KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 5: Spring 2016
Haibun Story: 210 words

Hackmuth’s Mannequin Dream

by Dan Gilmore

In Macy’s he admires a mannequin. She resembles the woman on the billboard advertising the casino. She cares for him. He can feel it. For once it doesn’t matter that he’s knobby and stooped. He likes her too, her aloof air, the fact that her feet don’t quite touch the floor. Perfect calves, long legs, trim hips. Then he’s running, hobbling really, with her in his arms. A security guard cuts him off. He reverses direction and bumps her head on a Revlon cosmetics showcase. Her head falls off. Hackmuth stumbles up the escalator to the second floor. They pause long enough to admire small appliances, microwaves, silverware. He ducks into the men’s room, sits hunched in a stall, with her on his lap, lovely, unruffled, long pointy fingers, headless. The guard is checking the stalls. Hackmuth holds her tighter and asks her to marry him. But I’m not real, she says. Doesn’t matter, he says. We can live in Iowa. The guard rattles the door, demands they open up. Hackmuth strokes her smooth shoulders, reassures her that having a head doesn’t matter. And that’s when he wakes up, holding his pillow, alone and in love.

even a splinter
of moon reveals the landscape:
a radiant face

—From New Shoes, Gilmore’s collection-in-progress of haibun, scheduled for release later this spring by KYSO Flash Press

Dan Gilmore
Issue 5, Spring 2016

is the author of a novel, A Howl for Mayflower (Imago Press, 2006), a chapbook of haibun stories, Just Before Sleep (KYSO Flash, 2015), and three collections of poetry and monologues: Season Tickets, Love Takes a Bow, and Panning for Gold. He has won the Raymond Carver Fiction Contest, the Martindale Fiction Award, and multiple Sandscript Awards for Short Stories. His poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, San Diego Reader, Aethlon, Blue Collar Review, The Carolina Review, Sandscript, Loft and Range, KYSO Flash, and Serving House Journal.

“Happiest Black White Man Alive,” one of Gilmore’s flash fictions, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and was chosen by novelist Robert Olen Butler as one of the winning stories appearing in the anthology, The Best Small Fictions 2015.

In his time, Gilmore has been:

  • a fry cook,
  • a jazz musician,
  • a draft dodger,
  • a soldier,
  • an actor,
  • a minister in a Reno wedding chapel,
  • a psychologist,
  • a single parent of two children,
  • a college professor,
  • a dean, and
  • a consultant to business.

Currently, he lives in Tucson, Arizona and divides his time between playing jazz, writing, and loving his grandchildren, his life partner JoAn, and his cat.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Just Before Sleep, Gilmore’s chapbook of haibun stories reviewed by Duff Brenna in KYSO Flash (Issue 4, Fall 2015)

Dan Gilmore Poetry Reading at The Rogue Theater in Tucson, Arizona; in addition to Gilmore reading from his poetry collections, also includes readings of his poems by actors such as David Greenwood (“Semper Fi” and “Prayer Wars”)

Consternation and two other prose poems in Serving House Journal (Issue 9, Spring 2014)

The Hyperbolist and three other poems in Serving House Journal (Issue 8, Fall 2013)

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