Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes

Published

One poem. Finally published. They (Do South Magazine) selected the one poem I submitted, Emotion. Now that it’s in print, I wish I’d submitted something else. But wishing is an idiotic undertaking, isn’t it? So I’ll try to stop. I … Continue reading

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Smoking Cats

Last night’s dream was utterly bizarre. I’ll document what I can while the memory is reasonably fresh. My friend, Jim from Dallas was to smoke a brisket for a large gathering. This gathering was to be held at a house … Continue reading

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Context

Context influences a person’s experience. A sudden sharp pain in one’s finger makes sense in the context of carelessly slicing a tomato. The same sharp pain would be confusing if experienced while reclining on a sofa, watching television. Seeing a … Continue reading

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Superficial Thematic Explorations of a Saturday Morning in September

I’ve noticed recurring themes involving anger, darkness, and pessimism in both my poetry and my prose. How could I not notice them? They are so obvious as to slap me in the face, hard, when I read them. But when … Continue reading

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In Memory of My Mother on Her Birthday

September 28, 1908. That’s when my mother was born. Were she still alive, she would have turned 110 years old today. She didn’t make it that far. She died thirty-two years ago, when she was 78 and I was 32.

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Stolid Ennui

I could write about anything I choose this morning, but I can’t seem to motivate myself to make a choice. I feel like my decision-making tool is covered with a crust of cynicism and anger, over which a hard shell … Continue reading

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Another Ricochet

Murkiness, punctuated by an occasional pair of headlights as darkness bleeds into a dull, grey-blue drabness. As I sit at my computer, watching the day attempt to unfold, it occurs to me that I’m ascribing human attributes to the natural … Continue reading

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Documentary Shorts and Such

This afternoon brought unexpected enjoyment. I wasn’t planning on attending the Leisure Learning Institute (LLI) free screening of documentary films because I expected to be otherwise engaged (a History Committee meeting was scheduled). But, thanks to the meeting’s cancellation, I … Continue reading

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Gliding Colors

I passed my physical with gliding colors. Almost everything looks fine. Except for a few aspects of my blood work that are “high-normal,” which was the case last year, as well, with a slight uptick that’s nothing to worry about, … Continue reading

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Mellow Weekend Morphs into Monday

We had house guests this weekend, friends we’ve known since before we were married. I guess that means we’ve known them for around forty years, maybe longer. That stuns me. How could we have been friends for forty years, when … Continue reading

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Experience

Walk through the hardest moments. Walk without stumbling. Slice through the fear with a machete of resolve, tempered with rage and trembling with unbending purpose. Step over the broken pieces of bad judgments turned to ugly regrets. Push through the … Continue reading

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Delaying the Inevitable

This morning, I woke later than normal—almost 6:30—slipped on a pair of shorts, a shirt, and flip-flops, and headed to the only nearby grocery store open at that hour, Walmart. There, I bought Jimmie Dean hot pork breakfast sausage, blackberries, … Continue reading

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Inexplicable Thoughtskipping

Today sprinted through the calendar like a gazelle accelerating across the savanna, attempting to outrun hungry cheetahs. The day was a blur, though in occasional stop-action or slow motion. My intent (always good) was to spend the morning on the … Continue reading

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Deckish

My brother was transferred to another hospital yesterday, a facility that specializes in, among other things, wound care. No one with professional medical knowledge seems willing to offer a firm estimate of the length of time he will be there, … Continue reading

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Cleaning the Pipes

“He awoke to the sound of a flood of tears washing away the banks of the river on which he’d drifted aimlessly for a lifetime.” Salt water produces a loud chorus as it carves new channels in solid ground, unlike … Continue reading

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Still No Answers

Still, nothing definitive from the doctors and hospital in Houston. While it’s frustrating to me, it must be absolutely maddening to my brother. Today marks day number 17 or 18, I think, since his last admission into the hospital. His … Continue reading

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Have You Ever?

I think I’ve written everything I’ve needed to write. There’s nothing new in my brain. Everything I write now (here, I’m referring not to fiction but to “what’s in my head”) is simply a rehash of something I’ve written before, … Continue reading

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Thoughts When I’m Alone

I woke up a few minutes before five this morning, alone. The light from the kitchen, under the bedroom door, suggested my wife was already up. I got up and wobbled across the house to her study, where I found … Continue reading

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For future use

This just fell from my fingers a while ago. I felt I had to capture it for future use and this is the only place I can reliably find stuff. So… He lured her in with food. It started with … Continue reading

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Days of Terror

Today marks the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. As awful as that day was, I will reflect also on another awful anniversary the world…at least some of the world…remembers today. That is, … Continue reading

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Actual Monday Thoughts

I updated the GPS software in the Subaru, thanks to a friend who had received an email from Subaru with a link to a software updater. I’m not sure why Subaru opted not to send me a link, but that’s … Continue reading

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Collected Thought Fragments

I stayed in bed far too long last night. I was in bed around 8:30 and got up this morning around 5:30, nine hours. That’s too long for me. Six or seven hours usually does it. But I wasn’t feeling … Continue reading

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Struggling to Feel Better

After a good time in town today—where I had a nice lunch of Philly Cheese Steak at Core Brewing, followed by grocery shopping at Kroger and Sam’s Club—we came home and suddenly my energy just collapsed. I could barely get … Continue reading

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Elevator Eyes

Loudly speak the word “transubstantiation,” enunciating clearly, in a crowded elevator and observe the reactions of the people around you. There may be one or two who, not quite sure what was just announced, will say, “Excuse me?” Another couple … Continue reading

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Dating Maggie and a Hospitalization Update

I knew her as Margaret. It was many years later that I learned she goes by Maggie. Maybe she did at the time and I didn’t know it. I just knew her name was Margaret and I found her quite … Continue reading

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