Poetry: March

Since March was the first month of the new year in ancient Rome, some historians believe the Romans named March after Mars, their god of war.

Time for a poem – warning ADULT LANGUAGE. If you’re easily offended, don’t read it. (Now you’re really curious, right?)

Man of March

Kiss me goodbye said Winter,
his eyes a-twinkle and a
guilty smirk, we find the
month of a Roman god, of
the lion and lamb, the
time of dancing transition
from the hard cock of cold
mister Winter to a soft sweet-
smelling moist pussy of
Spring, when even the
fucking pear look lovely
dressed with flowers and
the promise of new life
born of Spring, before
the Dragon swoops down
with heat and fire after
April, the last of the Kind
before October’s dance
(at 73) of fest and feast.
Hello, March, Man of
Venus and Lover
of Spring’s Pleasures!

©Bill Reynolds 3/4/2019

The best time to look both ways is when we are between the times. Mind the gap.

Essay: Tell the Story (of two hearts)

J-Dubs challenged me and two others to write the story for this photo prompt. I have. I am then to post a new picture and challenge three other bloggers to write to it (there are apparently no rules for length or type. Some are poetry. Some are long, others short).

***

I was awakened by a loud noise but found nothing. Unable to sleep, I sat at my desk. As I started to type, a message appeared on screen that said, please don’t be afraid. We need to talk. If you say it is okay, I will be right with you. If you say nothing or no, I will leave you alone. Will you talk with me?

I thought about calling my wife, but I just sat there – heart racing. I pushed my chair back and thought, Now? The words now or never appeared on the screen. I think I said fuck.

I spurted out a muffled verbal okay then. A man immediately walked into the room. He looked like me, but this was no simple doppelganger. He was not someone else who looked exactly like me. He was me, but not me. He held two glasses of wine and placed one on the desk in front of me and he sat on the couch and sipped the other.

He spoke first.

You were wishing you had a drink. I had the same wish. All you need do is think your questions and I will think them too. Then I will answer you. I will talk, but only you can hear me. If you talk, you risk waking your wife. If that happens, I must leave. So do not speak. Just think. As you can see, I am physically here, but in a way I’m not. I’ll explain that later.

I cannot read your mind exactly as you do because I don’t share your background, reasons, motivations, or physical experiences, but my thoughts parallel yours. That’s how it works for us. It is our relationship while you live. We are not precisely the same person, there are two of us, yet we are the same persons in two parallel universes. It’s hard to comprehend. I need you for me to exist as I am.

We go back a long way. Do you recall the monsters under your bed as a child? That was me. I knew you would talk about it. As a monster, it would seem normal to others. If you had told your parents you found yourself under your bed, they might have been alarmed.

He went on for a long time. As we drank the amount of wine in the glasses never changed. When I thought of a question, he would answer it immediately. He never stopped talking. When I understood, he knew it and would move on.

While time passed, what seemed like hours took only minutes. He explained that as a form of mental telepathy wherein thoughts happen faster than spoken words. What seemed like talking was a form of thought transfer, which explained why no one heard us. I had not verbally said a word.

He said – You have heard of a parallel universe, right? I am not only from what you call another universe, I am you in that universe. Our universes are real, but separate and parallel. One is superimposed on the other – dimensionally separated, but not physically. Mine is older and less physical.

I can explain it but you’re not capable of understanding or believing it. We discovered the possibility of a different universe and sort of willed yours into existence. But for us to have access to yours, we needed to transform physically. What you call evolution is us trying to figure out how to make it work. Eventually we did, but not perfectly. We had to learn about the impermanence of a physical universe.

He explained that while he was a permanent entity, he did not always exist as he did now. He was not a life form until I was born. His incubation was parallel to mine and he came into existence as a person equivalent to me, but in his universe.

He explained that others like him have attempted showing themselves but often regretted it because of human reactions due to superstition and fear. He asked – How do you explain a parallel universe to people who don’t even know what a universe is? For communication there must be some common ground.

Then his expression looked more serious. He said – You need to know how this will end. When you die, I will cease to exist as I am now. I’ll revert to my prior form since at your death there will be no human entity to parallel. We don’t know what happens to you. Humans just seem to die.

Our being depends upon yours for quality and purpose, but not for raw existence. Eventually, I will be paired with another human. There are more of you than us, so many humans are not paralleled. Your existence is no longer dependent on us. You’re on your own in many ways.

You may find that unfair, but there is more for us to figure out. The two parallel existences still depend on each other. I want to propose that we try something new. If you like my idea, you and I will be the beta test.

Just as he started to explain his idea my wife called out to me. Instantly he was gone. I walked to the bedroom and she asked, “Do you feel ok? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

I told her that I had heard noises from under the bed that were very similar to when I was a child and had seen monsters.

She groaned and mumbled, “Why the fuck did I want to marry a writer? Go to bed!”

© Bill Reynolds 2/21/2019

***

Tell the story if you so choose. The three writers I challenge are:

  1. Kathrine
  2. Jim
  3. Tara

And the photo is (credit to Sherry):

Look both ways and watch your footing. Do not fall into the gaps.

When It’s a Mere Story (fake, fake, true)

It is a story, a fib, a lie (if you like). I prefer reading and writing nonfiction (reality), but like any writer, I sometimes make things up and present them as literature. They also surface as fiction or reflections of imagination in my poems.

In my writer’s tool box are words, ideas, experience, knowledge, limited imagination, and scant creativity (I know where to get it), technology (a long list of software and hardware goes here), language, and some ability to read and write. Admitting my shortcomings as a journeyman of letters, I consider every editor I know to be a (god or goddess) helpful resource along with a multitude of other writers, authors, and critics.

I like to work with parable, symbolism, simile, metaphor, allegory and allusion, analogy, and soliloquy in poems and essays. I am talking about verisimilitude (all 14 letters and six syllables), or the appearance of reality or truth. I found that word on a list as I researched this piece.

When it’s not biographical and is just a story, it gets tricky. It’s not the writing. It’s what (WTF) am I talking about? Fiction resides in reality and truth. Fact can likewise be disguised in fiction. Names, dates, situations, and persons are often fictionalized in truth.

I know twins (grandparents) who, as children, were both present at a memorable and emotional family event. They both remember it well. However, when they discuss it, each has a different version of the same event, even though they stood side-by-side as eyewitnesses. Each is telling the truth, but how each one saw it and remembers it is different.

One of my favorite authors is Pat Conroy. Pat wrote autobiographical fiction. His stories were based on his real life: his family, people he knew and loved, his schools, his job as a teacher, and other real events. Indeed, his fiction was based (often heavily) on real life.

Conroy paid a high price in several ways. A lot of people got mad at him. Some fellow writers looked down on his creativity (or lack of) in using real world events and people to write fiction. I like the ties to the real. But that does not mean there was always such an entwinement. Other autobiographical fiction writers include Tim O’Brien, Sylvia Plath, Sandra Cisneros, and many others.

Sometimes I make up a story from a thought or memory, but the reality is only a setting or a trigger. It is not necessarily autobiographical or about current real-life circumstances. It is not a message to someone, not a plot applicable to my personal life, not real at all. Many people assume it is. However, sometimes (often?) it is all of that.

I like the ‘how-to’ memoir book by Tristine Rainer, “Your Life as Story: Discovering the ‘New Autobiography’ and Writing Memoir as Literature.” While one should never intentionally lie (fib?), it may be necessary to fill gaps in events with things that may not be exactly precise, true, and factual.

I have been told that every writer (artist or person) puts part of him- or herself into everything he or she writes. I agree. Still, not everything I write is real, or happened, or is about any real person. It may be about how I feel or what I experience emotionally.

Indeed, it was or is true or partly true, or the true facts as I recall them. Often, for me, my writing is a search for myself – for my truth, my honesty, my story, my interpretation of actual events. Maybe it’s just psycho-babble, but writing seems to be part of me trying to say something about me. I’ve written a memoir. It is unfinished, but I will get back to it.

I wrote a poem about a door. A suggested title was ‘An Ode to Agoraphobia.’ While the poem was not intended to be about any mental condition, after I wrote it, I realized it was clearly about fear of going out into the world. I’ve never had such a fear. When I researched possible submissions, I discovered that some publications only wanted it if I suffered from the malady. I ain’t sayin’ I do when I don’t.

The mag’s policy made sense technically, but it was a true poem about a real emotional or mental state that I can only imagine. I’ve written stories about men committing suicide and people doing all sorts of things I never have or will do. Human behavior, bizarre or normal, is interesting. Fiction and nonfiction rely on interest.

The catch is that when people assume what I write is directly associated with my life, they’re usually correct. People who know me personally would certainly assume autobiographical or nonfictional writing, especially other writers. They know how I work. However, sometimes it is just my overactive Irish blarney oozing onto the page with a bit of imagination peppered with fib to improve the taste.

And that, my dear friends, is the absolute truth.

Look both ways in fact and fiction.
Let reality peek into the gaps of light in everything.

Wednesday’s Poem

Who do I think I am?

Poetic Dream

Dream and dream and dream,
Is this life my dream within a dream?
My fantasy and my horror?
Is my pleasure only what is seen?

Pity she who cannot dream and feel
sorry for he who cannot visit
the dark night of pleasured dreams.
True pleasure and true fear in the mist.

Dreams wrapped in dreams
nightmares filled with fear and panic,
Pleasure unrestricted by rules
and commitments of fact.

I stand before my mind
searching for the dream of life,
Wanting in and wanting out
to dream and to dream and to dream about.

 

© Bill Reynolds 7/25/2018

 

Dream and look both ways, into the night in the light of the day. Mind gaps of dusk and dawn.

A2Z Challenge: W is for Witches

There are big differences between witches and the other 25 folklore creatures I am writing about. The first is, minus a few mythical ones which may not be, witches are human. The second difference is that I am certain some people who declare themselves witches (including friends of mine) will read this blog. Thus, I may well be brought to correction about what I write. Another difference is, along with elves, I think witches are cool. I like them.

The amount of information available, much of it provided by self-identified living witches, is plethoric. Any library could dedicate and fill an entire section to witch-related topics (I bet some do). All this I say both as an excuse for my brief driveling twaddle, and to encourage the curious toward continued exploratory adventure into the worldly subjects of witches and witchcraft and nature and other witch-related things, such as Wicca.

This link will take you to a list of famous witches from various eras. That page will also provide a link (interesting) to related belief systems (religions). And this link will take you a Wiccan page that will explain 15 different types of witches (I didn’t know).

I have written about witches before (this poem, for example), but only fictionally as I battle my own cognitive dissonance with reality, stereotyping, and fiction.

That said, one category of witchery includes mythology and folklore, which is the category for this blog, according to the A-to-Z Challenge list of categories. To keep between the lines of myth and lore, I present five witches for you from mythology and folklore.

From Homer’s Odyssey, a witch named Circe drugged sailors and then turned them into animals, wolves and lions mostly. For me, that explains a lot. Odysseus worked with Circe on the problem and after a year, he and his sailors were free to go back to Ithaca.

The Witch of Endor used the ghost of Samuel to tell King Saul that he would be defeated and killed by the Philistines in battle. However, he was only wounded in the battle, but then he killed himself anyway. He must have been bewitched. Go figure!

Vampires with toe thing.

The Chedipe is a witch who got pissed at men. She rides a tiger into their homes unnoticed. She then sucks the life out of men through their toes. I have no explanation for her sucking toes to death fetish. The guy dies, and she moves on to the next victim. Have a good night and keep your toes covered. Can a witch also be a vampire? I noticed some talk of prostitution in my research.

The witches from Macbeth remind me of a high school skit I was in. These Sisters of Fate were the agents of destruction for Macbeth and all of Scotland. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

Hecate is the Greek goddess of witchcraft, witches, sorcery, poisonous plants, and other hocus-pocus stuff. She is still worshipped by some groups and is the source for the concept of a jinx.

Ignorance then. Now?
I cannot imagine this.

Look both ways for witches from the east and the west, the north and south.
Mind the gaps and the pointed hats.

 

A2Z Challenge: U is for Unicorn

Nice Touch – Wings

I am reluctant to attempt to write anything about these beautiful, almost sadly mythological creatures. However, I know some people who read this blog are expecting (perhaps demanding) them for the letter U. They have told me so.

There are two reasons for my insecurity. One reason is that I am pretty sure they do not really exist, but I am uncertain whether most people agree with me. The second reason is that too many people from age five to fifty (and more) know more about unicorns than I do. Fine. But none has stepped forward to write this post.

Unicorns have been described since antiquity as a horse-like creature with a single large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. They were depicted on ancient seals and have been mentioned in many old historical accounts, Greek (not mythology) and otherwise. The re’em, of the Bible is translated to unicorn in some versions.

In European folklore, unicorns are described as a white horse-like or goat-like animal with a long horn and cloven hooves. In the Middle Ages they were described as wild woodland creatures, symbols of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. Some say a unicorn’s horn can purify poisoned water, making it medicinal to heal sickness.

Long ago, Greek writers of natural history were convinced of the reality of unicorns, which they believed lived in India, a distant and fabulous realm for them. Leonardo da Vinci even wrote hunting instructions, which look like a ploy to get your girlfriend to go hunting with you.

The unicorn, through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself, for the love it bears to fair maidens forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it.

The unicorn is the symbol of Scotland. It was chosen because it was seen as a proud and haughty creature which would rather die than be captured (liberty or death?), just as Scots would fight to remain sovereign and unconquered.

My proof that unicorns exist can be found in New Braunfels, Texas (USA). The mascot of one of the local high schools is the unicorn. Thus, students are unicorns. So, they do exist in human form. There are a few other schools who have the unicorn as their mascot, but such a mascot is rare.

For the record, I love unicorns. No one should doubt that. I only say or write good things about unicorns, and my disbelief in them is a myth (ignoring my earlier comment).

Now, for a bit of unicorn bathroom humor. This is primarily for certain friends and family (they know who they are), and those among you with such bizarre taste in hilarity.

 

 

Look both ways for unicorn.
If you see one, and you are a virgin, try to capture it.
Mind the uni-gaps.

A2Z Challenge — M is for Minotaur

It is not always the impressive awesomeness of the fantasy creature that gets me. Sometimes it’s the story of how it came to be that I find most interesting. I was gunna go with something different today, but when I read about this one, I simply had to tell you about the Minotaur from Greek Mythology. Seriously, who came up this stuff?

With all the family drama, jealousy, hanky-panky, and bestiality, here is how it all went down. Minos, king of Crete, fought his brothers for rule. So, Minos asked the god Poseidon to send him a snow-white bull. Seeing this, his brothers would back off. The god sent the bull and it worked. But then Minos was supposed to kill the bull to honor Poseidon. Minos had a better idea, and that’s when the trouble started.

King Minos decided to keep the bull cuz he thought it was cool. So, King Dum-dum kills another bull thinking this sea-god will not notice or care. Greek gods can be so persnickety. Not just any dead bull would do. It had to be the pretty white one. Poseidon was pissed.

To get revenge, the god does a thing so that Pasiphaë, Minos’s wife, gets the beasty hots for the white bull. You with me? The king’s queen falls all lusty-love for this freakin’ horny bull. Today, this shite would be all over youtube.

No bull, white or not, is gunna do the dirty deed with the queen, lusty-love or not. So, Queen Pasiphaë had a very skilled crafty guy name of Daedalus make a hollow wooden cow. Can you see where this is going?

It must have been one fine piece of work to fool the bull into climbing on board and hammering away. Anyway, the queen climbed inside it and for the rest of the story, I suppose you had to be there. All I can say is Poseidon had an insane sense of humor, if Greek gods did funny things.

The child born was the monstrous Minotaur. The baby was not so cute with the dad’s head and a mostly human body. Pasiphaë nursed him (don’t get sick on me), but he grew and became a ferocious vile creature, being an unnatural (to say the least) offspring of a woman and a bull.

Minotaur devoured humans (preferably children every few years) for sustenance. Minos, after getting advice from the oracle at Delphi, had Daedalus (builder of the wooden cow) construct a gigantic labyrinth to hold the Minotaur and that is where he lived until he was killed by Theseus.

Look both ways.
If there is a bull in the field, do not climb the fence.
Mind the gaps as you cautiously walk around.
And do not piss off any Greek gods.