

August 19th, 2013 · No Comments

We hit the beach under heavy fire. The first wave reached the seawall and they were all killed.  Their bodies fell back on the second wave, and the following waves, and all the soldiers in all the waves were shot down.  They fell back on those of us behind so fast, we were being buried […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words