Postcard proseIssue 18 | June 2013

Boar Guts and Horse Sense

by Mark Millhone

The boar’s heart, still beating, hopped like a legless frog in the Texas heat.

I was a long way from Manhattan.

Dean wiped boar blood on his Wranglers, sheathed the knife. Squinted at me.

You just lost or are you looking for something?

Good question. Wish I had a good answer. Fresh out of those since the divorce, the foreclosure, the bankruptcy. I’d wanted to die but only made it as far as Texas.

I told Dean my troubles and got no sympathy. By his cowboy calculus, I hadn’t lost anything of value. He accounted me a man in full - as long as I could stay in the saddle.

We mounted. Redlight skittered and stamped, his nostrils flaring with the smell of the boar’s still-warm blood and my cold sweat. 
You only have to know you’re a horseman. As long as you know the way home, your horse’ll get you there.

I spurred Redlight and was on my way.

About the author

After graduating from Columbia University with an MFA in Film Direction and winning the Academy Award for Best Student Film, Mark spent many years wandering the vast desert of Hollywood development hell before resurfacing as a screenwriting professor at NYU Film School and the Dysfunctional-Male-in-Residence at Men’s Health Magazine. His humorous columns for that magazine begat his memoir, The Patron Saint of Used Cars & Second Chances.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok