Breakfast of Champions – Reverie 2011 – Day 12

The glass of fresh-squeezed OJ, the bowl of steel-cut oatmeal littered with golden raisins and walnuts, the deep black coffee colored with cream.  And the books of war poetry: Brian Turner, Yusef Komunyakaa, Bruce Weigl.  Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam.  I look into my empty coffee cup and wonder about the cold sweet water, the betel-black smiles, Nixon’s Christmas bombing, the way the world turns for the soldier shot down amidst elephant grass and the man who was once a boy on the coast of Oregon, where a beached sperm whale died and was then removed by dynamite. 

I load the dishwasher with rinsed dishes and think about the boy who lost his father, who watches the news, who learns nothing from a world so far from all the fighting.  How no one in his school understands, except the girl whose mother has just been deployed for the third time.  I wash the soaking oatmeal pot and consider the complexity of war, the way anapest and aubade, caesura and synecdoche, image and irony fall into place, just as thousands of miles away, men and women fall to the ground, a final act, no breakfast to follow.

"The Cap"

When asked by Prime Number's Prose Editor, Cliff Garstang, about the inspiration for my story "The Cap," I responded:

"Barry Hannah once said of a rich and reckless woman he’d like to have punished for running down his dog in her SUV, 'I set out to destroy that woman. But instead I’ve immortalized her.' I do believe I’ve done the same with a rich and reckless man." 


"Mr. H is working on lost time, ill-conceived time, time that waits for no one. He hasn’t ever had this problem before and is unsure of how to handle it. It is a definite conundrum. Mr. H loathes conundrums and says so to himself. Out loud. “I loathe conundrums.” Still, all the clocks in the house keep ticking."

- from "The Cap" by Karin C. Davidson - Prime Decimals 13.2 - Flash Fiction 

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A Different Sort of Beach

Destin, Florida - September 2010

The sand is still sugar fine, just like it was in the 60's, the 70's, even the 80's.  Even last year.  But now there is something new.  A coating of green that buckles and kicks up under your bare feet like sheafs of wallpaper.  And further down past the navy chairs, there's a layer of seaweed.  No, not seaweed.  This is seagrass that once lived on the bottom of the Gulf.  A member of the brown algae family, the grass now lies in great sodden blankets, thick layers of olive- and coffee-colored cloth, that no beach-goer wants to touch.  I imagine lying in bed with this blanket up to my chin, but the stench of something rotting, a pond in trouble, reminds me that this is nothing usual, nothing comforting.

If this grass now lies in folds at the edge of the water, then what is at the bottom of the Gulf where the grass once grew?  Go ahead, guess.  Dispersants, oil, a little supper of BP crude for all you fishes.  Sometimes the little fishes float up to the surface and end up on the beach amongst the soft dead grasses.  Algae as funereal bed.  

Swimmers wade through the algae and into the waves that are laden with more algae, fresh from the deep.  If one swims out far enough, the water is clear, a luscious turquoise.  Paddle surfers, ocean kayakers, infrequent pods of dolphin do better out there than swimmers.  Still, some are determined to get past the brown-green detritus.  Heads bob, laughter floats to shore, and soon they head in, once again through the algae, and on the beach the sunbathers eye them, perhaps expecting the brave ones to emerge covered in slime, sporting gills, like so many modern-day sea monsters.