Monday, October 3, 2022


On the street of broken dreams, she saw

the dyed-blond hipster she’d always wanted

to be. She followed her into the blues club and

watched as her unfortunate role model sat down

at a table. Three older men and a dyed blond



Back on the sidewalk while she waited on the

band, she shared a cigarette with a rail-thin woman.

Her age an unanswerable question.


Apropos of nothing, the woman said, Life’s a bitch.

Static and fluid. Both. Waves aren’t calm, she said.

They ain’t your friend.


How to answer that?


Was it the curse of youth? The times? The ache for

a life unlike the one she sprung from. She, a girl

possessed with small town beauty. An innocence

she actively denied.


She became a regular in the bars on the street where

dreams are only that. When she married the bar

owner everyone called Popeye, who was older

than her father, another kind of life


Philip Dean Brown has had short fiction published in Voices West, Farmer’s Market, and Strong Coffee, The Blue Bib and Switchblade.  His story Helpless won a PEN Syndicated Fiction award. The story was selected by Mona Simpson. A story of his won 3rd prize in Typehouse’s open fiction contest. He has published poems in Subterranean Blue Poetry, New Reader, The Mojave Review, Sin Fronteras and The Global Poemic Project. A haiku of his was chosen by the Old Pueblo Poems competition and was on display in downtown Tucson.