Justice Delayed

Green flash at the break of dawn,
the hope of the world released in song,
that radiance upon the darkness shine,
and truth amid deception find.

To strike a balance among the conscious minds,
the severance of rigor-mortise once strongly entwined
in coil of mortal perception, a vice of fear,
a sullen casque enforced both far and near.

Await the swift hand of justice as pass the rebellious pyre.
The hollow heroes’ dressed funerals, honor’s procession expired.
Only malice and cancer may merit the fire,
for it was faith and love that kept the consciousness higher.

A day shall arrive where memory provides the model,
and the children of treason shall no longer be coddled.


“Justice Delayed” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. 




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Procession Winter (A Triptych of Haiku)

Remnants flutter down
Prickly, stale the earth and ground
Vitality lost


Frigid, cooling breath
Hollow sighs in heavens, haunt
Numbness plagues the heart

Leaves begin to furl
Squawking grackles line the trees
Death falls to the ground


“Procession Winter” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. 



Faery Hill – Part Three

We walked through the back of the bar again and out to the patio. Nobody was occupying the space as the day light was still far too bright. There was a semi rusted metal exit door. We walked out, Adam not keen on using openly on property. The alley was wide enough for a city garbage truck to pass through, but no two-way traffic; the backs of buildings lined the alley all the way to the book-ending streets. I thought the roads were trashy, but the alleys were worse. Puddles of brown and gray water sat, deflated reflections of cracked walls and dusty windows glaring at us. We moved to the side of the bar, where a narrow passage ran to the front of the bar between two buildings. The passage was blocked with a boarded fence. All types of trash and debris littered the ground.

“It’s safe here. No one will see us.” Adam assured. He pulled a glass pipe from his front pocket and reached into his back pocket, pulling out his wallet. A tiny gram baggie of the silver white dust hung, pinched between excited fingertips. I felt a surge of energy welling up inside me. My body was anticipatory. Not much was needed to get a high. Adam pulled a silver stem out of his wallet next. It was a metal tool of some sort I’d never seen before. It had a scoop shaped head. He dipped it in the bag, a perfect little mound atop the tool. He dumped it in the mouth of the pipe. He handed it to me as he searched for a lighter. Once found, he motioned the pipe back to him and lit up. The flame licked the bottom of the glass pipe for a few seconds and then I heard a familiar crackling sound. The stuff was beginning to melt and fume. A faint white mist began to rise from the dust. Slowly it began to turn magenta, and then purple. It was ready to inhale. Adam sucked the smoke in quick and handed me the device, a few beats till he started coughing. I mimicked his technique and inhaled the drug. It tasted mechanical, like metal and copper wires. It fizzled slightly in my mouth as it went down. I felt a heavy pocket in my lungs that slowly expanded from my chest outward into my various extremities and eventually to my head. I felt a bubble in my head, my eyes began to fishbowl. I rubbed my arms, my skin tingling and suddenly becoming sensitive. Adam was going through the same thing, rubbing his arms up and down, gasping and gagging in some type of ecstasy. He started massaging his crotch with an open palm.

“Oh, man. That feels good.” He giggled, “damn.” Adam looked me in the eyes, his grin silly looking beneath his manly ‘stache. I was dazed, caressing my forearms and thighs. I felt alert, but my  sense of touch had become heightened. I felt a rush coming. Adam kept rubbing his crotch.

“Damn, man. I need it right now.” Adam started unbuttoning his jeans. “I need it now, Alex. Give me some.”

I was in no state to disagree with Adam. His jeans were already down his knees, his cock bulging and struggling against his boxer briefs.

“Give it to me.” He leaned forward and kissed me roughly, his lips on top of mine, leaving them moist and slick. He grabbed my dick and started fondling it aggressively. I was already aroused. We started making out, kissing and breathing loudly. I felt everything, and that rush of the drug had overcome me. I felt heightened and dizzy, a wired state of drunkenness. Adam pulled his underwear down and leaned against the wall, pushing his ass into my crotch, moving it up and down against my hardened shaft. The sensitivity made me moan. His flesh was warm, his ass was firm and round. Without hesitating I penetrated him, the head of my cock struggling to enter at first, but then, after a few hard pushes, a few hard sighs, I eased into Adam. The heat of his body was too much for me. We became loud and aggressive, his toned ass swiveling against my waist. We fucked for about ten minutes before I came. He came from the sheer pleasure of feeling me inside him, working over his prostrate. We were both still high as we pulled our pants up, laughing to each other. My mind more than swirled now. It swam in waves. I felt good. I felt lucid, but mellow, like my body had been massaged for an hour. The rush of the drug had left with my ejaculations.

“Fuck man. That was good. Thanks, Lex.” Adam said. He leaned over and kissed me again, his tongue breaking through my lips, his mustache tickling my flesh. He pulled away and winked at me. “I better get inside.”

“For sure.” I said.

“Come on in. I’ll get you another drink. Maybe Eric’ll wanna come out back with ya.” I felt my body stiffen at the prospect. I hadn’t tried Eric, yet. I knew he liked my drugs though.

“Nah,” I said, and I noticed obvious relief on Adam’s face. “I’m good, man. I should probably skedaddle. But, uh, I enjoyed that very much.”

Adam smiled back at me. “I know I did.” He turned and started walking out of the passage way, “Alright, man. Well, I guess I’ll see you around soon, then.”

“I’ll be around.” Adam turned the corner and headed back into the bar. I lingered in the corridor for a few more minutes, getting my bearing, deciding where I’d go next. Aside from the still-congested traffic, I wanted this high to come down just a bit before I started to drive, and a second or third rush was also bound to come. I walked out of the narrow pass and into the alley, looking up and down it in both directions. Filth cracked asphalt and the gray light of a dimming sun once orange in the sky greeted me. My high was strong still, I’ll felt totally lucid, but everything had a cushion, and everything seemed clear. Everything felt bearable. The dirty alley was filled with trash, yes, but there was a reason that trash was there. Someone had left it there. And that suddenly made it okay. The rancid stenches that attacked you in variant corners, the grime and sewage, everything a byproduct of a natural reaction—it was organic in spite of its insipid presence. I looked around as I walked forward. Maybe I could hop around and go to another bar. Hell, I could probably go through another back patio somewhere.

I made it to the end of the street before I knew it. Cars moved at a swift pace over a cross of four lanes. I wasn’t interested in crossing the street just yet. I hung a left and walked up Conner Street, which ran perpendicular to 6th street, home of Faery Hill and the likes. I was headed north of that though. To a place I could ride out my high peaceably. The city had gotten darker outside the alley. Night fell fast. The gray light had become a dust, deepening the shadows and softening their edge. I walked forward. I looked average as possible, inconspicuous. People walked by me. I did my best to look ahead or look down. A couple blocks down and I was at The Catalan. It was just outside of Faery Hill proper, in other words, out of the gayborhood, but it was a nice place and the bartender, who I think was the owner, was very easy on the eyes. Like Jack Lat’s, The Catalan was dark. No matter what time of day, when you walked into The Catalan you were greeted immediately with a dim blood orange glow, and not much else. A wall size neon sign adorned the back wall of The Catalan; it named the place for itself as the center piece. It was nice to look at. Candles lit the high tops that lined the back wall. The front wall were black-glossed windows with a matte finish. They kept the daylight out. The Catalan had its own charm, and had been around for a long time. The back wall was also a stage, and had hosted dozens of live acts throughout the decades. Unfortunately, The Catalan did observe the smoking ban, and was a clean whiff when you walked in. It smelled more of mop soap and spilled beer. I was feeling light and a little dizzy. They table serviced at The Catalan until dark, so I sat in a corner about half to the back. It was nice. It would be a good place to ride out my high.


“Faery Hill” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. Short fiction, part three of five. 


The Neighborhood Is Silent

The neighborhood is silent
against the raucous jeers
of abounding crowds.
Traffic rushes statically
on highways not far from here.
The wind rhapsodizes dreamily,
lulling the silent, sleeping street.
But the neighbors are watching,
I’m sure, as I carve an apple,
(its red skin sweating in the
pungent humidity).
I never speak to my neighbors.
We never barbecue, either.
We remain indoors, in our
closed circuit environments,
in our creature comfort habitats,
in our dens of solidarity.
The land has changed:
preference of security leaves
these remains, these dormant
people, silent and secluded
from extemporaneous movement.
Wheels on upturned bikes spin
like reels of family-time past
and the basketball, the children’s
games are completely forgotten.
The children are gone, locked behind
barred doors, or perhaps in their
basements, slaves to their senses:
eyes and tongue.
The neighbors are watching though.
I am sure as I smoke a cigarette
and scream a verse or two that they
huddle quietly, waiting to break free.


“The Neighborhood is Silent” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. 


Lady Peacock

She altered and formed each savoring step. A vision in ebony blue, deep forest greens sparkled like crystals. She was a peacock on the stage, her flamboyance tempered by her pensive nature. She was lost in thought, but not in action. Her fire an aggression that lived in her dance. In each turn and spin, a violent thrust of idea, a depressed perception of man, a black and white, a sense of division, unity defeated by absolutes. The blue light cast on her smokey make up, the lines of her eyes cracked and watching. She tumbled to the floor, a cascade of plume and glitter.

“Lady Peacock” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved.



Crystalline Delirium

Day after thanks runs together like one.
Five days, four nights of questionable lust
clouded by the threat of retreat, or worse,
a social disease. Truth. I held him like a
lover. I loved him like forever, aware I’d not
see him for another few weeks. First time
in my bed, beneath the heavy liquids of rash
decision, the consequences and rewards are
days away. Uncompleted. Unity in souls is
never met. An exercise of tongues and
marvels, the deep breathing exploits
sensation with euphoric death.
Chemical nausea. Becoming in the end
the shrill of nerves that joyful sing.
Sunrises in a blink of an eye. The queens
gab on as the cold and the hot tug war.
The dead arise to work as consumption
has peaked for the year, and the fall reset
takes its leave; as gratitude gives way to reality
and the innocent are stricken as darkened love
plants sleep and doubt, and old ghosts begin
to dance without a care between the moon
and the sun.


“Crystalline Delirium” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. 


Faery Hill – Part Two

I parked on the street. There was always parking at this time, the time just after the dinner rush, but before the bar rush. I lit a cigarette as I got out of my car. Jack Lats’ was one of the only establishments in the whole city that allowed their patrons to smoke. A city ordinance had banned the activity from all public business, but the owners fought for their right to allow smoking in their establishment. An obnoxiously bold sign was posted outside that read, “This establishment allows smoking in doors. If you don’t like it, take your butt somewhere else.” They’d been sued, of course, but won the case as a privately owned business. It didn’t hurt their bottom line. A lot of gay people were smokers.

I walked into the bar, my eyes immediately accosted by its dim presence. The neon signs lit like beacons on the wall above the main bar and around the room. The dance floor was not on. It was too early for all of that. A few drinkers scattered throughout the place. A couple in the corner, awkwardly close to each other, a few friends grouped at the bar corner, a few more pairs sitting at high tops puffing away and laughing. The juke box was playing a kick-back Madonna in her retro, dance glory. Adam was working the bar, a client. He looked up when I walked in and smiled, winking as he mixed a drink for a solo barfly.  He turned to me when done.

“Hey, my man, what’s going on?” He was a mullet wearing, mustache baring gay man. A Village Person in the flesh, I always thought, and wondered how the gay culture had circled back around to that stereotyped look. Facial hair, groomed or not, had become a fad among the gays again. Made it a little easier to distinguish a top from a bottom, but that was beside the point.

“Not much. Just doin’ my rounds, you know.” I looked at him squarely. He knew I meant business.

“Cool, cool. Can I get you a drink? I’ll go get Danny.”

“Sure.” He always served on the house. Another perk of being a drug dealer. I never had to tell him what I wanted. He always knew. A whiskey man, I flavored it up with a coke and a splash of grenadine. My own Jack Cherry Coke. No one else ordered it, he told me once. Tossed a couple of cherries in it.  James disappeared from the bar, walking to the back where the office was. By the time I’d about finished my cocktail, he’d returned, inviting me back. No one paid attention to us, consumed by their beverages and company. Smoke wafted in the air, billiards clicked, Madonna was on a marathon, a modern era song now pulsing with the latest synths and rave beats.

“Lexxie!” Danny squealed. “Well if it isn’t my favorite top daddy in the whole wide world!” Danny wasn’t the only one whom referred to me as Lexxie, but I did prefer Alex. He was a total blouse from what I’d been told. I’d never known him sexually, despite being invited to numerous parties throughout our brief history together. I never went even though I could probably wrack up new business. I was particular about my clients, and didn’t need many. It also helped keep a low profile and limited the amount of runs I’d have to make. Sometimes all you needed were the right people to be successful.

The office was small, but nice. It looked clean and everything seemed to be in proper place. The lights were provided by a few table and floor lamps. The carpet looked new and clean. He remained at his desk; a multi-drawered credenza. A flat screen computer, paperwork and files, and a desk lamp sat idle before him. There was a long couch and coffee table to the right, ash trays and pillows decorated the furniture. A small fridge sat in the corner, and a large cabinet occupied opposite corner. The place was well put together and not what you’d expect in a dive like this. Danny was clean faced with a short, styled coif, and fit with toned arms. He wore a tight black shirt and slacks. He was older than he looked, more of a daddy than I was.

“Thanks for stopping by, Alex. I always appreciate the visit.” I liked how Danny got straight to business. He never seemed big on wasting time.

“For sure.” Danny stood up and opened one the doors on his credenza’s second level.

“Sooo,” he intoned, “A G for an 0, right?”

Danny hadn’t bought as much before. He musta’ been prepping for a party or something, “Yessir.” I dug into my coat pocket. I pulled out a baggie of pearly silver white dust. It was best smoked. I couldn’t imagine this drug been around long enough for people to try different, crazy ways of consuming it. As far as I knew, no one had ever mainlined it. Danny licked his lips as we made the exchange.

“Thanks, Alex. I deeply appreciate it,“ he said again. I think he was fiending.

“For sure, man. Anytime. As long as I stay wired, I’ll always be there for you.”

Danny shook my hand and pulled me in for a hug. It was customary with him. I embraced back as he stroked my back with a flat hand. I semi forced a release. He laughed. We didn’t much small talk, and it was okay by me. I was usually in and out. Sometimes I caught a drink, other times a hit with Brett, another bartender. I hadn’t seen him this time.

“I guess I’ll see you around, Danny.” He bowed and agreed cordially. I hugged him again, and turned away. The scene was not as awkward as it read, it was just extremely formal. A business transaction.

“Be sure to grab a couple drinks on me. Adam, you take care of Lexxie.” Danny was pointing in the air towards Adam, who stood by the door looking at his phone.

“Sure thing, Danny.”

Adam, the mustached and mulleted bartender and I walked out of the office, back into the dim sanctuary of the dive bar. I had a couple more drinks at the bar with him. It was the best way to pass rush hour in this city. Madonna was still playing on the jukebox. Musta’ been a die-hard fan in the audience today. He gossiped a bit about Danny, remarked how he was throwing a smasher in honor of Jimmy, a good friend that’d gone missing. He’d been ill, and then one day just was gone. We took a shot to Jimmy. My head began to swirl a bit. Motion swiveled. Another bartender came in. Eric. Eric was a hot, young one. His toned and muscled physique was a fan favorite and a reason why he worked the night shift. He created more loyal patrons in his waist-hi jeans, the band of his jockstrap usually riding over his beltline, making patrons thirstier every time he turned around. Adam and I shared another shot as Eric finished his set-ups. All the barflies were to themselves at the moment, none requiring attention or another round. Adam and I had been laughing and enjoying each other’s company when he asked if I wanted to share a hit with him out back. I obliged, not intent on leaving downtown yet. The traffic was still thick.


“Faery Hill” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. Short fiction, part two of five.