NEW FICTION: Bourbon & Blondes has arrived!

From the bus stations of Rt. 66 to the smoky, neon-tinged jazz dives of the big cities, these wanton tales of longing introduce us to vixens on the fringe and those shifty men that drove them there.

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Watch: The 'Bourbon & Blondes' Book Trailer

Get your shot glass ready because you're about to enter a retro world of showgirls, drifters, barmaids and thieves.

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Read the pulp novella that one reviewer called 'A potboiler in the style of old school writers like Mickey Spillane, Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler...'

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Right before I hung up the
phone, I remember
that there was a clap of
thunder. The kind
that makes you say,
Holy fuck!
Still, I was pissed.
This little broad wasn't
gonna play me anymore.
As it was, the only thing that
bound us at this point
was this dumb trip we planned
to Disney, compliments of
my tax check.

We were both looking
forward to it and Christ,
I'd say we needed it.
Right before I slammed the phone
down I told her we were through.
Kaput. And 'Fuck that trip,' I said.
'I'll be goddamned if I was gonna
bring some ungrateful bitch
with me on my only vacation for the year.'

When she called back, I wouldn't
answer. Not even the other phone.
I meant it this time.
This time.
Then the doorbell rang. It was
her. Sopping wet. The poor thing
ran to my house from the
next town over and didn't
have a car. Standing on my
stoop, panting with drenched
sweatpants and a ripped T-shirt,
she pleaded not to cancel the trip.

Our trip.

As I write this, some weeks later,
I'm watching her sleep. Half-drunk,
half stupid, I'm scribbling these
way-too-incriminating thoughts
on the back of a faded postcard.
And as the moonlight creeps in
through the curtains of our cheap
HoJo motel room, all I can
think is that Mickey awaits.

I hope that fucker's happy...


For so many years
it stood majestic,
the swankiest
joint in town.
Gin-soaked men
gambled here by night
while their wives spent their
unwon winnings by day.
No one knew when to quit.

But now, hard times
are a knockin'. The big boys
are in town now and
they own the crowds; the
gamblers; the tourists.

And it's about to fall.

And sure, the carpet
has long faded like
oxidized paint
on a Pinto;
The glasses don't
clink the same clank;
the neon doesn't
burn as bright.
Cliché? Perhaps.
But true. And, please,
have no illusions,
this joint will always be
a landmark.
Need proof?
He sang here;
ate here
slept here;
Don't ask who.
It's beneath you.

And it's about to fall.

As for the new school?
The billion dollar
monoliths with the fancy
glass art commissioned up the
wazoo. Keep it.

Keep the flavour of
the month chefs and
their lame eateries
because I remember
when they served
steak in this town.
Real steak. A man's steak.

They liquidated all
of her assets; sold
the piss-stained sheets even.
Thinking about it, I laugh.
But then it starts.

3 ...

2 ...



And she falls.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


There they were, this couple,
hobbling down the street.
Vagrants, I’m guessing.
They looked worn.
Tired and Hungry.
She, clutching
on to him, her
only hope.
He, using a large
stick of some sort to
navigate the asphalt
terrain for his woman.
All they needed was
a scrappy mutt in tow.
Dirty clothes hanging
limply from their frames;
His hat torn, her curchiff
looking like a dishrag;
But where were they going?
Methadone clinic?
Soup kitchen?
Crack den? Or merely just
a safe place to sleep?
Were they on the run
from someone?
Did they have kids
somewhere hoping that
dad wasn’t in jail or
that mom was safe and
on her meds?
When was the last time
they felt the warmth
of a home?
Or the clean smell of fresh
towels and unused soap?
That aroma of real food cooking.

I drove by them and once
they were out of my rear
view, my day began...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

BABIES IN TRAINING (flash fiction)

The girlfriend wanted a baby.

Her sister fucked everything up and had one of her own a few years back and ever since, I couldn't land a break.

Rosie and I had talked about it once before and we came to the conclusion that winos like us didn't have babies - just puppies.

Unbeatable Pets was the mall pet shop - the kind of place working stiffs like me got sucker-punched into buying overpriced pooches or as I'd like to call them, Babies In Training.

'Summer' - that's what we called it - happily strutted in front us as I told her how I expected this dog to be treated and if I was satisfied, a baby could be discussed again sometime down the road.

Twelve months later Summer was dead as a result of Rosie leaving it outside during a heatwave and to tell you the truth, I couldn't have been happier.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Back in Atlantic City for his annual convention, Sam looked forward to his yearly lapdance, massage and happy ending, a reward for enduring hours of boring sales panels.

He was the Big Guy who sold parts to the Little Guys who sold parts.

Third day in, he blew off the Tony Robbins wannabes in the convention center and had an incredible afternoon on the casino floor.

At the craps table he struck up a "thing" with a delicious cupcake of a cocktail waitress who agreed to meet him for a smoke on the boardwalk after her shift.

By the time he was finished with his second Marlboro, he had imagined what life could be like with this seemingly amazing woman.

If only the woman he had married - the one buzzing the phone in his pocket - could do it for him the way Cupcake the Cocktail waitress was at the moment...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Recently I was at the bar with my trusty moleskin and pen and there was a woman across the way drinkin' God knows what and annoying everyone around her. There's always one... After observing her for a bit, I created this less-than-flattering backstory. My revenge for having to endure her dragon-like cackles when all I wanted was a little peace. Thus, this is what came out.

When she didn't come home
he set out for her.
She was at the bar –
his bar - holding court
four drunks deep.

When he walked in and saw her,
the giggling just inflamed him
more and more. All he kept
thinking was did she really
need to swig her beer?
How very unladylike.

He still felt her slap from
hours ago that left his cheek
crimson and tingly with canaries
flying ‘round his cranium.

He still tasted the blood
in his mouth and as he approached
her, he went numb, smelled her
fear as his butcher’s grip took hold.

When he grabbed her arm
one of the barflies puffed
out his chest and was soon
scrounging for his teeth.
“You...” he kept repeating
to her over and over.

They took it outside and
as she lit her cigarette
to calm her nerves, she
looked for the strength to
tell him that there was
a little one cooking
in that unladylike belly.

Monday, February 9, 2009

SHE DIDN'T OWN MY EYES (flash fiction)

While I was at the hotel bar waiting for her to come down (she's always running late), I spoke with Bob the barkeep.

Another American, we chatted up the Yankees, our shitty economy and (if you can imagine such a thing) the merits of a good 'ol fashioned Milwaukee brew.

It didn't take long to notice the vast amount of gorgeous locals frequenting the bar so I asked Bob if all native women were so beautiful.

"Hey man, I thought you were here on your honeymoon..." he answered with that all-knowing guy wink.

By the time I realized my bride was standing behind me, the words were already coming out quicker than I could stop them as I proclaimed, "Shit man, she may own my heart, but not my eyes."

Um, yeah, I didn't get laid that night or on that trip.

THE LAST DRUNKEN PARTY (flash fiction)

When she came home from being out all night and God only knows where, I heard her flop off those godforsaken fuck-me pumps in that drunken stupor of hers downstairs.

Barely being able to make it up the second floor, she stumbled into our bedroom and I saw her as I have so many times before in this unflattering state.

"Hey baby...," She slurred, smelling like a sloppy concoction of Miller Light, Aqua Net and sex.

After I warned her to stay and that we'd talk in the morning, she planted one on me and I tasted his drink, maybe it was Sambuca.

When I pushed her face away, she grabbed my shaking hands that touched those clammy, wet palms one last time.

I was always able to read people from the get-go and when I read her mind, this time it told me that yes, she was indeed in love with him and that she would do this again.


Night after night, I stare at my father’s army shadowbox and hear the crashy high hats and brassy horns of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and the rest of the glorious big bands that saved him through World War II.

And that sorta gets me thinking...

If he were alive now, there’d be so many things I’d want to know like how to build a sun deck or change a friggin' tire. And what's the deal with all those Japanese half-brothers and sisters he always joked I had?

As I curse the non-filtered Chesterfields that kidnapped him long before he could see me with an inkling of wisdom, I realize that I never shook his hand.

And that sorta makes me sad…

PENNY FOUNTAIN (flash fiction)

At the mall, there was a small child, a little girl who'd just discovered her first fountain.

I watched her from the level above, as she laughed at the water, afraid of the spritely streams and excited at the same time.

Her pop gave her a shiny penny and as she hurled it, 'Ol Abe Lincoln rolled out of sight and she cried that first cry of disappointment.

Real disappointment.

But the dad quickly soothed her with a nickel that he cupped into her small hand and made sure that fucker
went into the fountain with a victorious plunk.

His little girl was happy now and that's all that mattered

COFFEE... JUICE... SODA... (poem)

Casinos are filled with all sorts of lively characters. Be it dealers, card sharps, hustlers or gamblers, this is an attempt to shed light on one of those lives.

Holding her tray up high,
she struts by the lounge.
Not the new one with
the gold lame’ curtains but
the one by the
nickel slots and
all the silver foxes
pumping their IRAs into
the board’s 401Ks.
As she glides into
their hazy, cigarette smoke,
all purple and green
from the endless rows
of neon and light, she
roboticly chants her
never-ending mantra,

"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."

It took a while, but finally the
millions of twinkly electrodes
became blind to her eyes;
the clinkity-clack of coins
hitting slot trays
deaf to her ears;
the pungent, acidy
stink off all that cheap
perfume and musk,
dull to her nose.
She prances through
it all, happily, with
hips swagging about;
and still filling out
her cocktail outfit
after all these years.
The men notice.

"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."

After thousands
of bourbons
and Budweisers,
she can honestly
say she's oddly
Any normal, nine to
fiver would say she’s
one ace short of
a deck, but
somehow, she’s
always rolled with
the system.
Her system.

"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."

She gets comfort from people.
And sure, they get cranky
when they lose and --
they all lose. The true
greatness of all of these
nameless faces emerges
when those Triple 7s
are aligned. With Bells
ringing and siren light
taunting the losers,
she shrugs those
elegant shoulders and
says, 'Just another day
on the floor.'
Yup, after all the ass-slaps,
stiffed tips, spilled coffee,
and red-eye shifts,
her customers (if that’s
what we cancall them)
are for the most part,
good decent folk.
She knows it.

"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."

For a short bit,
she got promoted and
became a shift manager
to the rest of the gals.
Three weeks later,
she was back on the floor
strutting in her pumps.
The brass thought she
was nuts. Somewhere
in her they saw
management material.
She saw a stroke.

"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."

She knew how many
truly unhappy
cocktail waitresses
there were in casinoland.
She knew what most
people thought of them.
‘Oh, here comes the former
showgirl or the wannabe
failed blackjack dealer.’
Little did they know that
she was the single mom
who works 12 hours shifts
overnight. Maybe they knew.
Just maybe.

Yet, in her ruffled
feathers, black
fishnet and Avon makeup,
she was a smiler.
A pure smiler;
And she was going
to stay that way no
matter what.

"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."
"Coffee ... juice ... soda ..."


Have you ever been to the airport and maybe saw a passionate couple in the throws of some juicy argument? While the voyeur in you wants to say "To Hell with the flight," you fake tying your shoe so you can see what these two wackjobs are screaming about... This prose poem is one of those instances.


She said why aren’t you coming?
I told her that we’d be a mistake,
a nightmare in fact.
Pleading in the airport, at the gate,
she clutched and clutched;
weeping and kept on repeating
that she didn’t understand.
I felt bad, even worse than
that, but shit, what was there
not to understand? I just wasn’t
feeling this broad anymore. And you know
what, it wasn’t even about sex. Shit, that’s
thing on my mind at that point. She didn’t
get me and brother, I mean it
when I say to you that if they don’t get you,
run, man.
Run fucking far away. Don’t even tie your shoes.
I had to find out the hard way.
A chick that doesn’t get
you is about as dangerous as someone
you loathe who DOES. Take it from me, no
matter how blue her eyes gleam or perfect her
complexion is, beauty fades. Picture yourself
talking to this cupcake in 20 or 30
when she looks like busted suitcase. Ask
her questions now that will be
And then think of me, here today,
at the airport, hoping to escape.

WHO GETS THE DOG? (flash fiction)

"Don't worry," I always had to say every time we ended one of our gut-wrenching arguments. "I'm the one you can blame if all this goes to shit." She poured me a drink and we got down to brass tacks. For some reason, whenever we had these "life" discussions, I always stared at her left tear that would eventually ease slowly down her cheek. What she probably never knew was that whatever semblance of a point she'd try to make always took a back seat to her pre-cry beauty. I knew she was serious now, though, since those water works never came.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Bestselling novelist and pop-culture writer Stephen King isn’t a fan of Twilight author Stephanie Meyer. King tells USA Weekend that while both Rowling and Meyer are “speaking directly to young people, The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”

Talk about stating the obvious.