AUSTIN DAVIS READS FROM CLOUDY DAYS, STILL NIGHTS SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS
Saturday Morning Cartoons
We used to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings when the string of tin cans rattling behind the rusty cars outside was strangely unironic. We would lie
with our bellies to the carpet, pressing our faces closer and closer to the screen until Batman’s batarang shocked the tip of our noses. Maybe that’s why I always
thought the neighbor’s hedges were green horses. Imagination was only half the equation. Now, 10 years later, it seems we’ve become accustomed to the dirt roads pulled tight around our skin.
I, for one, never questioned why we got grinning masks for our 18th birthdays instead of lottery tickets or cigars.
We were all adorned with the same disguise - always one size too loose. I guess they wanted our warm breath to suffocate under their scrubbed skin, bleached paler than the lovers that used to live on the moon.
It’s only now, as I wait for you on a morning stained by yellow clouds, that my reflection swirling in the black coffee reminds me more of The Joker.
Saturday Morning Cartoons is an excerpt from Austin's first poetry collection, Cloudy Days, Still Nights coming this SUNDAY from Moran Press. Click here to get a copy now!!!!
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I stand at the podium, looking down on the stage and waiting for the crowd to finish piling in through the rear entrance that faces the worker apartments. The rapist stands to my lower left, immobile as a statue, with eyes scanning the crowd. What does he hope to find? I can never guess. I raise my hand and a hush falls over the room. “Justice at Holden Farms is simple. All workers get a vote. The vote gets tallied, and I factor it into my decision. I’m the judge, jury, and I will pass the sentence,” I pause and look at the rapist. “And make no mistake. If a death sentence is given, I’ll slit your throat myself.” The crowd bursts into applause, yet I see no reaction from him. Does he truly have no emotions? Is everything a fake layer? I’ve met a few of my kind, and I can’t see anything that forms a pattern that links us. I find this man to be nothing like me. The clapping fades, and I continue. “John Smith. You are accused of rape, assault, and being a douchebag. How do you plead?” “Guilty,” he says, still with no emotion. He will not break, and his eyes remain hard blue-gray steel. “He pleads guilty.” I saw to the crowd. A mutiny of voices clamor at me, mostly calling for his beheading. “This isn’t Game of Thrones. I won’t be chopping off his head.” Laughter and a mix of boos litter the air in response. “Since you do not contest the charges, we will proceed with sentencing.” The man gives me a simple nod as if agreeing to everything. He does not play the lamb and his eyes continue to bore into mine when I look his way. “The crowd wants your head, and I might just give it to them,” I say, bringing another roar from the stands. Execute him in my own personal town square like something out of a Hemingway novel…sexy. I shake the fantasy from my head and clear my throat. I grip the podium tighter and tighter until my knuckles crack. “No matter the other charges against you, I believe you meant to kill me. Therefore, your life is forfeit.” Silence falls over the room. I use this moment to pull the knife from a pocket and step from the podium. Five steps bring me to John’s side, and I place the blade against his neck. I must stretch my arm at an uncomfortable angle to reach him and I notice a small smile on his face. After all this, I amuse you? This man baffles me. “Will anyone speak for his life?” I ask the crowd. This part sounds like useless formality as I can’t imagine anyone speaking for this man. My question precedes silence. I tap my phone, setting the watch application to one minute. I start the clock and watch it tick and tick, casting an occasional glace at John. His face remains placid except his eyes, which send waves of hatred toward me. The timer reaches zero, and I face the crowd once more. “I will speak for him.” Ray steps to the base of the stage between John and the crowd. What? My husband wishes to speak. This must be a dream. I don’t know if I want to hear this or not. I could simply slice John’s throat. But I could always wait a moment. “Go on,” I say as my head pounds from excitement and exhaustion. “To be blunt, study him. He comes from the bad side, killing innocents without remorse or regard. Test him. Probe his DNA. Isolate what makes him different from…killers who know to limit the options to the guilty.” He almost said you. I’m not sure I see how his line of thinking can sway me, but I motion for him to continue. “We can afford to hire the best scientists to poke and prod and test until we discover the defective gene that causes this level of psychopathy. Perhaps, the future can be rid of his kind.” If I kill him, only he dies. Perhaps I can kill anyone like him with something akin to a vaccine. Take this shot; stop being a psychopath. Would it work on me? Is that what Ray wants?To find a fucking cure for me? I’m seeing things out of him of late that concern me. We will have to talk. “Crowd, what say you? Live or keep him as a lab rat science experiment?” “Murderer! Kill him! Hang him!” the crowd seem to be of one mind, nearly in unison. A very few vote for science pet. As much as I want to promote science, I can’t allow a killer of women to remain alive. Bending my knees, I launch myself up at him, driving the blade into his neck. Dragging the knife down his neck, I use my weight to sever his vocal cord, spraying a torrent of blood in the air. Cheers erupt and I turn to the crowd with blood dripping down my face onto my dress. Folding the knife, I walk from the stage to the sound of applause.
After many revisions and a lot of work, the cover for Cloudy Days, Still nights is finally ready. The book will soon be available from the author, Austin Davis, Amazon, and MoranPress.com.
Much gratitude to Anne Segal, the artist that created this beautiful cover. She worked tirelessly to bring Austin's vision to life and I'm thrilled with the result. Check out her website HERE.
I am excited to share this poetry collection. In an age of negativity and bad news on the television, this book will serve as a blast of fresh cool air for readers. Filled with earnest love poems and wistful remembrances of youth, this collection will make your heart smile and brighten your day.
THE LIGHT RAIL AND LOVE ON A DISTANT WEDNESDAY NIGHT POETRY BY AUSTIN DAVIS
You fell asleep in my arms on the 11 o’clock train as the tipsy college girls who cried during the JT concert mingled with the drunk business guys who spit during the D-backs game.
The nervous small talk about who would be sleeping with who later that night lulled you to sleep like sad music, your curly head cradled between my chest and shoulder, cold feet balancing on my legs.
The back of the train began to grow blue as the man standing by row 18 passed around his liquor along with the sweaty twitch in his eye. A girl with melted mascara started fanning herself with a bundle of napkins
and the lights to my left flickered in its language. The cops standing guard put their badges in their pockets, the men put their hats in their bags and the women undid their ponytails.
The whole train shimmied into their synthetic smiles; all sick and frail. You sniffled, pulling yourself closer to my neck to kiss me softly in your sleep.
Without you, my life would just be the kind of dream where someone is whispering but it’s not for me to hear.
The interior file for Crumbling Utopian Pipedream has been successfully updated and is ready to purchase at Amazon and MoranPress.com. Changes include increase in font size, wider margins for readability, which add 20 pages to the previous edition of the book. I can promise you an enhanced reading experience. I hope you enjoy the updated edition of Crumbling Utopian Pipedream by Scott Wozniak.
I don't know if this will be the final title and this is sure not the final cover, but a secret new release is coming soon from Moran Press. Once Love and Quarters and Cloudy Days, Still Nights are published I'll turn my attention to this controversial collection of short stories. This book will shock, perhaps even offend some readers.
More news on this book soon, including an excerpt of the fiction.