Sammi’s Weekender #266 (flippant)

Click to flip over to Sammi’s blog and more 74-word wonders.

Was it something I said?

Many things I’ve done and not done
which brought me much self-inflicted grief;
like transfers or removals from jobs,

I’ve sat smiling at wrong times,
adulted too young, or the drink I tasted
when I got more than a little bit wasted,
‘twas most often my spectacular speech
that others appreciated the least.

I’m gifted this flippantly waggish tongue
emitting my intently presented voice
speaking a cutting language, exposing
my cantankerously lighthearted snarkastic choice.


Look both ways when words fly like the breath of buzzards.
Mind the gaps and if your gunna do it, go all the way.

Friday Fictioneers for July 1st 2022

To kick off the lyrical month of July in the year twenty twenty-two, Mistress Rochelle stayed close to home again by drafting from hubby and sending us a photo of a 1960 International Harvester pickup truck, credit to her musical goy-boy-toy, Jan Wayne Fields.

Some folks name their cars and trucks, even the ones used to earn some extra college moolah in the mid-1960s.

Click on the flower truck for a ride to Rochelle’s page to see the root cause of Friday Fictioneers. (PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields)

Genre: Flowerchild Fiction
Title: Poppy Redux
Word Count: 100

***

I paid little attention to my surroundings as I picked out flowers.

I heard, “Hey asshole. Long time, no see. How’s it hangin’?”

“Poppy?” I looked closer at the pickup.

“Holy shit. You must be over fifty.”

“Sixty-two. I’m haulin’ flowers now. No more runnin’ grass like with you guys back when.”

I said, “Sorry, man.”

“No worries, Bill. I’m the new chick magnet.”

The flower farm guy walked up.

“Hey man, how much you want for this rust-bucket, farm boy, pick ‘em up?”

“She ain’t for sale.”

I smiled, “He. Poppy is he or him. Now, what’s it gunna take?”

***


Look both ways when you hear familiar voices.
Mind the gaps, but buy it, build it, make it, or take it.
Whatever gets your ride to roll.

Click on brother Bert’s smile to be picked up and driven to other wonderful 100-word (or fewer) stories.

Friday Fictioneers for June 24th 2022

Sliding off the summer solstice, now fully back in her Mistress role as maven of Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle has selected a photo of a suspicious looking senior gentleman entering a resale store, cane in hand. My fib-ulous 100 words follow the photo by John Nixon.

Click the PHOTO PROMPT © John Nixon to trip on over to la belle Rochelle’s purple tent-blog to get the script on how to jump in and play.

Genre: Old Fart Fiction
Title: Secondhand Security
Word Count: 100

***

I didn’t think they would need security. It was a fun gig that beat boring-ass Wally world.

The text, 4 guns @ seconds, meant four armed robbers at the secondhand store.

It was close.

There’s no fool like an old fool, but younger is dumber.

I smiled as I walked in.

I cane-zapped one guy as I ‘tripped.’ The owner shot another.

Number three went down when he shot himself in the foot. The fourth man just gave up and started to cry hysterically.

As we were cleaning up the owner said, “Just like the good old days, right, Dad?”

***


Look both ways when taking on more responsibility.
Mind the gaps, walk slowly, and carry a stun gun walking stick.

Click on the stun gun for more takes on the photo prompt.

This is one of my favorite old-fart Texas guy scenes from the movie, Secondhand Lions.

Monday’s Rune: Perspective Poetry

Saturday (June 18th) , I wrote this poem at the Round Rock Writers Guild Word Yoga (poetry) exercise Zoom workshop. My friend, Kathrine, said she wanted to see it here. Who am I to disagree?

Her excellent blog is published at: https://lklatham.com/. Her exceptionally wonderful books of dark, speculative fiction designed to beguile the imagination and convince you the things that go bump in the night are real is sold wherever great lit can be had.

 


A Moment of Time

My mantra is right here, right now
in this place with my life
that is the sum total
of forty-million moments;
some so frightening
I thought I would die,
others so boring
I thought I would die,
but here I am,
right here, right now,
just me—Mister Bill—
and my 40-million moments,
greedily hoping for
ten or twenty million more,
when frightening or boring
are equally
(un)important to me.


Look both ways with awareness of time, but this moment is all we have.
Mind the gaps for good days and bad, as pleasantry is a matter of perspective.

Monday’s Rune: A Metamorphosis


When does it happen, if it happens at all?
The innocent child becomes a troubled teen,
Then a vicious young man with an M-sixteen,
Or a rivetted young woman focused on his fall.

Is this the formula of a coming dystopia?
Is the excitement of the fight so much greater
Than desire for tranquility and gods’ opium?
Is power over people the dark masturbator?

Some change. Many don’t. Over time
We all morph and grow to some degree
For better or worse, but will I ever be free?
Human life’s permanent paradox of paradigm.


Look both ways with conscious contemplation of then and now.
Mind the gaps for lessons of fortitude,
not the comfort of fear.
You can only die once, Bukowski notwithstanding.

Sammie’s Weekender #263 (vernacular)

Click this graphic to open Sammi’s page in a new tab.

Dead and Gone

When they ask me, where do I say I’m from?
Why ask? What difference does it make?

Do I say from a blended Irish Catholic coal miner family
of the northeastern Pennsylvania Wyoming Valley?
From a time and place, now too far away?

A way to which I cannot return. My blood no longer mixes.

A place foreign to the vernacular of history,
now threatened by polite inclusiveness.

Now none of me lives there.
Only cold rainy nights and forgotten headstones
on lost graves of people I never knew remain.


Look both ways for ancestral truth, but the past is gone.
Mind the gaps for reality’s dark shadows before landing right here, right now, in this world.

Friday Fictioneers for May 20th 2022

To shed light on her creative corner, Mistress Rochelle, our lady of many talents, has cast upon us a home-grown photo of her own, to be transformed into no more than 100 gifted words with which we tell a fictioneer’s story for Friday, 20th of May, when we celebrate the 76th birthday of another lady of wonder and many gifts, Cher.

 

Click on Rochelle’s corner to be whisked over to her page for the why and wherefore of FFs. If you decide to cop her picture, she asks that you tell her how you used it. All FF pics are owned by the contributor, in this case, Rochelle herself.

Genre: Autobiographical Fiction
Title: Secret Friends
Word Count: 100

***

Home alone at last. No one to say no.

To the dark, dark, dramatic cellar. The one dim light bulb cast eerie shadows over dark corners. The crypt like odor. What mysteries? What hidden fears and excitement?

A wet dirt floor crunched as I searched. I found him hiding behind the old coal furnace. He swore to protect me if I never told.

Now in my office I write about him. I sketch and paint him. Is he still there? Does he remember? Will I see him again? Will anyone believe me?

I was his friend; he was my protector.

***


Look both ways for what was then and what lives now in many memories,
be they fact or fiction.
Mind the gaps to be filled for the pleasure of the picture.

Click on your favorite Cher decade to find the squares and more magnificent stories.

Monday’s Rune: Standing Down

It was unthinkable, back when
my without-resumé or bona fide
job was Dad: our father,
leader, wizard, fixer of all
things and people broken,
savior of my tribe; shaman,
vet, and driver out of all demons.

Despite my foibles,
hidden as many were—
we managed to cope.

Burdened with adversity and misguided history
we owned our piece of the world,
we held the keys that controlled the universe,
wherein I was (am?) suddenly
no longer the center to which they would turn.

Call it what is, that’s life, dismissing
whenever shit happens, when I’m forced
to admit I don’t know why. To say
I was wrong about so much.
I think and think again about it all,
the ultimatum. It wasn’t you. It’s me.


Look both ways when seeking the mysterious purpose of life,
or finding of the true self, or taking on the vocation mantle of service.
Mind the gaps for the distractions of relief are dear.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 29)

Click for the prompt page and more.

Today, I was to write a poem where I muse on the gifts I received at birth.


Forbidden to Miners

I call for my childhood muse
to whisper of the child, to
remind me, as Mnemosyne, goddess
of memory, me within and without,
of sorrows and gifts and that I am

a coal miner’s son, given blessings
and burdens, Irish Catholic (then),
yet named for mother’s father,
a Welsh Presbyterian, a coal man; me,
youngest with three half-blood sibs.

First of family raised by both parents,
by father’s discipline tempered
by mother’s love; I, imperfect in this
less perfect world, a boomer now,
some say a most hated gen.

No special gift, proudly average,
a boy being a boy, some friends,
learner of the hard way, too afflicted
by others, not an unhappy child,
but happy to have survived to 75.

Kismet, space dust, late bloomer,
they gave me life, what happened after
was up to me. Made good and done bad,
but here I am writing about it. A poet?
That was neither planned nor expected.


Look both ways. Try to remember.
But, above all, tell your story.
Mind the gaps and fill them as best you can.

Friday Fictioneers for April 29th, 2022

Yesterday, Fictioneers Mistress Rochelle dealt us an urban photo by Ted Strutz from which we were prompted to contrive, via inspiration, a micro-fiction story. May my tardiness be forgiven. Three more NaPoWriMo poems and my life returns to whatever my normal may be.

Click on the prompt picture to be hustled over to her purple majesty’s page for the plan.

Genre: urban fiction
Title: Tony Loves Rosie
Word count: 100

The slow walking old man stopped. He remembered this corner with ambivalence, but that day with dread.

The ironic sign was near where he’d shot and killed Ted Coffey during the gang rumble. Hearing the Third Avenue elevated pass brought a tear. The bike lay were he almost bled to death. Behind him the spot where Rosie died. Then, her loud voice.

“Tony fucking Del Toro. Is that you? Remember me? It’s Rosie Reyes. I heard you died in Viet Nam. Marines, right? Hey, let’s get a cup a joe and talk old times. Good memories.”

Seeing her changed everything.


Look both ways, even on one-way streets.
Mind the gaps hidden in the crevasses of your mind.

Click on the movie scene to read more stories inspired by the prompt.