October 6, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

AFP photo



Jon Vreeland



Art by Alycia Vreeland




Just a Guy



His puffy eyes and pink skin seemed to crawl as

the cameras and reporters

swarmed the killer’s brother’s home

somewhere in Florida as we

searched for answers:


A massacre on a Sunday Night

10/1/2017 in the warmth of Las Vegas Nevada


“He was, just a guy,” his brother said dumbfounded


the morning after 22,000 people—




who had gathered in the desert under millions

of lights

to hear musicians sing about





stories about their daddy and their first car

their life as a country kid—

were rained upon with a metal storm


a deluge of copper and steel

soddened the people who



Drank cold beer in the heat of the desert night


“He was just a guy,” his brother repeated


as we learn of his lack of social media accounts

lack of kids


just a girlfriend he sent away: an ambiguous vacation

to Asia and the Philippines

a trip worth $100,000 and a lot of questions


We learned of his

stellar criminal record

No history of mental illness


He wasn’t an addict or a drunk

He was retired and lived in Vegas where

Black Jack





Tourists are the city’s infrastructure.


He loved to gamble



of cash;


He was worth $2 million and lived

in a community where people





Only hide from the sun and smile at the moon.


“But he was just a guy,” his brother explained

over and over in his innate rhetoric


(a tone and state of shock everyone

including myself believes)


His 90 year old mother is 90 and she is






22,000 people and their families

ambushed by

Her son

Her baby boy

Her son who was “Just a guy”


Just a guy with easy access to weapons our military soldiers




to use


Just a guy who was never bothered and could afford to

keep people quiet, buy as many weapons as his pallid skin

would allow him to buy with no suspicion.


a wicked nondescript who nobody knew

until Sunday evening.


And now a category 5 hurricane is just the breath of a

Shallow Monster.







Jon Vreeland

Jon Vreeland is a writer of prose, poetry, plays, essays and journalistic articles. His memoir “The Taste of Cigarettes: the memoir of a heroin addict” will publish May 22, 2018 on Vine Leaves Press, Australia. Vreeland lives in Santa Barbara and is married to artist Alycia Vreeland. He has two daughters, Mayzee and Scarlett. Vreeland has not touched heroin in almost 4 years. You can read more of Vreeland’s work on his website.



Alycia Vreeland

Alycia Vreeland is a Santa Barbara based artist. She works out of her home studio creating original works in many mediums from acrylic to watercolor.  Alycia has created many characters for illustration. Her images have been featured in publications on J & A Publishing. The artist is the creator of Didi Rock’s Greeting Cards (Pen and ink and watercolor) sold in boutique shops across the country. Harnessing over a hundred images of Didi Rock’s celebrating young spirited women on the go! Baby Darlin’ is her latest creation, featuring cartoon illustrations of Vreeland as a child in various cathartic motifs. In addition to creating her expressionistic styles works of art, Vreeland is a private Art Instructor! Vreeland often collaborates on various projects with her husband, writer Jon Vreeland.

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