Greg Gerke


I don’t really have the words to comfort you in your time of loss. My wife is not happy and she doesn’t even know your father went for the colorectal thing but on the way his heart gave out because of a triple shot of Epinephrine. I wish I could have pointed you to the right hospital with warm people but I don’t know many people who give deals. I know Klecko. I know Klecko can get a TV or radio going, but Klecko couldn’t have helped with this. He still owes me money. He smells like a barn.

I’m a distracted person and I’ve much too much clung to the Charles Bronson way to be the caring kind. By the way, I might have left a pair of socks at your house about ten or eleven months ago when we saw your slideshow on the flowers of Ohio. The socks are brown with triangular white fuzzies running up the ankles. Don’t ask me why I took them off or why I didn’t put them back on. I guess my sister-in-law bought them for me and I’ll never hear the end of it. I don’t like jello.

An old man in my childhood neighborhood told me death comes for all. I was always afraid of him and the horseflys surrounding his head and crotch and that was before he ever spoke. They said he was troubled and his stomach had been stapled twice.

You ask me what a real man is? I can’t tell you. I like guys who work on things and keep busy. I like old people too, like your now dead father. They don’t bother others and they don’t have extensive wardrobes.

I’m pretty glad you’re not so worried after your trauma and that you have stayed single for so long. Now you can travel to interesting restaurants and go to French movies. As I said my wife is not happy and I would like to bumrush a kangaroo and take out all my anger on something strange and cuddley—something our children used to go ga-ga over. Just don’t ever get cute with someone who likes to change the curtains every year. Be a cautious person, go into a darkened room to pick your nose and make sure all the pens in the house work.

I suppose pancakes are alright. A nice, bland enjoyment at a funeral brunch. We haven’t had them in this house for a while. If I were a woman I’d tell you to freeze me a couple but I’m not a woman and I’m sorry about your father.

Greg Gerke lives in Buffalo. His work has or will appear in Gargoyle, Rosebud, Fourteen Hills, Night Train, Flash Forward Press 2009 Anthology and others. There’s Something Wrong With Sven, a book of short fiction has been published by Blaze Vox Books. His website is

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