Secret Lives of the Hatless

And this would have to be the version of the story in which the stones do not talk and the people do and probably the plants would stay in one place unless the people moved them and not talk either unless they merely whisper in faint breezy answer when the people talk to them and someone would have to walk the dog if there was a dog and someone would have to feed the cat if there was a cat unless the people let their domesticated animals wander about freely scavenging for themselves but they wouldn’t do that nosir because the people’s parents and friends would think less of them and you can’t live like that no not if you’re sensitive and don’t scratch your behind in public or make disgusting noises in the bedroom with the window open I mean I guess if your life’s going to make sense you have to have some guidelines to go by even if other people don’t believe in them because after all we’re not all ruthless and we have still another version of a good example to set by golly yessir with all that generous warmth rising up like unquestioned prayers from the lowered tops of all those trusting heads of ours don’t you see it’s just one of the ways we can explain our losses besides singing a capella or rubbing up against trees and calling softly to the various physical manifestations of our desire to feel the heat of our life’s argument even as it continues escaping the calculated pretense of exterior appearance.

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About the Author

Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in VerseNorth American ReviewMassachusetts ReviewNorthwest ReviewQuarterly WestIowa ReviewPoetry NorthwestVirginia Quarterly ReviewFiction Daily and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. An interview and 18 hybrid works appear in the Spring 2011 issue of Bitter Oleander. In 2011 he has been nominated twice for Best of the Net and once for the Pushcart Prize. He is the 2012 winner of the Thin Air Creative Nonfiction Award.