Author Archives: GRABSKI

July 02

Sugar to Rust

Winter. You are eighty-four: I call you a bastard but long after your gentle side had disappeared, owing to two decades of vodka. Now you sit, surrounded by pillows and stare through the only window that matters. That single pane that faces the bird feeder, empty and swinging alone. It’s the only sign of life […]

March 25

Weak Sister

  The first ray of sunlight struck the cowbell that hung from the longhorn’s neck as she meandered through the dust, calf at her flank with Jake Moon astride a sorrel horse not far behind. Moon was a thin-made man with gunmetal eyes and a beard that rimmed his jaw like a wreath of wire. […]

November 27

The Imaginary Harpoon

It had been two days since the sea took Solomon. Two days since the tangle of rope unleashed its tentacles, snatched his ankle, and jerked him face down across the deck as froth washed over his back. The mast sheared off clean, crashed to the floor, and then plunged into the water. The rope, belayed […]

November 27

One True Color

In the living room doorway stood Petunia Jennings, a heavyset, beady-eyed woman with a shotgun cradled in the crook of her arm. She was dressed in a chartreuse nightgown and her head, rather round and small, was adorned with a matching sleeping cap. Gray curls sprung from under the cap that, together with the gun, […]

April 24

A Burial of Sorts

The second of March was as cold and windy as any winter day on record in west Texas, and Jesse knew that if the wind blew any harder or the snow drifted any deeper that the old horse’s lungs would burst and their blood would freeze hard in their veins. Tears ran down the side […]

April 05


You don’t any more than cross the road to your neighbor’s house when you hear the crack of the plastic hose against her bottom. A girl of fourteen, large for her age, lies sprawled in the driveway, pants to her knees. Dirt mixes with saliva and covers her lips and chin. She is crying. She […]

January 30

The Blue Melon

Upstairs in the old farmhouse, Adam Katz, a boy of thirteen, kicked at the sheets that covered his bed. He often slept like a stone, but on that night he could have been a ghost, like ether, slipping between waking and dreams. Perhaps it was due to the moonlight that poured through the curtains, which […]

January 03

Clegg’s Nickel Mule

The year 1927 ushered in the greatest flood on record in Mississippi—a year that 12-year-old Avery would look back on as the year that most shaped his life. But it was the year leading up to the flood that was hardest on him, beginning with six months of retribution, owing to his attempt to run […]

January 02

A New White Shirt

Emanuel released the breath from his lungs, pressed his back against the flat wall, the brass button of his denim jacket scraping the polished granite behind him. He turned his neck, flattened his stubbled cheek to the cool, gray stone and inhaled smoothly as he sidled along the tower’s ledge. A pigeon, baffled to see […]

December 16


(First published in the December 2015 issue of Cyclamens and Swords Magazine)   Looking back, I wish Katz would have come clean when he had the chance. Explained why he roamed about like he did. A loner, following fence-lines and dirt roads for no apparent reason. He walked forward chin first and bent at the […]

December 16

Winter Berceuse

Winter Berceuse, December Farmhouse and Crick, Crack, Creek – three haiku can be found at The Boston Literary Magazine here: Thanks to editor, Robin Stratton and the entire editorial staff.

December 03

The Fundraiser

The metallic echo of hailstones rang from the empty tin bucket that stood by the steps leading into their clay adobe on the afternoon of Friday, October 25th, 1918. Alonso stood shivering over the morning paper now ten days old that Doc Toyo had spread out flat across the kitchen table – his index finger […]

November 05

My Darling Thistle

Buy the print copy of the fall 2015 Boston Literary Magazine. It’s worth every penny! In addition to ‘My Darling Thistle’ (published Fall, 2015), look for three winter haiku to appear in the upcoming Winter issue.

October 27

LABOR, 2412 A.D.

“I am Omphalos, your leader, sprung from the rib of Sisyphus.” Published Oct 2015 by 101 Word Story. Read it here:  

September 11

Burden of the Child

They died each other’s best and only friend. Fading echos of parting goodbyes softly caressing their ears as they made their final descent. They died in each other’s eyes, hands clasped. The low whistle of rising steam, off in the distance a departing train. Bluebirds flying in pairs no longer frightened, no longer threatened. A […]

June 24

The Battery Cage

Read the story, first published by: Ash and Bones Magazine My name is Loretta. I belong to the Onion Head. I call him the Onion Head because his appearance is that of a fresh picked onion hanging upside down—his round, yellow head the bulbous onion and its hollow green stem his wrinkled coveralls. His pantlegs chafe […]

June 23


The work that appears on this site represents excerpts from published work only with a link to the magazine or publisher. Exceptions include pieces that were published by a magazine no longer in business. In such cases, the entire piece is included for posterity with credit to the original publisher. BIO Stories and poetry on […]

June 23

Darwin’s Compassion

In 1975 a farmer ups and leaves, takes a room at the bar Just up and leaves his cows, his dog and his barn He walks from his fields, his home, everything dear No money in this godforsaken place, he said Whether sound of mind, remains unclear Locked in their stanchions, the bovine wither Without […]

May 14

‘The Vicarious Head’

The instant the spotted stallion blew through his nostrils behind me, I felt his presence as if he were an oncoming train. I did not turn. I did not heed his warning but rather I waited, for a lasting second before the weight of a thousand railroad ties crashed against my spine. The horse stood […]

May 14

Lost to Lewy Body

In the dark, a visceral calm Spiraling lead sailing unsheathed Enter the shoulder, exit the palm Slackened white clad porcelain teeth Spiraling lead, sailing unsheathed From the chamber, its… Published by Eclectica Magazine (May 2015) Read it here:

May 14

‘Solomon’s Knot’

Winter 1812. You lay shackled, imprisoned in the belly of an English Man O’ War. You hear and feel the thunderous pounding of temporal waves explode against the wooden bow as the ship holds true, bound for Dartmoor, a prison made famous by the Hounds of Baskervilles. And now, dark and adrift through a timeless […]

May 14

Inside of Age

  (First Published by Cyclamens & Swords Magazine, April 2015) Inside of Age The old man said We get cynical with age Don’t let it get you A bird is in the cage   We get cynical with age Accept it gracefully A bird is in the cage Singing faithfully   Accept it gracefully Behind […]

May 14

What lies beneath

(First Published by Cyclamens & Swords Magazine, April 2015) Hear the spoken words, let’s ride Imagine it dark and still The words elicit grave excitement Here there is motion and running raining and pounding swimming and thrashing together with others of the same lot Here there will be risk and danger some will be lost […]

May 14


(First Published by Cyclamens & Swords Magazine, April/May 2015) Tilt Jackson preferred the straight-truck over a horse trailer any day of the week. He was a third generation trader that scoured the far corners of West Virginia buying and selling back then. A straight-truck could run up and down hills where big rigs and trailers […]