Perfume by Karen Maeby (poem)

4.17.17 © by Karen Maeby

the bottle that you hold so dearly
in between your hands
is the flesh that holds my bones together
the liquid found inside
is my life’s personality
that will eventually run out.

you unwrap me, make a face,
and give me away during white elephant.
i just wasn’t your taste.

i am undoubtedly fragile
because one slip to the ground
and i will break.

i will break into a million pieces,
only to never be put back together again.
my puzzle will always be missing something.

i think
i feel
i breathe

until i can’t.

i am perfume:

i get used, and then,
when i run out of steam
i am thrown away.

will i be replaced?
will i be replaced?

i am a scent that you will carry with you
always, always, always
as you start thinking back to the memories
you replay scenes in your mind
like the black and white movie on a film board.

midnight jazz
the singer sings on
and the drunk
keeps drinking
and there’s a sneeze in the air
with me on the tip of your tongue.

if i’m replaced—
am i a reincarnation of your memories
or a new and improved tomorrow?

i am now a broken glass,
shattered, impossible to put back together.

i am a butterfly that has just been released,
only wanting to come home.

i am recyclable
determined to be turned into something else.


my bottle harvests that moonlight glow
and the tiniest bit of sweetness
between sea breeze, pumpkin, memories and jazz.
i can play the piano to a tune of an illusion

that i was meant to be anything but broken.

Masquerade Fantasy – A short story by Karen Maeby

Masquerade Fantasy – A short story

2017 © Karen Maeby

(Copyright notice: This document shall not be replicated or posted elsewhere unless the author provides written permission. As of right now, the only place this short story is on the author’s private blog at – Thank you for understanding.) 

He sat almost lifeless at his computer, obsessively staring at the screen, as he tapped his pen against the desk. Everything stopped for a minute—the noise of ambulances rushing down the road, the neighbor’s kids screaming as they play, background music on the TV—and all he could hear was his own heartbeat ringing through his ears. As he came to, he wiped the sweat that was pouring off his forehead.

“I have to do this.” He says out loud, as he replies to an ad for a call girl. After responding he hurried up and closed out of the computer when he heard his girlfriend coming in the door.

“Hi honey, what’s going on?” She asks.

“I need to go out for a bit.” He gives her a light kiss then quickly rushes to his car and out of the driveway.

One knock on the door, and this beautiful woman dressed in a Masquerade mask and a black silk nightgown, opens it. “Hi, Sugar. Come on in.” She moves aside as he walks in, taking note of everything in the hotel room.

He doesn’t even take a minute to get settled in. “The beautiful mask. You hide behind it–your true identity. Tell me…. how does it feel to hide your true identity? What is your name?” He asks her, as he brushes her face.

She replies almost uneasy, “My name is Marilyn. You contacted the Masquerade hotline, so the mask is part of the game, Sugar. Now…do you want to start, or should I?” She reaches for him, and he grabs her arm to stop.

“I only want to talk.” He says, “I need to talk to someone and I felt that someone like yourself—with secrets of her own—would be a good contender to lend an ear. Would I be correct about this?”

“…Yes? In a way?”

“Oh don’t worry, beautiful. You’ll still get paid your wage.” He paces the floor. “I suspect my wife is cheating on me, and I want to put a stop to it, but I think murder is the only option. I have thought about this every night since I started suspecting her. Here’s what I will do: I will cook her dinner—her favorite meal—put some sleeping pills in her red wine, and seduce her all the way to bed. Then, after we’ve done the deed for the last time while she’s alive, I will smother her to death. I will wrap her body in a bag—attach some weight to it so there’s not a chance her body will float up—and throw her in the river that’s about 25 miles north of where we live, that way, it’s not suspecting on my part. I would have no reason to go to private property farmland, because that’s where the river is located.” He continues, as he is rubbing his hands together like he’s concocting a plan. “I will wait a day and call 911 to file a missing persons report, then I will call everyone that we know and ask if they’ve seen her.”

Horrified and shaking, Marilyn says as she’s backing away from him, “Are—are—you sure you want to commit murder?”

“Oh Marilyn,” he reaches for her and strokes her arm, “I’m not going to harm you, my dear, there’s no need to be terrified.”

“Why do you think murdering your wife the only option, instead of just talking to her? Couldn’t you go to counseling?”

“Because Brandy had it coming.”


“Has. I mean, has… if I catch her in the act, she’ll be punished.”

“Okay, so say you caught her in the act—wouldn’t you think, that if someone you knew saw you with me here—and let her know—she wouldn’t think you’re doing the same thing?”

“It’s logical, but doubtful. We’re too far from my neighborhood for anyone to recognize me.”

“Chuck, I’ve never been in this position before. I’ve never had someone to confess something this outrageous to me, so you’ve got to understand where I’m coming from, please forgive me… but are you absolutely sure you want to kill your wife? There really are other options to avoid jail time for the rest of your life. Maybe a divorce will suit?”

“If I go to jail over this, the kill will be well worth it.”

“You’ve puzzled me, Chuck. I wish I could help you resolve this so you wouldn’t go to such lengthy matters and end up in so much trouble. What if she’s really not cheating?”

“You could help me find out. I’ll even protect your identity when the time comes, that is, if we have to commit murder.”

“NO! No, I will not help you murder anyone, Chuck. I will talk to you all day here if need be to help change your mind, but I cannot ever do something like that. How could you even think about this yourself? How do you sleep at night with this on your mind?”

“I have slept just fine.” He says, in a matter of fact way.

A buzz of a phone disturbs the awkward silence of the conversation. It was Chuck’s phone. “Oh it’s my girlfriend Diane. She wants to know when I’ll be home and what to fix for dinner.”

“But I thought your–” A knock at the door dismissed Marilyn’s sentence, as she got up to open it, five police were standing outside the door.


As the police were reading Chuck’s rights to him, he kept glaring at Marilyn. They escorted him to the police vehicle, and Marilyn shortly followed.

Back at the police station, several people were in the interview room, among them: Diane, Chuck, Marilyn, two detectives and a police officer.

One of the detectives said, “After twenty years, we finally have you. Twenty years. It took two decades to find you, but we did it.”

Chuck spits out. “Who the hell are you, Marilyn? Were you in on this? I should have known you were asking too many questions!”

Diane starts to cry, “Your questions are irrelevant, Chuck. I suspected you were cheating on me, so I hired a private investigator and they’ve been following you around for a while now. You’ve been having some odd behavior that resembled that to a murderers. Sadly, I was right.”

Chuck says, “No, Diane, I suspected you! I thought you were cheating on me.”

“So that’s why you went to meet with someone from the Masquerade hotline? Really?”

“Obviously I contacted the wrong Masquerade hotline.” He snorts.

“Oh no, it was the right one but unfortunately, for you, your date was with an undercover cop.” Marilyn says, as she flashes her badge in his face.

One of the more threatening looking detectives leans in. “Now, Polaski, let’s get down to the nitty gritty business of why we’re really here. Our private investigators have followed you to and from the location of where you threw Brandy’s body in the water. You drive there at least three times a week and you’re walking a very thin line of trespassing on private property. And, according to your confession today of a pre-confessed murder, you already knew it was private property.

And, let’s think about this next one for a minute—you’re not married, you’re with a Diane who holds girlfriend status, so who in the world is Brandy?

Brandy was your wife that you murdered in cold blood twenty years ago. Am I right, Polaski? You just couldn’t take it anymore. You had to tell someone, but yet, you picked your destiny. You could have gone anywhere else but you fell right into a trap of your own doing. But we are so thankful you did, so thank you, Polaski, for setting your own trap.

Needless to say, if we can’t keep the confession as evidence for the court, we can submit your fingerprints. For twenty years, Polaski, we’ve been missing your fingerprint in our database for the proof of closing this case and arresting your ass. It would be in your best interest to plead guilty. So, what will it be, Polaski?”

Prose & Poetry ~ very dark/depressing {you’ve been warned}

PROSE 11.24.16  

This room is dark and cold like a jail cell—but not trapped between the hollow of darkness—where the only thing you see are locks and chains. Every time I blink I see stuffed white cat statues standing tall and rats running around for blood like they’re the only vampire into the night. Glancing down at myself—it’s the same wardrobe that has been wrapped around my body many times. The same wardrobe that hides me and my soul from the world that can’t even see me in the flesh when I’m not wearing it.  

My eyes are closed and I’m taking a walk through a cemetery. I am hand in hand with a ghost. Shortly afterwards, a pack of ghosts then start to follow me, chanting something that I cannot seem to comprehend. Every time I stop walking, so do they, and as I look around nothing but fog covers the darkened skies. I continue walking until I catch my breath after my heart palps a few times.  

And, I am awakened to bath water full of blood. I am sitting in my claw-foot tub at my very own Victorian-style house. The blood is mine, and I’m not yet dead. Dammit. I think to myself. I caught sight of the white light and it pulled me in—but it lied, it fucking lied—so here I am again…..awake, and the pain still exists. Over and over—it sings—like a song I used to like before it became the definition of a broken record. 

I used to imagine that if I were anyone else, if I were some other person, would people care about me more than the person I actually am? It’s a twisted point of view for someone fighting to be happy within one’s self, but also looking in a broken mirror at midnight with tears in her eyes and mascara running down her face. And no one, absolutely no one, there by my side to catch me as I fall to the hard cold tile. Almost a thousand tissues surround me. I am so heartbroken. Why doesn’t anyone want to love me? Simply because some people just were not meant to be loved.

I watch Fight Club religiously. I study Tyler Durden as he plots to fight his inner demons. In a sense, I already am him. In another sense, I want to be him. But every single time I get up with the urge to do something fabulous or life-changing, my very own monsters that hold me down are telling me: I am nothing, I am unloved, and I get punched in the face with those realities. I am not even good enough to be a speck of dirt for someone to step on.

You see, I’m a writer—deep down inside—I know this is my true calling, but I just can’t seem to make it work. I tried to bring something to fruition a few years back, and since absolutely no one cared to read what I had to write, I made a fictional name and posted under that. I wasn’t even worthy of any attention under a faux name. Since then, I’ve hidden myself, and my feelings… but if I don’t get this out I’m going to burst inside. I know it’s going to be a really long life without love, that’s why I’m placing bets on my cards on hoping I die young.

After damning the entire world, including my body, for letting me live—I took a shower to wash all of the blood off of me. I felt like I was living a horror movie, and I was the main character that just got slashed by the serial killer that somehow figured out my pin code to the alarm system on my house was 3713. I got out of the shower and wiped the steam off the mirror and looked myself in the eyes. It was the first time I really saw myself. So sad, blue, to the point of black. Barely breathing. Then, my mirror shattered all over the floor and a piece of glass cut my leg. I just embraced the pain; it felt better than the alternative.

That’s when I realized I need to release these feelings to the atmosphere because maybe, just maybe, someone else has had them too. And if I can save a few souls before I die, that would be my gift to the world, and I can then rest in peace when my remains are scattered in the ocean.

POETRY 12.30.16

rubies fall like bullets from the sky
and diamonds crack in the ground,
from sunset to moonlight
forming rose petals full of lies.

suitcases full of letters
that belong to words in a sentence
galloping across the galaxy
wishing for a better novel to attend.

a telephone that never rings again
and the silence is deafening.
words being shouted across ten universes
and it never reaches the right one.

days when one never sees sunlight again,
because it is boxed up and packed away
just like yesterday’s memories
that seem to mean nothing more than that.

and poetry,
poetry pours from the dying soul
into a river of seas
right where her remains were meant to be.

The Man With the Shoes {poetry} by Karen Maeby

The Man With the Shoes 
by Karen Maeby 11.17.16

He walks
across the stage and stops.
The crowd hushes as he speaks his first line.

He’s giving a deliverance speech—
some sort of declaration…
A story you’d never heard before.

Something like a secret—
something no one will ever hear again.
The audience is hanging on to every single word.

An applause-worthy performance.
He’s giving it everything he’s got,
because he pinky swore to do so.

A mind that never stops,
and won’t ever stop.
He’ll find—soon enough—his imagination is his opus.

A mind full of shenanigans, humor, life stories,
and love.
He is the one that everyone loves.

Suddenly, the stage goes dark
and his personality keeps him glowing.
Jazz begins to play.

He delivers the last line as confident as ever.
He takes a bow and walks off stage,
and the clapping of the audience echoes.

How is it to walk in his shoes?
A writer and actor’s shoes—
a soul so talented, so full of life.

Special—is he—the man with the shoes,
who walked in to my life
without warning, accidentally, kismet.

Since I Met You (poem by Karen Maeby)

Since I Met You
by Karen Maeby  © 8/22/16

I know life’ll never be the same again

Since I met you—

My dreams have moved me out of really tiny houses
with no space at all, and into larger mansions,
with plenty of room to navigate and separate my thoughts.

The outside walls are painted pink with mocha cream
and the fence has deeply entangled vines that won’t die,
because knowingly, the inspiration to live will be forevermore.

Since I met you—

There’s always a song with lots of verses playing in my head
—usually jazz or blues with many, many riffs—
always pre-determined by last night’s humor and seriousness.

Our time is a staged rehearsal,
where every night is different, but leads the same way to the moment,
when the clock stops ticking and we’re so completely lost in one another.

Since I met you—

I now write freely by the magical moonlight
which serves me the healthiest tasting drink on the planet,
right where your soul breathed life into mine over and over again.

Every time I close my eyes to lay deep into your arms,
I feel like I’ve witnessed a million shooting stars
and it’s only the beginning (I have to remind myself).

Since I met you—

It’s very clear, I’ll never be the same, and I wouldn’t want it to be.
You’ve awakened some part of me that I didn’t even know existed.

You’ve sent shivers down my spine, a calmness to my heart,
and poetry throughout my entire body (something that I know will never end).

I feel like I’ve been given a gift, something that very few have,
a secret that my heart knows through and through….

that life will never, ever be the same again