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.