Some Events in October

After a sweltering 3 weeks
of 100 degrees,
fall arrived fashionably late
in mid-October –
as it usually does
in Southern California.
We had an immaculate weekend
of rainy gloom.
The Padres upset the Dodgers
and advanced to face off
against my Phillies
in the NLCS.
One night after the rain,
someone threw a bottle
through the window
of my neighbor’s truck
and the truck lit on fire.
It was 3 in the morning
when I rushed outside
to watch the truck ablaze
from my front porch.
Firefighters took a century
to arrive.
Luckily, the rain made
everything slick enough
so that the fire didn’t spread
to the car parked behind the truck
or to the grass
of my neighbor’s house.
I went inside
shaken to my core;
it was the closest
I’d ever been
to a fire that large.
The next day,
the used-to-be red truck
fried like a slab of burnt bacon
in another 100-degree day.


society imprisons us.
is supposed to free us
but indebts us.
supposed to
be a key
but doesn’t
turn us free.
they tell us
is our ticket –
the solution
to our problems
but it becomes
our problem.
to hundreds of thousands
of dollars
in debt.
interest rates
without ceilings.
they keep us
paying off
their tickets
with no expiration date.
it’s their ticket
to freedom,
not ours.

Nothing New

with scrabble scores
sleep on the coffee table
in the living room
on Saturday morning.
I walk out
from the bedroom,
sit on the sofa,
and place my coffee mug
on one of them.
My wife glistens
in the bright sun.
Shylo joins us
on the couch.
We watch a bit
of the morning news –
2 more shootings.
Shylo looks away.
At least
hasn’t diseased him yet.
I’d kill
to be floored
the way I used to be
at news of mass shootings.
But the depth
of these tragedies
has been overshadowed
by the frequency.
It’s nothing new.

Ken Kakareka lives in Fullerton, CA with his lovely wife. He is the author of Late to Bed, Late to Rise (Black Rose Writing, 2013). Ken’s words have appeared or are on their way in a number of publications including Gargoyle Magazine, Route 7 Review, Horror Sleaze Trash and more. A list of selected publications can be found at