Green Hills Literary Lantern

Bar and Grill





Bodies pile around tables

sticky with beer and hot sauce

from buffalo wings.  Bloated

faces shout at each other

above music turned up to jet’s

roar, a contest for who

can eat more hot wings

without drinking.  Sweat

drips from chins and foreheads.

Smiles grin red-toothed

death masks.  Looking

for a new way to fly,

all these whispers unheard

within the roar.  Lights blink

and burning lips close

as doors open.  A cold wind

shocks me with empty streets.

Cool blue pools of light

lead me into a distance,

where night digests me.



Blind Dog


A blind dog smells faces

that linger in shadows

just beyond its nose,

inhales a smile

through the way breath

changes, a hovering

aroma that broadens. 

She has lived a world

one inch above the floor

that I will never know,

with all my ideas,

no more substance than

scents she memorized

over a lifetime and now

recites with eyes closed.



Richard Dinges has an MA in literary studies from University of Iowa and manages business systems at an insurance company. Most recent acceptances include Miller's Pond, Steam Ticket, Hurricane Review, Abbey, and River Oak Review.