Excerpt from “Tin Boy”

For a moment he returned to the years when her costumes consisted of white nurses’ capes, red riding hoods, and soft blue eyes – her smile that night was the same as then, minus braces, and dimples now outshone freckles.  With only a handful of houses to go and his football helmet in his pillowcase he thought of walking her to school in the morning.  He contemplated reaching for her hand but was late, because as his eyes glanced upwards – toward a dipper or God – his cheek was met with her lips and no wonder she was dressed as Dorothy because she helped him realize his heart.

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Excerpt from ‘blessed’

they had to be quiet for a while and let it all soak in because as they say and silence is golden. now if he drove really fast and used the tappan zee bridge as a ramp they would be in orbit in no time and wouldn’t that be better than here and even though for a moment he thought it really might happen it didn’t and they were passed by a minivan with a mom and some kids and a license place that said ‘im-blesd’.

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Excerpt from flash fiction story ‘advent on a one year delay’

sunday was jeans and sneakers and gloves and parkas which not only came in handy on the trails but also later in the theater because can you believe how cold it was in there? i didn’t care though because it gave me a reason to sit closer to you and feel your head against my arm and your breath against my ear and gradually as the story unfolded on the screen before us move my hand into yours and the squeeze that you gave it when it finally arrived is something I can still feel twelve months later.

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Resignation – a poem by Nikki Giovanni

This is my all-time favorite poem:  http://betweenpoems.tumblr.com/post/18957683579/resignation-nikki-giovanni

I love you
because the Earth turns around the sun
because the North wind blows north
because the Pope is Catholic
and most Rabbis Jewish
because winters flow into springs
and the air clears after a storm
because only my love for you
despite the charms or gravity
keeps me from falling off this Earth
into another dimension

I love you
because it is the natural order of things

I love you
like the habit I picked up in college
of sleeping through lectures
or saying I’m sorry
when I get stopped for speeding
because I drink a glass of water
in the morning
and chain-smoke cigarettes
all through the day
because I take my coffee Black
and my milk with chocolate
because you keep my feet warm
though my life a mess
I love you
because I don’t want it
any other way

I am helpless
in my love for you

It makes me so happy
to hear you call my name
I am amazed you can resist
locking me in an echo chamber
where your voice reverberates
through the four walls
sending me into spasmatic ecstasy
I love you
because it’s been so good
for so long
that if I didn’t love you
I’d have to be born again
and that is not a theological statement
I am pitiful in my love for you<

The Dells tell me Love
is so simple
the thought though of you
sends indescribably delicious multitudinous
thrills throughout and through-in my body
I love you
because no two snow flakes are alike
and it is possible
if you stand tippy-toe
to walk between the raindrops
I love you
because I am afraid of the dark
and can’t sleep in the light
because I rub my eyes
when I wake up in the morning
and find you there
because you with all your magic powers were
determined that
I should love you
because there was nothing for you but that
I would love you

I love you
because you made me
want to love you
more than I love my privacy
my freedom my commitments
and responsibilities
I love you ‘cause I changed my life
to love you
because you saw me one Friday
afternoon and decided that I would
love you
I love you I love you I love you




Excerpt from “Working on Mysteries”

His heart rate increased, and the sweat of his palms mixed with the condensation of the beer can that he hurriedly placed on a macramé coaster. When he stood and turned she was directly in front of him. When they inched toward each other first their thighs met, and then just above – causing her to smile, or something like it. Finally, as she put her arms around his neck and pulled him in she softly rubbed her breasts against him. Their noses and then foreheads were last to meet, just as their eyes closed and his thumbs hooked into her back belt loops.

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Excerpt from “Gold”

With leaves of the seventies crunching under boots of today he wanders through his mind considering the blessing of kids, family, friends – and her. Yesterday’s rake joined forces with today’s blower and earbuds replaced singing to himself, and the song that bridged then to now, and despair to hope, rose up as the leaves fell down. While he tried to conjure an image of what her golden hair and blue eyes must have looked like thirty years ago James channeled Glen and whispered something about needing more than wanting.

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Excerpt from “context”

i might tell you how much I enjoy being

with you as if you couldn’t tell

(i am that transparent)

but it would be without true meaning

i should let you know how each of your kisses

paralyze me for a beautiful brief instant

(which is why I have to pull away and reset)

but it would not really matter

i could describe the pain in my chest

when we are apart

(that is sometimes accompanied by tears)

but what would be the point

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Excerpt from, “A dent and the other half of a smile”

(This story, in its entirety, is contained in my book of poetry and short fiction titled, “Songs you can’t dance to” – available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble by searching ‘steven harz’)

He doesn’t recall how they’d actually met – Sunday school or second grade or summers at the swim club – all he remembered was that she had always been there. From play dates to puppy love it seemed as if she was always as close as an arm’s length or the length of the twisty cord that attached the phone to the kitchen wall.

Plaid pleated jumpers with knee socks, and tough skins and flannel shirts, they would accompany each other to the roller rink and junior high dances. His mom would drop them off and hers would collect them up after the last dance or the final skate. In the backseat of the Fairlane, skates lashed together and strewn on the floor of the car, he’d slide his leg across the vinyl seat to make contact with her bare knee and he wouldn’t look at her but he knew she was looking at him – bringing a small smile to the side of his face that was facing away from her and towards the window and the lights of the town just outside the glass.

From my book of poetry and short fiction titled, “Song’s you can’t dance to” – available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (search ‘steven harz’)

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Excerpt from “swaying to the music”

hearts full and on the verge of tears they listened as the song came to its close. this was all very new and very good and like nothing he had known before and has experienced rarely since. this night no longer seems like yesterday – too much time has passed and the years have faded the colors and blurred the edges but he still fights to keep it alive in his memory.

once back in the car he turned off the radio since silence was the only appropriate sound and he pulled the car back onto the road and in the direction of her home although his home seemed to be right there. no words were spoken because none were needed. two hands on the wheel one on his knee the other in her pocket with fingers crossed and hoping to God.

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Excerpt from “September 13”

Soon the aroma of cheese and sauce overtakes that of flowers and trees, and since he has no open table on which to put his plate he reclaims the spot on the couch and eats all of his meal while watching half of a bowl game.  Once again he’s intrigued (April 29) by the gifts, puts his plate on the end table, and shifts to the floor.  Beginning with the smallest box, cufflinks are first, and he wishes he’d have opened these before the funeral. Next is an oversized blue Red Sox hoodie that he puts on right way, as if she knew that he hadn’t yet built a fire.  Crumpled paper, adorned with the omnipresent (July 15) likenesses of jolly old St. Nicholas and Rudolph, is tossed to his left, awaiting the impending (April 15) fire.  Climbing back up to his feet, a chore that requires steadying himself on sleeping legs, he scoops through the discarded wrapping and hidden at the bottom of the pile is a shiny gold gift bag. Beneath tissue paper that flowed out of the bag was a page-a-day, A-to-Z calendar.  Smiling, he remembers their many conversations about vocabulary – hers as an English Lit professor and lover of Austen was at times flowery, and his as a firefighter and hater of tragedy was often blue – and this must have been her way of getting back at him.

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Excerpt from “She’s as sweet as”

Startled at first he reached his arms around her back and slowly gathered her in. The weight of her sweater, layered over the requisite white turtleneck, is something he can remember today if he closes his eyes and lets himself drift. Palm against the small of her back, his fingers were outstretched and his left hand moved upward to the back of her neck and right hand slid down and moved from the soft knit of the sweater to the coarse wool of her skirt. When he did this she gently, yet purposefully, moved herself against him – a punishable offense for a cheerleader in uniform, but six weeks is a long time. Once the contact was made, and her torso recognized his, her eyebrows raised and she smiled as if to say not now, later. The arcs and triangles of the full body embrace made him momentarily think of the geometry class he took two years and 200 feet from that very spot.

“She’s as sweet as” is contained, in its entirety, in my book of short fiction and poetry, “Songs you can’t dance to”: http://www.amazon.com/Songs-You-Cant-Dance-ebook/dp/B00ATQW5XK

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Excerpt from ‘Forever’

She was happy, no, overjoyed that her brother and the one person in the world she loved more than anything – other than her own kids – had found love after a bad marriage and many years of emotional turmoil for which no dosage of pharmaceuticals could fix. Spousal infidelity and three year olds in airplanes that hit skyscrapers and a firm understanding on his fifth wedding anniversary that forever would not occur, at least not for them, began a zoloft-laced decade that only his faith and something called a shred of hope could pull him through.

copyright 2012 Steven Harz

Excerpt from ‘bryant park 4/10/09’

officers with rifles circle the park now as a reminder of then and as a siren goes the opposite way up 6th and I see you crossing 42nd and our eye contact is crucial because it’s lifting me above the seven year malaise that started on the eleventh and ended today.

above the park and it’s carousel and ring of trees and well above grace I see the apollo to the north and queens to the east and a thousand feet above the hole to the south is a the fading shadow of a little girl on her mother’s lap looking out the window of an airplane heading in the direction of disneyworld.

copyright 2012 Steven Harz


Steven Harz is a Connecticut based, West Virginia born, and Maryland raised writer – primarily of flash fiction.  Topics seem to gravitate towards young love from a middle-aged point of view and the joy and pain of searching for, securing, and maintaining adult relationships.

A father of two boys (12 and 15), he is kept busy as a volunteer coach and unpaid taxi driver shuttling between two schools, football, baseball and basketball practices and games, as well as rehearsals and performances of show choir competitions, school concerts, and high school musicals.