Pencil noir #4

trio 1


She’s asking me if I’d do something a little weird for her….saying she needs someone to pose for her…some project she’s working on. All I have to do is look up. “You’re kidding, right?”

But I follow her up the back steps from the kitchen into the side alley. It’s a slice of sky. Blue. No clouds. Some festival music, piped in, drifting over from the Square.

She’s saying, ” OK Joey… relax. You’re really helping me out … just move around, slow like … and then look up.” I look at her instead. She’s animated, laughing, messing with her camera but I can tell she’s concentrating on getting her shots.

It isn’t easy…her looking at me this way. My shoulders tense and I notice my hands are balling into loose fists.

Between shots I look over and catch a glimpse of my car in the parking lot next to the alley. Mat black, it’s stripped down. Everything is in the engine.

I see some kids walking into the parking lot. The music from the Square is getting louder … not piped in anymore … charging the air.  One of the kid stops, leaning on my car to light a cigarette.  It ticks me off but then I can see it. I mean… look what else is in the lot. It makes him feel cool.

“OK … just one more. This is great.” She turns her head to see what has caught my attention. I look back at her and give her a nod.  Her back is to the kids now as she angles to get her shot. I lift my chest, suck in, and look up one more time.



Pencil drawing ….j.h. white

Counting cars



I’m just getting used to the old guys next door

They sit on the back porch

drinking and talking

I can’t decipher what they say

not understanding southern

but it’s not too different

than a murder of crows


across the street

two fire trucks

three cop cars

and the paramedics

blue and red strobe-alicious lightning these guys like to announce their presence

Should I move my car?

Alcoholic James gives diabetic Eddie


Someone calls 911

sister June lover of cats and brother Eddie

comes in and slugs room mate James the neglectful


and the cops stand bACK

a broken hand for June and Eddie’s on vacation for a night

James better hide behind that tree.


Bella and me

sitting on the stoop

eating homemade popsicles

strawberries, yogurt and SUGAR

(a little bit)

It’s a RED car day!

counting cars

a few silver ones sneak in

but the red cars have it that day