Not A Minute…Problem

A Chapbook of 11 Short, Dark Sundries

Mark Harbinger
The Black Veil
Published in
2 min readFeb 27, 2024


Image by Debasish Lenka on Unsplash

I. Micro-Fiction (50 word) Prose Poems

Just Visiting

En route to Hawaii, we ask the flight attendant: “Do you know what’s fun on The Big Island?”

His hair and Hawaiian shirt are both silver-blue. A life’s travelogue darkens his face.

“One of my summers with my kids, I took them — once — for vacation…,” he blinks, “…No. Not really.”

Gen-Z Arrival

Macy glances up — Seatac baggage is just empty: forsaken, like Grandma’s “guest room”. Or home.

S’okay. They/Their world is online. Validation.

The red light spins. Thud! Even with earbuds, she hears the luggage arriving. Across the room she sees her parents approaching. Not smiling.

Back to her phone, they departs.

II. Haiku

Haiku For The Day (well, anyway, the librarian liked it)

Obsidian …(glass)
BLACK black raindrops impale me —
Or will they shatter?

Helios, WA

Mountains, sun behind.
Mighty peaks are black at dawn,
but revealed later…

Eternal Winter

Cold, but not frozen.
A statue of Justice — blind;
but wants to feel spring.

The Break

From beneath the shroud —
the unmistakable sound
of air escaping.

For Sale

Horrific Reboot —
Baby shoes. Never Worn. Wee
feet taste like chicken.


Six-plus million dead —
holocaust or pandemic
but who is counting?

III. Short-form Poems


Blue velvet painting of wolves,
Howling at the unseen,
Hanging over my parents’ bed.

Warning me
about life.


Knowledge isn’t a cold, dark maze
that I should follow your lamp for its warmth
and to essay the next turn;

It’s a vast, churning sea
that your sharing should be the sextant —
hinting at the angles and agendas of ancient celestials
so that I want to learn.

The Dark Matter of the Seventies

Houston to Capsule: Did you make it home?

Hungry for cereal, you key the latch and enter the airlock. Alone.
Subsumed by parents’ unseen priorities, blanketed
in the dark closet corners of childhood.

This was nice! When they said to you, “You can be anything you want, go on.”
Cast off.
At least they implied there was more out there. Amenable skies for liftoff.

Houston to Capsule. Did you make it out?

How far did you have to travel before you knew what you were about?
Their gravity may have held you down over the decades, sure,
but that Dark Energy also kept your universe expanding. Once you were
Past the point of no return.



Mark Harbinger
The Black Veil

Since '03, Mark's poetry, SF/F/H shorts, & Lit Fic have been featured online. Print: Running Wild Anthology, Wondrous Stories, (debut novel) The Be(k)nighted.