Homecoming by John Kenyon

You learned three things from your no account deadbeat of a father:

–Always wash up after you put on aftershave. No one wants to smell like you all day after shaking hands.

–Always shine your shoes. To do that, of course, you need to wear shoes you can shine. Tennis shoes are for tennis.

–Always weigh down the body with something loved ones will recognize. It won’t give the cops anything to go on, but it’ll let the family know to keep quiet and start grieving. Why should they suffer not knowing?

Shirtsleeves by John Kenyon

¬†Seamus McCarty’s hands were made for work, rough-hewn tools that had never caressed a woman’s cheek, rarely made a wasted move. They picked potatoes and stashed money, then grappled with ropes during a sea crossing that saw softer hands fall still. In the new country, they built things; first wooden toys then ice chests then […]

Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell by John Kenyon

You’d never write, “must be devastatingly handsome” in the job description, but Don found it useful nonetheless. He’d guess he had screwed half of the women he visited, and this was after telling them he was repossessing their television or dryer or sewing machine. Tears would well up and they’d say something about their deadbeat […]

Interview: John Kenyon

When you think about “Things I’d rather be doing?,” generally it’s a more personal thought. For me that’s how I was introduced to John Kenyon, whose website Things I’d Rather Be Doing acted as a gateway to all things that interest John. Part blog, part magazine, it is an introduction to John’s thinking, manner and […]

Red Head by John Kenyon

Gwen fingered the tooth in her pocket as she dropped to her knees and wondered what would bother James more — that his mother was hustling blowjobs behind Tim’s Tap, or that the tooth fairy was. The boy was seven and gave up on Santa long ago, confident his Christmas haul was the same with […]

Circumstantial by John Kenyon

“So, Juanita, let’s go over this, OK?” Briggs was leaning back in the metal chair, the crack in the worn vinyl seat cushion pinching his ass. West was leaning against the wall by the door, eyes closed; probably asleep on his feet. Briggs marveled at the skill. “What you wanna know?” said Juanita. She was […]

Bleed American by John Kenyon

Foley stomped across the apartment, slammed open the sliding glass door to the deck that was just wide enough to accommodate two lawn chairs, and pulled a tattered American flag from the railing. He came back inside, stepped onto a scarred end table, reached up and unhooked another flag hung sideways with thumbtacks in the […]

Pleasure by John Kenyon

The first time he called he asked whether the shoes were available in a wide size. She looked it up, told him they were. It was the easiest job Stacy had ever had. She had been apprehensive. You know, telemarketing. But these were inbound calls, she was told. They want something from you. She didn’t […]