Black Petals Issue #107, Spring, 2024

Editor's Page
BP Artists' Page
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
(After) Life is What You Make It: Fiction by Richard Brown
Gauche Cuisine: Fiction by Gordon L. Stewart
Here's to Forgetfulness: Fiction by Roger Johns
Insights Into the Trajectory of Human Cetacean Communication: Fiction by Andre Bertolino
Mal Ojo: Fiction by M. N. Wiggins
No Dark: Fiction by Bill Dougherty
Overtime: Fiction by Dennison Sleeper
A Cut Above the Rest: Fiction by Roy Dorman
Resemblance: Fiction by James McIntire
Sign of the Times: Fiction by Liam A. Spinage
The Attic Party: Fiction by Michael Fowler
The Renovators: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Balance: Flash Fiction by Rick McQuiston
Bawk Dark: Flash Fiction by Michael C. Jessen
The Incident With the Mismatched Man: Flash Fiction by Charles C. Cole
Radio Tower: Flash Fiction by Blair Orr
Take Me With You: Flash Fiction by Steven French
Slippery: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Where Dead Babies Come From: Poem by Nolcha Fox
302 Asylum Avenue: Poem by Joseph Danoski
Another Story: Poem by Joseph Danoski
Home Repairs: Poem by Joseph Danoski
A Creepy Leap Year: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Funeral Memorial: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
BatGrl: Poem by Casey Renee Kiser
Twin Flame: Poem by Casey Renee Kiser
Shadow Play: Poem by Simon MacCulloch
Dark Ride: Poem by Simon MacCulloch
Leviathans of the Void: Poem by Christopher Hivner
Sunbursts: Poem by Christopher Hivner
Into the Eyes: Poem by Anthony Bernstein
Airtime: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Gloria: Poem by Peter Mladinic
The Sorcerer: Poem by C. Walker
Frozen Eve: Poem by C. Walker

Peter Mladinic: Airtime



Peter Mladinic


It was early evening. 

I was sick in bed

listening to the radio,

a talk show with this guy

talking about how he

took some girl out on a date,

stopped his car

twenty miles from nowhere,

and made her get out.

When he had nothing

she didn’t want him. Then, 

when he got cleaned up,

a new suit, a car

and a job, she came around.

I pictured greasy hair, a black

shirt, a yellow sports coat,

and on one side of his light

blue convertible in gold

pinstripes the words Guardian Angel. 

I think he was an ex-con.

Every word he spoke

to the talk show host

sparked by bitterness,

he told the host, a woman,

his life story, every word

from some empty place

inside him, so finally he

was empty and not

somebody worthy of radio

airtime.  This creep in sharkskin

with his bitter you didn’t

want me when I was nobody

so screw you now I’m somebody.

As if he slammed on the brakes,

unzipped his fly,  and forced

himself on each faceless listener,

that night when I was a child.

I remember nothing of what

the talk show host said.

I don’t remember the name

of the program or 

the illness that kept me

there awake in bed.

All I see is a dark two-lane

road, the kind that’s either

peace or terror to be on alone

with a pinstriped guardian angel.

Peter Mladinic’s fifth book of poems, Voices from the Past, is forthcoming from Better Than Starbucks Publications.

An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico, USA.

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