KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Tanka Prose: 113 words

The Old Beatnik

by Urszula Funnell

In our teens, we wore our badges of abandonment with great pride. We spoke in shades of grey, outdoing one another as we sunk deeper into our pits of self-loathing. But there was one who could out-dark us all. A master whose words painted a picture that would stay with us long after the burdens of youth. Many years later, I saw him crumpled at the bar, the toll of too much darkness evident in the depth of his scotch. I thought to offer him a drink, but instead I walked away.

his mother
taught him the rules
of the ouija
we played his game
until the sun came out

—Semi-finalist, KYSO Flash HTP Writing Challenge

Urszula Funnell
Issue 6, Fall 2016

is a poet and author who lives in Brighton, England. Her works appear in a variety of online publications and have won placings in a number of contests, including first place in the TSA Tanka Prose Contest 2015, and second place in Mandy’s Pages Tanka Prose Contest 2015.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Winners of the Annual Tanka Contest 2015 at Mandy’s Pages, judged by Claire Everett, editor of the Skylark tanka journal, and David Terelinck, editor of GUSTS: Contemporary Tanka

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