KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Micro-Fiction: 226 words


by Dan Gilmore

We’re in Bob’s pickup headed for Oinks Cafe. He knows I’m on a heart-healthy diet, but he insists on Oinks. Says he’s trying to commit suicide by bacon. For a year he has eaten nothing that ever had a face, avoided anything with even a drop of added fat. Then he discovered he has a disease that’s sure to kill him slowly over the next two to five years. He’ll die from the inability to breathe. He says he’d rather croak quick from a heart attack. So now he’s eating lots of bacon, eggs fried in Crisco, popcorn soaked with butter. Last night he ate six Italian sausages dipped in mayonnaise. “I’m trying,” he says, “but lately, I wake up at night fighting for breath.” And as he talks, I feel the door close on my heart-healthy awareness. I ask about sweets. He says he eats a pound of See’s turtles a day. I tell him turtles are good with Cheetos. “You should try them with bacon,” he says. By this time, we’re at Oinks. We sit at a table with a yellow table cloth and a daisy on it. Every breath is a bacon breath. The waitress is pretty and happy. “What’ll you have, boys?” she says. Music is playing. It’s a tune I don’t recognize, but I can’t help thinking it’s my song.


Dan Gilmore
Issue 8, August 2017

is the author of a novel, A Howl for Mayflower (Imago Press, 2006); a collection of new and selected haibun stories, New Shoes (KYSO Flash, 2016); 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

New Shoes, Gilmore’s collection of new and selected haibun stories reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa in KYSO Flash (Issue 7, Spring 2017)

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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