Excerpt for Cul-de-Sac by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Jen Selinsky

Already Gone,” is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2016 by Jen Selinsky

All rights reserved by the author. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of the publisher and/or author.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Cover Art Copyright © 2016 by Jen Selinsky

ISBN: 9781370338443

*Not every work included in this book is dated in chronological order.  This is not an oversight on my part. Rather, I have made changes and substitutions over the months during its completion.


Chains have come off the

Literature, so release these

Shackles from me!

That which you wish to

Steal is nothing of your

Own—no matter how hot

The branding iron!


Souls you can never take,

Though you’ve a hold on

My body.

Soon to change, soon to


Who else here is with me?


Power Ball had reached

Over one billion dollars

Before it was claimed.


Oh, David Bowie.

God take you home

And rest you –

One star in the sky!


How much longer

Would you wait not

To hear another word

From me?

Through so many

Reasons, varied, I do

Not care.

Why should I deprive

These people of silence

When I

Spend many

Of my days chasing

Its golden bliss?

Answer me

This, tongues

That are so bold to

Dare, when

You are too

Busy chastising

Others for

Their ranks or lack of

Good breeding.

Whoever planted such a

Seedling in your mind

Has nothing so further

To find when I finally

Reach an end.


Will your golden

Voice awaken

Me when we finally

Reach Spain?

There, I shall not be

So plain as to ask for

Another name.

Jane to Esmeralda will

Suit me just fine

When I reach the top of

The highest plain.


Forty-Five Years

To some, forty-five

Years may seem

More than a life-

Time—to others, less.

Now you see that

You’ve truly been

Blessed for all

The time

You’ve gotten

To know

Each other—

Most of your lives.

Through times of

Sunshine, you

Stood side by side.

Through the perilous


You’ve soldiered

Through the weather.

No one else

But yourselves,

Can be this

Good together

For a match

Made in heaven!

*dedicated to Robert and Toni Selinsky



Two such as you,

No other than God

Can create.

Your love can

Never come too

Early, for it

Never is too late.

Names applied

Since your birth—

Amy and David.

Though some may not

Even know, and

Others are left to

Speculate, this

Involved so much

More than fate!

God gave, with

His own hand,

Time for two young

Lovers to grow

And get to know

How long they

Would be together—

No time shorter

Than forever.

Yes, there have been

Trials and tribulations,

Including a breakup

Or two, but that is

Never enough to stop

The likes of you!

*dedicated to Amy and David Maddalon


I wake every day

With praise on my lips

And happiness in my


Things out of reach

Cannot plague

One who had no means

To control them.

No longer having to

Worry about the gain

Shall make me sad.

All the treasures and loved

Ones will come back to me

And be as I remembered

Them—embracing those

Whom I’d never gotten

To meet in the flesh.

They shall know my

Name and all about me.

Tales of peace and awaiting

The homecoming; why do

We continue to mourn those

Who have departed this


Heaven is much

More than a life; it

Is rebirth—having

Left our earthly

Vessels behind and

All sinful nature


The Lord, Who

Cares for His children

Shall not let even one

Go astray.

We will all rest in

The eternal peace

Of day and light

Surrounding all which

Is good.

Those who have stood

For their faith shall not

Be forgotten, for our

Lord did not come so

That He could watch

Us die.

Outside, enjoying the day,

Even though I do not

Wish to stay, there will

Soon come a time when

I won’t have to answer

To any human call…


This will be the

Happiness and

Testimony to all

Which is great and

Happy—never having

To feel any part

Of sorrow ever again!


A tweet a day keeps the boredom away!


Instead of seeing my rejected works as failures, I should view them as new life!


I am filling my mouth

With cake, in hopes that it will

Satisfy my insatiable gut,

Which rumbles far with hunger!


Though the earth

no longer holds

your presence, 

those you have

left behind will

remember you

and the music

which you had

delivered to our souls.

*dedicated to Ray Manzarek, on what would have been his 77th birthday


Looking at pictures of children

Who’ve aged—bodies back to the


And their teacher, who tried

To immortalize wisdom.


Grand Adventure

I was beyond any words which could properly define my situation once I started selling multiple copies of my books. Euphoria ran through my veins as it pumped through an excited heart. All these years of hard work had finally paid off.

Ever since I was an adolescent, I’ve had a love for writing. The seed which I’d carefully planted during my adolescence began to push up beyond the boundaries; I needed room to grow.

For a little over ten years, I worked in a public library. It was the reason why I went to graduate school, as I earned my MLS. The job was all right at first, but I grew to dislike it immensely over the years. No longer had I felt any kind of happiness or satisfaction; it was just another means of earning a paycheck. I knew that it was time for me to get out of there once and for all.

Libraries are great institutions; what bibliophile doesn’t want to be around books all day? But, for me, I grew weary of being a public servant. I felt it was no longer time for me to be an actress on less than a Hollywood salary. I could not see myself becoming that library for another ten years.

Don’t get me wrong, librarians are extraordinary people who are capable of many things. They do a great service to their communities, but I have never been one who had a desire to work with the public on other people’s terms. That is due to my persistent individuality.

People have often asked me if I would become bored after removing my shackles, and I would never hesitate to tell them “no”! I am glad that I’ve finally achieved my dream, and there’s nothing boring about that at all. Boredom comes from having nothing exciting to do, and writing is my grand adventure!


Opening New Doors

I was a junior in high school in 1996. My seventeen-year-old mind was expanding, as I showed a like for certain subjects in school—mainly English.

People already knew that I was a budding reader and writer, and I wanted (and still do want) to make a lasting impression on the world with my books.

For the most part, I was a bit snobbish about my literature, as I preferred classics. Now, I will read most anything with a voracious and insatiable appetite!

I was told by one of my teachers, or a visiting faculty, that the average person knows about eight-hundred words. (I want to say that I heard it from Samuel Hazo, but he didn’t come to our school until the following year.) Well, it just so happened that I had an abridged, paperback dictionary.

Soon, I get it in my mind that I wanted to go through the dictionary and highlight every word for which I knew the meaning.

Of course, there were a few less words in the English language back then, and the last time I heard, we are just over 2 million! I would like to think that I learned many more words in the last twenty years as well!

Going back to the abridged dictionary, I don’t recall having made it very far, perhaps to the end of the As or the beginning of the Bs. It was just one of my interesting, little ideas which never really panned out.

I don’t think I would endeavor such a thing today, mostly because I have too much reading and writing to do! But I hope my vocabulary continues to expand as I continue on my literary journey of both consuming and producing new works.


I want to read the entire dictionary, but I am afraid that someone is going to spoil the ending!”


Who says that art and science cannot coincide? Art is seen as subjective, and science is seen as objective. Paintings, drawings, and sculptures can contain geometric patterns. Most anything you can mix in a beaker or a Petri dish could be displayed as art. The point is that there is art in science, and there is science in art.”


How could I not be

Clever enough to end

This argument without

Exploding in a huff?

There’s certain things

That I didn’t want to

Talk about; sometimes,

Neither of us have

An easy time letting go.

Perhaps, we are more human

That we realized, though

Our minds like to think us

Perfect for many reasons

More than we could categorize.

Losing one’s temper is

Unbecoming, but thinking

Of yourself as a saint for

Doing so can only set

You back.


Words Recycled

During the summer of 1993, I volunteered at a weeklong day camp for children at the “old” Cranberry Park. This was my second (and final) year as a volunteer. At lot changed between the summer of 1992 and 1993. I had met and was dating my first boyfriend. We had our first kiss. I decided that I was never to going to have any children, and I became a little more accepted by my peers at school.

The real story, however, is not how these monumental changes came about. It’s about one of the things I did as a volunteer. The counselors had me read the children a Doctor Doolittle picture book. Normally, such a thing would not cause me to think, but a small coincidence was present. That book happened to be mine as a child; my mother had donated it to the library.

Sure, perhaps I thought I was a bit uncool reading a picture book to a bunch of kids, but little did I know that it was going to foreshadow my open mic/poetry nights.

In high school, if someone ever asked if I wanted to write a children’s book, I would have answered them with a resounding, “No!” I had no interest in such an endeavor, mostly because I am not overly fond of children. Another thing was that I thought kid’s books were too simple. (After I actually attempted writing one, I knew I was wrong about that; every word has to fit right within the story!) When it came to writing, I wanted more of a challenge.

I also have to admit that I was a bit of a snob back then because I wanted my writing to be better than the contemporary stuff which saturate(s)d the markets. I thought it had be akin to most of my beloved classic literature. Nowadays, I’ll pretty much read (or write) anything that I can get my hands on. Old age seems to have changed me for the better in that respect.

Anyway, I look back on that time with fondness, as if it was trying to tell me something. Books are a part of my everyday life, and I am extremely proud and blessed that writing has become a part of my livelihood!


You have not called

Since I’ve left, but I

Do not care because

That is what I

Wanted, anyway!


When no moment

Of clarity becomes me,

I can feel the cold

Hands of

My shoulders,

Then I know it’s

Time to go.

Does the same

Glue which held

You together before

Still have the same

Bonding power?

I’m kind of relieved

That no one’s here;

I could fall asleep

Inside myself.

Blue in the fact

Because I have

Been abandoned

At my post.

I shuffled my

Things and

Headed home and

Did not find

Out why until

Much, much



For all these years,

I had forgotten about

The picture which used

To sit on the mantel.

The pain had been too

Great; I could hardly sleep

Or eat, remembering

The friend I had lost.

The icy water had drown

Her—taking away both of

Our breath.

In order to stop breathing

In short bouts, I had to

Out the reminder away

In an attic box.

I held my piece

Until I moved,

And I finally

Managed to

Numb my mind.

Thoughts of

Boys and college

Crowded my mind and

Took me over for the

Next decade.

You came back after I

Married, and my

Children were young,

My younger child

Reminded me with

Her kindness and

Her spirit.

No explanation did

I have to make in

Order to steal up

To the attic, where

I cried and begged

For your forgiveness.

Tears fell upon the

Glass, where your

Unfading smile was

Able to reassure me.

Warmth radiated

Through my heart

Because I knew that

You were not gone.

You will never be

Gone from the minds

Who continue to

Love you.


A phantom of something

Deep in your past; I’d

Like to think that I’m

Much less than that!

Years of no visitation

Indicate you have a

Strong mind; am I

So difficult to forget?

When standard adjective

Failed to provide, did you

Strive to find something


I hoped your would erase

All my presence so that

I did not have to

Exist where I’m no longer

Wanted and I do not

Want to be!


Cry me your name

So that I may see

The sun.

Show me a picture

So that I may be

The one.


Song from before

My youth; I don’t

Expect many of you

To understand.

This is the first

Time I’ve tried to

Move for ages.

The same warmth

Which fell on your

Shoulders—could it

Be the very same

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