Tales from Normal Street

James Claffey


The Paper Bags escape and run wild in the geranium fields down by the salty egg whites. Little Soupspoon sees one of them snap at a doddery old flowerpot, and cries when the flowerpot topples over and cracks apart. As I ready for bed, the rustle of the Paper Bags outside on the street comes in the window. They’re on their way back from the salty egg whites, stiff and crinkly, some of them folded in two and moving slowly. One squats behind a piano stool and the ground puddles. Bored, I creep into bed and sleep. When I awaken, the window is covered in chalk dust and six or seven colored Chalk Sticks are on the sill. In the garden, a Loaf of Bread picks at a Chalk Stick. When I rap on the pane the Loaf flies off into the rising grapes of morning.

About the Work

James Claffey

James Claffey hails from County Westmeath, Ireland, and lives on an avocado ranch in Carpinteria, CA, with his wife, the writer and artist, Maureen Foley, their daughter, Maisie, and Australian cattle-dog, Rua. He is the winner of the Linnet’s Wings Audio Prose Competition. He received his MFA from Louisiana State University, where he was awarded the Kent Gramm Prize for Non-Fiction. His work appears in many places including The New Orleans Review, Connotation Press, A-Minor Magazine, Literary Orphans, and Gone Lawn. You can read him at www.jamesclaffey.com.

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