The Radio is Playing

by Patrick J. Salem

The rising sun’s heat has excited the ladybugs on the window in my writing room. The blink, blink, blink of the cursor against a blank, blank, blank page accuses me of laziness and lack. Outside the window, the locust tree is still bare, and I can see a pair of woodpeckers bop up opposite sides looking for larva as the nuthatches move from birdfeeder to barked trunk to have their breakfast. I challenge myself to write only a paragraph, just six good sentences to tell a story, but my mind wanders. I check e-mail, falling 401(k) funds, early symptoms of pregnancy for my wife, and a couple of porn sites in an effort to find “inspiration.” Thank God, the dog is barking, and I gotta go.


Patrick J. Salem is a former journalist from Chicago who, during the middle of a mid-life crisis, has enrolled in the MFA program at Columbia College Chicago.