Fourteen Stories Submitted as Poems


Eli S. Evans







I am not the kind of man who speaks with the authority of authority, as though possessing authority were proof of having earned it and having earned it proof of being deserving of it, nor am I the kind of man who believes he is the only man for the job.  Furthermore, I am not the kind of man who looks like he has a mustache even when he does not have a mustache (I do not have a mustache).  All the same, a woman did once accuse me of stalking her.  And was I, in fact, stalking her?  I suppose that depends on your definition of stalking — or, rather, hers.






The doctor is worried that I might be addicted to it.  I am certain that I would not be able to function properly without it.  It occurs to me that these are really just two different ways of saying the same thing, but that nevertheless, only one of us can be right.




The Man with the Ear…


…is how I think of him, but technically he is a man with one-and-a-half ears.




There and Here


All things considered, I would prefer to live here, and yet at any given moment, including this one, I would prefer to be there. This means that if I were there as often as I would like to be there, then for all intents and purposes I would live there, in which case I would, by the very same logic according to which I right now prefer to be there, surely prefer right now to be here, from which it follows that, preferring to be elsewhere, I am nonetheless exactly where I want to be.




The Job


I did not want the job; I wanted the money.  But I am not angry because I will not get the money; I am angry because I did not get the job.




Or Have I?


I was 39 years old when my son was born.  This is not quite ancient, but it is old enough that as I notice my son getting smarter every day, I notice myself getting dumber.  Case in point: I have already forgotten the pithy closing sentence I had in mind when I sat down to compose this little story.




Child vs. Horse


When I think about how much work it takes to care for a child, I can’t help but think that it must take even more work to care for a horse.




Dog and Me


It is widely accepted that dogs and humans age at different rates (though the difference is a matter of some controversy), but this depends on the metric with which one measures aging.  For instance, when I acquired my current dog ten years ago, we were both so young that if either of us had died people would have deemed it too soon; now, we are both old enough that if either of us were to die tonight, people would simply consider it too bad, ah, that’s too bad.




The Liberation of Spirit


What a wonder it is to have at last reached a point in my life at which it is possible for me to take pleasure in doing things I am not good at, and cannot reasonably expect to become good at — and how many such things I might try, just for the fun of it, if only they were better suited to being done poorly.




More on the Man with the Ear


After wearing a baseball cap for as long as I have been seeing him at this café to which we both sometimes come to write, the man who is missing the top half of his right ear suddenly shows up one morning wearing a brand new oilskin hat of the sort one associates with horses and duster coats.  I would like to think he acquired it in the hopes of hiding his halved ear in the shadow of its brim, but for one thing the ear is not hidden, and for another, I know from having observed him over many months that he is not ashamed of his ear.  It is only this latter that bothers me.






The number of stories I’ve written in the café about writing stories in the café is obscene, and has just increased by one.






Even now, in the midst of everything, I think it is important to stay creative and write something new every day.  Some days, I also think: one of two ain’t bad.




The Reader


I have realized that what I most appreciate in a piece of literature is feeling like I could write something just as good.




Even More on the Man with the Ear


Now I am thinking that what really bothers me about the man with the ear is not the halved ear itself, nor, for that matter, the seeming lack of self-consciousness with which he displays it, but rather the possibility that he might be writing something better than me.









Eli S. Evans has recently published, published not quite so recently, or will shortly publish work in N+1, X-R-A-Y Lit, Drunk Monkeys, Eclectica, Berfrois, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, On the Seawall, Right Hand Pointing (One Sentence Poems division) and various other now defunct publications.  He has a small obscure book project forthcoming in collaboration with the small obscure literary journal Johnny America.



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