Exposure № 018: Alexander Hamilton

David DiMaria shares with us another famous face commonly found in your wallet: Secretary of State Alexander Hamilton.  Dave is a fan of Hamilton’s “Bette Davis Eyes” and Dr. Hurley intimated that he agrees.  The editors think that Hamilton has found his perfect lipstick shade.  Well done, Alex.

Land’s End

To arrive at Land’s End on a Sunday afternoon
You must make your way down to the cliffs in the dirt
And not worry about soiling your pink sneakers.
Someone will pass in a blue spandex shirt that reads “EMC²”.
Running at full speed in the late afternoon light
He will be a living demonstration of how energy is woven of light and mass.
Borders make us literal-minded, for the edge of a knife is a failure of metaphor.

Remember: this is Land’s End
And the laws of the day-to-day no longer apply.
A little white dog will make it to the edge of the cliff before you do
And see a labyrinth carefully laid out in small stones.
You will see trees along the cliffs polished to the bone, raw with longing.
Dancers in hysterical poses, they will lean against the cliff with their twisted branches.

To get back to the top, you will want to climb over the little waterfall,
Ballet your way around the mud, and shimmy onto the grass,
Carving your own path with your shadow.
But at Land’s End no one’s a trail blazer
And so you remain where you are
Until the rocks at the beach become pale pink
As if the earth were blushing
For letting you see the empty space between the earth and sky.
Your sister the artist taught you: there is nothing worse
Than leaving the sky bereft of color.
You, only you, are responsible for filling the empty page.
But she hasn’t been to Land’s End:

At the edge of the continent
Your figure cuts into the elegance of empty space
Diminishing the vastness of the sky.
This is vaguely indecent, and so you flee.

Running at full speed in the dying light
You rush back home to your dishes and books
So you could forget the smooth pale skin of the earth –
The ocean spray, the rocks, the perpetual irony
Of spruce fragrance in the late afternoon –
And finally get on with your life.

Help Desk Dream


he cars cover the sky in a riot of color and rust, their auras glowing blue to show they’re running well. I keep a close eye on the auras as I buzz around in my jetpack, watching for problems. Vans and SUVs drift sedately by, econo boxes flutter about like butterflies, tossed by the breeze. Trucks and buses plow along inches above the ground.

A Civic drifts earthward, its aura darkening toward the violet. I jet towards the glow, dodging the other cars. New plugs, a healthy blue aura, and the Civic resumes its course.

More cars fail, so I get busier. Auras start to drift into the red before I can get to them. I rush from one car to another, but they keep getting lower, slower, and redder. I can’t go faster, but I try, and bump into healthy vehicles, slowing me more, making things worse.

A truck’s aura flares bright red, then the truck crashes into the ground and its aura goes black as it tumbles along, tossing parts in the air, shrapnel that collides with other vehicles, creating more red in the sky. Soon vehicles are plummeting out of the sky all around, black auras and grinding metal everywhere. An engine block hits my jetpack, and I fall from the sky, tumbling towards the enormous black aura cast by a ruined oil tanker…

Impression № 016: POTUS #16

Gregg Chadwick shares this moving portrait of a beneficent-looking Lincoln entitled Matthew Brady’s Cracked Glass –  (Abraham Lincoln 1865). Oil on linen, 2011.


twisted branches whispering in dance
trees swirling, twirling, disappearing
their black forms dissolve into night

a nightingale sweetly serenading,
wakes creatures from the night,
and sings of their beautiful light.

fireflies twinkle like falling stars,
sparkling against deepening darkness,
a soft glitter reflected in city lights

a silent shape swoops low
a muffled whisper good night
an  owl flies off into the dark

Vote for your favorite 100 word story!

Last week we published twenty-one (21!) fabulous one hundred word stories!  You all sent us such inspiring entries!  Now we want to know which one you all liked best!

Choose your favorite below.  The poll will be open for one week!  Oh, and play nice, now.  Don’t vote for your own!

(If you need a reminder, click here for this week’s digest and links to all of the stories!)


Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Week 15

With our 100 Words contest this week, we’ve had more to offer than ever before. You can find a digest of all our 100-worders at the bottom of today’s post, and we’d like to thank you all for entering our little contest. There were some truly tantalising snippets, and we encourage you to submit more than a hundred words for Dr. H’s consideration.

Aside from our hundreders, we featured some responses to our Smithsonian project, and had some great poetry and art! More in store this week, but thanks for now for making week 15 our strongest yet. For more info on both our POTUS and Smithsonian series, go here.





100 Words

100 Words: The Dormant Clown


r. Potts released The Clown Virus last week.

Most people died mid-transformation, horrible grins on their pale faces.

But some survived, and now they roam the streets looking for the few remaining bottles of seltzer water, red rubber noses, and joy-buzzers.

A kind of social hierarchy has developed: The floppier and bigger the shoes, the more powerful the clown chieftain.

Then there’s the rare unexpressed carriers like me.

Potts had developed what he thought was an antidote foam, but it’s no cure. It just keeps the virus dormant.

I spray it into the pie-tin, and smack myself in the face.

by Laurence Simon

100 Words: First/Third


alking at dusk across the dry field. Him and me. We have navigated the woods and reached the clearing. I turn and look back – big burning sun going down through the silhouetted branches – my life – burning, sinking with those black shadows. But where is HIS concern, HIS sympathy? It’s like he is burning out too.

He looked east – on the horizon the biggest clearest moon he had ever seen. She kept looking back, but he wouldn’t – couldn’t. He had to look forward. There must be somewhere. The moon would show him. It would show him the route he must take.

by Lloyd Mills

In Half

‘m his darling, and he hates my dog. Which sucks because Bruno is my canine angel, and his breath is like a rancid something wonderful. A rank pie.

To love that is something.

This has something to do with the hum of a day so long it becomes a week. I sip burning liquors to please him. My man lives for the expression of fine, fine spirits.
He says his sister really had wings, and that is how she died, she believed it. They all did, he said, the kids. They were kids of course.

I believed my own sister flew when I was young, so I understood. This had something to do with the freak who lives inside many of us, always wearing a hat and seeing things from a corner of the room – one with a tiny problem, a tiny bend in the rim.

That is childhood.

But now, for example, the fullness of dog breath, unlike the silent empty stomach pain when the phone doesn’t ring, is telling the truth. Neutral things bore me, like when he says he does not like mustard. Because he does not eat meat and vegetarians have no need for go-getter garnishes. Fake yellow dye, food coloring, toxins, free radicals, fear of cancer seems to take up so many of his living hours.

My man is a fine liquor connoisseur. His words swirl around me deadly as sneaker wave every time he laughs.

“Fancy that,” he says, “unbroken shells”. He listens to shells from my collection carefully for the sound of the ocean, though the ocean is only blocks away.

The days we see each other, I want to litter the grass and not care. A dog would never ask one to define the difference between absinthe and ouzo, tiny descriptive words that make somebody feel stupid if they don’t get it right.