romance final
(Opening in theaters near you: Lady and the app)

Written in smoke

by James Coburn

Billy kept his poetry in a refrigerator
way down in New Orleans.
They aged with him as his hair
grew long, his skin ruffled.
A smoke-stained room of cigars
and journals, two lap dogs
and a few whiskey bottles.
An empty space
from the baby grand piano
he had to sell.
His mind never slept. When dreaming,
he met wind crossing telephone lines,
dipping like stitches into the distance.
“You’ll understand one day
your poetry is your friend,” he said.
He chose a solitary life,
after filling it with places,
girlfriends and wives,
until they became stories
known to paper and pen;
typewriter with faded ribbon.
One night, his brownstone flamed
bright as the sun.
Flames licked through keyholes
and drawers, claiming ashes for their own.
“If you’re ever in a fire,
get the hell out, you hear me,” he said.
His poems crashed to floor below,
locked air tight in the refrigerator
plummeting down to earth.
Only pages filled with words survived,
seared by heat, hidden away
as he had been.

(Editor’s Note: To submit poetry, prose, short stories, art or other creative writing for Sunday Funday, please write to Other submissions for commentaries or reporting can be sent there as well. NonDoc accepts submissions from all over the world and seeks to provide a platform for a diverse group of voices. As always, Letters to the Editors can be submitted by emailing )

Previous editions of Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday 11/8: Pyramids and riverbanks

Sunday Funday 11/1: Bacon to be Born Again

Sunday Funday 10/25: ‘Words’ for the King of the Fall 

Sunday Funday 10/18: We died happy, offline

Sunday Funday 10/11: ‘Seeing life in all its folly’

Sunday Funday 10/4: Land and time not in my backyard

Sunday Funday 9/27: New definitions, baseball and Short Order Poems

Sunday Funday 9/20: With others ‘losing,’ Trump says, ‘Hadouken!’

Sunday Funday 9/13: Kanye West and a man who smells

Introducing Sunday Funday from Mike Allen

Mike Allen is a graphic designer, painter, printer and tailor. He has a fine art degree from the University of Oklahoma.
James Coburn is an Oklahoma poet, photographer and journalist. His first book of poetry, "Words of Rain," was a 2015 finalist for the Oklahoma Book Awards. His work has appeared numerous anthologies. A long­time journalist for The Edmond Sun, Coburn is a 2013 inductee of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.