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.

dVerse – Prosery:“How many more will it take?

This Prosery is written around a line/sentence from a Facebook poem called, Notes on Uvalde. The dVerse line chosen by Lisa was, “These are the things they don’t tell us.”

To read other prose responses, click HERE.


My First Experience

I was barely 20 years of age and newly married when on August 1st, 1966, Charles Whitman, after killing his mother and wife, packed three rifles, three pistols, a shotgun, 700 rounds of ammunition, food, coffee, vitamins, medicine, earplugs, water, matches, lighter fluid, rope, binoculars, a machete, three knives, a radio, toilet paper, a razor, and deodorant. He went to the observation deck of the Main Building Tower at the University of Texas at Austin.

Whitman killed 14 people and injured 31. He was shot dead. For 18 years, it was the deadliest mass lone gunman shooting in U.S. history. It was unthinkable.

Whitman had sought professional help for “overwhelming, violent impulses;” fantasies about shooting people from the tower. He told them what and where. These are the things they don’t tell us.

“I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”


Look both ways. To the beginning and to the end (if there is one).
Mind the gaps as you live in this moment of grave concern with sadness or anger. 

To see the Notes from Uvalde poem and Prosery rules, follow this link: https://dversepoets.com/2022/06/06/dverse-prosery-how-many-more-will-it-take/.

Friday Fictioneers for June 3rd 2022

Happy June, y’all. Today our friend, Lisa Fox, purveyor of dao and Daoism, productive blogger extraordinaire, unafraid of flair and finer hints of purple, partners up with Mistress Rochelle to present an interesting photo to stimulate our story telling senses and to help us with a one-hundred-word escape plan.

Click on Lisa’s pic to escape on over to Rochelle’s page to see how it’s done.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Lisa Fox

Genre: Fiction
Title: Boys in the Belfry
Word count: 100

***

After the Army, we snagged this great side-hustle with awesome pay and bennies.

I remember telling Jimmy.

“Wait until he’s halfway down the ladder. Empty your clip up his ass. Get the picture and ear. We meet Warren in the belfry at eight.”

Jimmy said, “No problemo, Mister Sunshine. You be careful chasing him. He’s a bad one.”

I walked to the front, checked the address, banged on the door, and yelled, “State Police. We have a warrant!”

A lovely lady opened the door. I heard muffled shots. “I’m sorry, Ma’am. Wrong address.”

I turned and walked to the church.

***


Look both ways for an entry and exit.
Mind the gaps in the escape.
And remember, cops never knock.

 

Click this shot for more fine flashy fiction.

Friday Fictioneers for May 13th, 2022

Today is Friday Fictioneers’ photo prompt release day, posted two days prior to Friday the thirteenth, an inauspicious Gregorian calendar arrangement in the superstitious minds of many.

Central to Mistress Rochelle’s well-chosen pic from the artistic eye of our friend to the north, Dale Rogerson, is a red rose. “O my Luve’s like a red, red rose/That’s newly sprung in” May; is partly from the famous Robert Burns poem.

What can one do with the flower of love on the most traditional day of western bad luck? My go is below Dale’s photo. My gratitude to both wonderful, bonnie lasses for giving direction to this week’s micro-fiction collection.

Click on Dale’s red rose for a ride over to Rochelle’s rockin’ blog for how it’s done.

Genre: Padded Journalism
Title: Guns and Roses
Word Count: 100

The blonde was his beauty. He was her beloved beast. They struck out for freedom armed with guns and motivated by love.

“We’ll never blend in, Casey. You’re too tall.”

“Vicky, look! It’s them laws. Let’s die like Bonnie and Clyde. We’ll be famous.”

“But dead as hell. Drive fast, Babe. If they get close, they’ll flip us.”

There was a loud bump. Casey’s driving skills failed to keep them from the grassy Indiana ditch.

Her last words were, “I love you, Babe. See you in hell. They could have at least waited until Friday.”

A gunshot, then cops everywhere.


Look both ways when on the run in the Alabama sun.
Mind the gaps and ditches.
Keep in mind that at six-foot-nine, you’re not that hard to find.

Click on Casey & Vicky for your risk free ride to more marvelous stories.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 28)

Click for more.

Today’s prompt was to write a concrete poem. I wanted to do all 30 prompts.

What I did instead was intended to be a black out poem in lieu of the prompt, I’ve done concretes before. Not today.

I decided that rather than black out unused text to create the poem, I would extract the lines from the first few paragraphs of a longer story. If I had more time, I might have attempted some art to overlay the blacked-out area.

If I included the entire narrative, it would have been too long with entire paragraphs blacked out. So, I extracted the parts/words/sections that made up the poem.

I selected the first few paragraphs from the titled section, “On the Rainy River” from the book, The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien © (published in 1990 by Houghton Mifflin).


Drafted

one story I’ve never told,
it would only cause embarrassment,
a confession…
makes me squirm,
I’ve had to live with it, feeling the shame,
it’s a hard story to tell.

if evil were evil enough, if good were good enough
I would simply tap a secret reservoir of courage…
Courage, comes in finite quantities,
it offered hope and grace to the repetitive coward.

I was drafted to fight a war I hated.
(You can’t fix your mistakes. Once people are dead, you can’t make them undead.)
…I assumed that the problems of killing and dying did not fall within my special province…

The draft notice arrived on June 17, 1968.
I was too good for this war.
Too smart, too compassionate, too everything.
I was above it. A mistake, maybe…I was no soldier.


Look both ways for reasons why and why not.
Mind the gaps. That’s where the booby traps hide.

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.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 26)

Click the NaPo button above to open today’s prompt page with links to more poems.

For my twenty-sixth daily, prompted, voluntary assignment, today I was challenged to write a poem that contains at least one epic simile. These (Homeric) similes extend and develop over multiple lines with decorative elements that emphasize the dramatic nature of the subject. As suggested, I chose to write a complete poem as one long epic simile theme (salted with some metaphor) to carry the poem.


Flying Like Dragons

Like unleashed frightening awesomeness,
like giant thundering flying dragons with
massive wings lifting us skyward, roaring, breathing fire;
my brain blends with this pestilent machine, as if I’m guiding
an iron plague with deafening noise to wreak death,
to pour vengeance down upon their wrongs, a bane
to my enemies, a scourge of fire-for-fire. Flying
at invisible heights, with a sharp stinging tail, breathing
radiation into electrons, as my stealthy flying monster
seeks annihilation of the unjust.

Like a beast, it sees over great distances,
it smells its enemies in total darkness; then skillfully, silently
we approach as offensive defenders with hidden talons;
without emotion or fear, as if by kismet we destroy our prey
with automatic, irreversible, unmerciful curses.


Look both ways to see what is nearby but accept the limits of sensory perception.
Mind the gaps and trust your dragon’s instruments.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 24)

Just click on this button for the prompt page and more poems.

For the final Sunday and to begin the last week of National Poetry Month, I’ve been egged on to the sunny task of writing a poem that describes using hard-boiled simile. The prompt suggested similes such as those used in detective stories featuring a tough unsentimental protagonist with a matter-of-fact attitude towards violence. I slipped in some horror genre.


The moon that night reflected light outlining everything and everyone with tarnished silver lines and a grayish tint covering, like the lining of an old vampire’s coffin. Our faces were puffed and molted like poisoned mushrooms on stems growing out of our jackets. The tree we hung him from looked like a dragon’s skull with dead, dried bones — fingers and hands protruding in all directions. It was as bleak and hopeless as a baby’s funeral. The smell was as if standing in an old open crypt exuding the musty odors of long dead flesh. Gravediggers’ shovels made rhythmic sounds cutting earth like piercing chunks of lead striking burned ashes of dead bodies. No one made another sound. Each wondered if we had killed him dead enough, or would he rise again like the devil’s undead corruption? It was our common thought, a fear that united our cause but shadowed our minds like a haunting nightmare’s gloom. We were men, but that night we were like the evil undead lamenting a hopeless mantle of some human hell.


Look both ways when identifying good and evil.
Each defines the other by its absence, yet the absence of one makes the other incomparable.
Mind the gaps when laying blame. Nothing is perfect.

Friday Fictioneers for April 15th 2022

Once again, the lovely Rochelle, Maven of artistic fact and fiction, and Dale, ingenious photographer to the ethereal and adroit crafter of masterful tales, have conspired to extract mid-April narratives from the noggins and minds of Friday Fictioneer followers.

My song-related reportage maxed out at the 100-word limit and follows Dale’s visual. Click on the chair to write your story if you dare.

Click on the photo to ride on over to Rochelle’s page to read all about it.

Genre: Senior Gonzo Fiction
Title: Concealed Carry
Word Count: 100

***

We limped in. Kris needed his cane. The music sucked, but our old table was available. We sat and waited.

A young man approached.

He said, “You need to leave. We don’t want your kind in here. Now get out.”

I glared at him for a minute. “Two waters, coffee with cream, and menus, please.” His anger was visible as he moved closer. Kris placed his pistol on the table.

“Listen motherfucker, I’m Bobby McGee. We’ve nothing left to lose. You do. Repeat the order, fetch it with a smile or say ‘goodbye.’ We ain’t leaving alive. We’ll await Janis.”


Look both ways but remember the seventies if you can.
Mind the gaps for Glocks and dead grumpy waiters.

Give a Glock Click HERE to find more great stories. And for your happy entertainment, four of the finest good ol’ boys.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 9)

Click on the NaPo button for today’s prompt and links to other poems.

Because it’s Saturday, day 9 of the NaPoWriMo challenge, and the 9th of April, my numerically poetic task is to write a nine-line nonet poem. A nonet renders out to about 36 words. It’s a brief form. The first line has nine syllables, the second has eight, and so on. The number of syllables reducing until you get to the nineth line, which has just one syllable.

I supposed that one could write an inverted nonet, which I did, beginning with one syllable and working up, line-by-line, back to nine. I felt like I had the time. Two poems, 72 words, 90 syllables. Not much for a Saturday. So, I also wrote a 57-word poem for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt.


Never Understood

He had a quick pride which pained him much.
So many loves he’d won and lost.
His narcissism reflecting,
the part he’d never see.
Sadness lived within
his tortured soul.
When he died,
I still
cried.

***

Had
I known
of his soul,
the cost to him
was in no way small.
I never understood
many burdens he carried
they just split his being apart,
making it worse, the curse of his heart.


Look both ways and up and down before asking why or why not.
Mind the gaps in mirrored perfection of human discernment.