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/.

dVerse Quadrille #142 (tinsel)

Thanks to Mish for hosting (and sucking me into this post which I did not plan to do).


Back in town

tinsel tensing nuts in town
leaders, all bozos

and clowns,

suky tawdry for a.g,
macheath and mackie messer,

for all the world to see

liars swear another judge jackleg

threepenny opera

death was healthy,

good is bad, bloodsuckers’ protagonists,

what do you want now?


Look both ways to tell the good guys from the rest.
Mind the gaps in a saint’s past and the sinner’s future.

Click on my cigar for more wonderful poems.

dVerse Poetics : Passions Stamped on Lifeless Things

Click on the tractor for link to dVerse post by merrildsmith in Poetics.

Old tractors can’t retire with much dignity.
Ours rests over yonder, near the barn.
With winter’s cold, snow, and ice,
or dry poundings of hot summers,
she tries to show well, just a little rust,
peeling paint, heavy worn tires.

Made to plough and cumber a heavy beam,
an ox of steel and rubber, she carried men to work,
sowed seeds, and tilled the soil.

A mammoth farm and ranch hand, she
pushed and pulled cultivators and harrows,
drug fertilizer wagons,
pulled mowers, rakes, and bailers
with tires heavy with water and mud.

I still remember the day I first grabbed ahold
of her wheel learning to drive and work hard.

Thank you, my friend, for teaching me
so much about life, work, sweat, tears,
and the weather. But mostly about how
to age gracefully and with dignity.


Look both ways but history teaches more.
Mind the gaps, find the truth, keep your pride and dignity until a tractor retires.

dVerse—Prosery Monday—Lost/Found/Lost Children (12/06/2021)

From the bar at dVerse, Lisa pitched me the Prosery Monday poem, “When We Sing Of Might,” by Kimberly Blaeser (see it here).

From the poem, Lisa lifted a line for me to fold into a piece of prose of fewer than 145 words of my own making but including the line, “I dress in their stories patterned and purple as night.”

I had to use every word of the entire line. I was allowed to change punctuation and to capitalize words, but I was not permitted to insert words in between parts of the sentence.


But for the Grace of What?

I walked the muddy road through the depressingly disgusting homeless camp. There was nothing but mud everywhere; muddy tents and muddy mad people totally demoralized and pissed off at the world that had put them here. They were angry about being in this place and they refused to come to terms with what they themselves had created, not just a camp, but a metaphor for their lost lives, an intractable bog of stink and decay. The city provided piss pits and shit pots smelled to hell and back. These lost souls were in the grips of unshakable petulance. It was in their eyes, posture, and the way they walked. To report on this homeless debacle, I knew what I had to do. I would be in Rome and do as they did. Briefly, I dress in their stories—patterned and purple as night.


Look both ways to see all that’s there.
Mind the gaps, but spare judgement.
There, but for the good grace of random fortune, go I.

Access other prosery pieces here.

dVerse Prosery: Bombarded


Say What?

The doctor’s face was serious as she cut each stitch.

I joked with her. She was quiet.

Then she said, “There! That part’s done.” I caught on—that part?

She frowned, “I wondered why the pathology report took so long.”

I asked, “What are you talking about?”

She said, “The report said the cyst was undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s cancer, Bill. We made an appointment with oncology. There’s nothing more we can do. Good luck. I’m so sorry.”

I thought she would cry. I asked, “Can you please say what it is again.”

She repeated the diagnosis.

I said, “I am bombarded yet I stand.”

She looked at me, puzzled.

I said, “It’s from a poem. I often wondered how you folks handled this.”

“They will give you all that information on the way out. Good luck.”

 


Look both ways because life if full of surprises.
Mind the gaps.
Thank medical science and live every day with gratitude.

Click on the image to link with dVerse.

dVerse Quadrille #135: Shake that Poem Groove Thang

https://dversepoets.com/2021/09/06/quadrille-135-shake-that-poem-groove-thang/


Top Guns Care

An odd pair were we.
Everyone’s friend, as
SpineRipper called me
(to rib my neutrality),
knowing I was his.

Navy fighter pilots,
tailhookers all.
JW, warrior to the core.
Taught me to call the ball
when in the groove.
We cried at kiss off.


Look both ways except on short final to your carrier.
Fly the ball, not the deck, and mind the gaps.
Aviators die here.

Gloss: Captain John (SpineRipper) Waples (USN) was my boss and friend (sort of). He was also one of the greats of Naval Aviation with 1,300+ aircraft carrier landings, 400 at night (a rumored record). He flew many combat missions. He was the original shock and awe combat leader.

I met him after we had both hung up our flight suits, although John still owned and  flew his own biplane (he called a kite). Wapes was an enigma to me. Blunt and easily angered (thus the call sign/nick name), yet amenable, and a man who seemed to care about people. We had little in common except for what seemed to be an honest mutual admiration that neither of us ever understood. I didn’t know until the end. I will never understand why. Call the ball, in the groove, and kiss-off are USN fighter pilot jargon.

dVerse: Quadrille #134: We {heart} poems

A quadrille is a 44-word poem. See the rules at the dVerse Page.


My Fountain of Youth

Fist sized, emotionally uninvested, hearts
are busy little buggers. Mine’s bionic:
seven stents, a new bovine based aortic valve,
and a safety pacer to keep it pumping
1,680 gallons via 100K systole beats
every day. Deathrate’s down two thirds.
Tricky business, this staying alive.


Look both ways and exercise physically and mentally.
Mind the gaps and feel the beats.

dVerse Quadrille #132 (stream)

A forty-four word poem (plus title) written for dverse prompt of stream.


Pluvial Passion

Let me feel your kiss.
May your wet tongue lick.
Run into my eyes, down my face,
under my clothes,
over my body.

My passion, you pour copious streams
of love upon me.

Touch me where you can.

Where are you, my sweet Rain?

 


Look both ways for summer showers.
Mind the gaps between the drops.

dVerse Quadrille 131 (juke)

A 44-word poem using juke.


Honky Tonk Attitude

Joe Diffie sang it differently.
Prop him beside the jukebox,
but now what?
Joe died last year.

A pre-delta
corona virus victim.

And we got no jukes.
All the bars were closed.

Joe’s gone to heaven,
I s’pose they got
him a good jukebox.


Look both ways, mind the gaps,
and be careful what you wish for.


***

From dVerse. Click here to play or read.

dVerse prose: A Time

Thanks to Merril (from New Jersey) for hosting this dVerse bar challenge: Prosery Monday: A Time, to which I am responding on Tuesday. Merril says to write prose of less then 145 words in response to this line from the poem “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hodge Coke.

“when it is over said and done

it was a time

and there was never enough of it.”


Genre: flash memoir
Word count: 143
Title: L’esprit de l’escalier

***

Last Fall, I wrote a poem about watching my father drink coffee and smoke when I was a young child. Our father-son relationship improved slightly later in life.

I’d received good reaction to the piece, so I considered its potential for submission. I requested further feedback from a critique group (mostly fiction writers). I was aware of the potential risks, but I wanted to know their thoughts.

One person asked, “I did not understand the last few lines where you said, ‘I figured it out. He did too. In the end, it was just the end.’ Can you explain what you meant?”

Stumped for a good answer, I copped-out with, “He died”—a true but poor response on my part.

Now I could simply say, “When it is over, said, and done, it was a time. And there was never enough of it.”

***

Look both ways for answers.
Mind the gaps in the poetry of others,
it’s where we may find answers.