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.

Monday’s Rune: Pride Month Poetry


Looking Both Ways

There’s tragedy in America
and over the world today.
One that has always been there
brewing trouble bubbling,
either hidden or ignored.

Without love, honor, and respect
inside and out,
sans pity and pride, compassion, and sacrifice,
we are doomed
to be less than
the best of humanity’s history.

Let nature and nurture battle on,
let knowledge
and wisdom wrestle
with feeling and emotion.

Nature’s questions asked without fear,
safe for all, with courage
to face battles between
sweet dreams of hope
and nightmares of reality.

Ally with truth, with
compassion, without weakness or fear,
with hope to continue
standing with universal rightness.


Look both ways and try, try, try to understand, it’s not magic, man.
Mind the gaps in the human condition as you embrace its diversity.

Note: I will be reading this poem (and others) at the Lark & Owl Booksellers in Georgetown, TX, 30 June 2022 @ 7:30 PM.

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: Live Well

 


I Admit It

Sometimes I don’t understand, or
(and it’s not the same thing)
I misunderstand, hoping
somehow to be brought
to correction and truth,
by way of clarification,
minus animosity.

Like one day
writing to prompts.

A young lady made clear
her (pre-pandemic) intention
to complete
the several months long hike
of the Appalachian Trail,
Georgia to Maine.

Starting in February,
finishing in May (unlikely),
by hiking
twenty-seven miles
every day for months.

She had done eighteen miles in one day,
no more; none
during March or July
on a rocky or muddy ascending trail.

I wanted to say,
that’s a marathon a day,
every day, for at least three months
(more like five to seven)
bearing a pack, food, and water.

But I didn’t. Is it for me to say?
Lest I dash her dream with reality.
Is it for each person to discover
our dreams? To defeat challenging demons?
Not with wisdom but with grit.
Each of us must, on life’s long wander,
one day, one step at a time, take the risk.


Look both ways on every trail.
Watch where you step and mind the gaps lest you find a limp.
Follow your dreams.
Wisely.

Click on the photo of my favorite trail bench for more info on the Appalachian Trail.

 

Friday Fictioneers for May 27th 2022

Brenda Cox threw in with the ever-mystical mistress of purple, Rochelle our belle, who took time from the pool to deliver this refreshingly cool love shack photo to inspire one hundred words of well mused Friday Fictionary to charm and warm all readers.

Click on the PHOTO PROMPT by © Brenda Cox to outrigger on over to Kansas City’s most swimmingly artistic native, the maven of purple, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ addicting blog.

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

Genre: Twisty Memoir
Title: Escape
Word Count: 100

***

I walked up to the bar and told my lady, “I’ll have a piña colada, please.”

She smiled and said,

“If you like piña coladas
And gettin’ caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you like makin’ love at midnight
In the dunes on the cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for
Let’s plan our escape.”

I replied, “I never knew. Meet me tomorrow noon, At a bar called O’Malley’s.”

Me and my old lady been on the run since then, never fallen into the same old dull routine.

***


Look both ways and love the love
of musical tunes and magical lyrics, especially 70s tunes.
Mind the gaps and put a wedge of pineapple with the rum, coconut, coco lopez,
and suck it through a fat straw.

***

Click on the 19-year-old love birds (now [27 May 1966] married 56 years) to read a bunch of other inspired stories.

***

If you’re not familiar with the piña colada song (Escape), here it is with lyrics. Hopefully, this works for everyone. Cheers, y’all.

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.

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 3)

Since it’s Sunday, (I’ve no idea why that matters to Maureen Thorson [Napo creator and prompt director], but I acknowledge that most folks who work do so on approximately five of the other six days) so today’s NaPo prompt is (she said “a bit”) complex. I’m to write a poem in a Spanish form called glosa (or glose). Glosa explains or responds to another poem or part of one. Until today, I was unfamiliar with this form, but now I am intrigued by it.

THE GLOSA OR GLOSE requires:

  1. a) A cabeza (or motto) – the quatrain borrowed from another poet, whose authorship must be acknowledged.
  2. b) Four 10-line stanzas, each ending with one of the lines in sequence from the cabeza.
  3. c) A rhyme-scheme requirement that lines 6 and 9 rhyme with the final word of line 10.

It seems challenging, but “The point of any formal (poem) constraint is primarily to put you under pressure to write a little differently from your default style, and in the case of the glosa, you’re forced to participate quite explicitly in the work of another poet, many new possibilities for writing differently can be magically released.

“There’s great scope for playing with this form, by varying the constraints. You could choose a different stanza length, write in free verse, in a metre of your choice, or in syllabics; dispense with rhyme or increase the amount of rhyme; use a different length of cabeza, or introduce the lines of the cabeza in different positions in your stanza.” ~ John Wheway, “How to write a Glosa.” (https://www.johnwheway.com/?p=4)

I did the prompt and followed the form as closely as I could, except for one rhyme. Who cares, right?

The most difficult part of this was browsing through my favorite poets to find the perfect quatrain, then to cull that dozen down to one.


I could feel the day offering itself to me
and I wanted nothing more
than to be in the moment—but which moment?
Not that one, or that one, or that one
,

From the book, The Trouble with Poetry (and other poems): “In the Moment,” by Billy Collins.

Life’s Moments

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
they’d ask, “Do you have a girl friend?
I needed answers. Also, “How was school today?”
I grew up without ever knowing
what it was I wanted to be.
I married young and that stopped
all questions about any girlfriend,
and then one day I woke on up.
The value of school I started to see
I could feel the day offering itself to me.

One day at a time, moment by moment
I lived my life, and I slowly learned
what I wanted to do, he who I wanted to be
even though, before, I didn’t know or want
to be the he who was evolving into me.
Each day of my life I opened another door.
The important people in my life called me
Bill or Dad or Opa, not sir or major.
I finally had my feet on the floor
and I wanted nothing more.

Forty million moments later I knew
the answers to so many of their questions
but I can’t tell them now, not that they
ever really cared, like everyone does
after they’ve grown up (if they do),
they’re all gone now to find others to torment.
So little I remember, the work I did,
the people I loved (and those I did not)
I think about my future, I want nothing more
than to be in the moment—but which moment?

I wish I could tell them now
what I didn’t know then, what I’ve become,
and how I made my way, and what
I have to say. I never liked school,
a necessary evil at best,
but that’s all long over and done.
I’ve paid my dues. Didn’t always give my best
even when life was some questioning test.
I try moments and memories I could’ve become,
Not that one, or that one, or that one, …


Look both ways to the future and the past
but live every moment like it might be your last.
Mind the gaps and the questions, but live long into the answers.

Thursday’s Rune: 3 3 22


Ode to Sexy GCS

Saying it’s iconic is a trite, ubiquitous
marketing cliché to honor nouns.

Yet, certain foods deserve menu pride of place
for meaningful simplicity,

for memories, taste, and community pleasure;
for ingredient brevity, seldom seeking savory mystery.

I salivate composing a poem
to the American grilled cheese sandwich.

GCSs have been around more ‘n a hundred years,
frequent fare served at fun food venues,

including my house, where casual is key
and kiss is a simple, honorable principle.

Why many recipes? Bread, cheese, butter,
and heat. It’s American. Add more and

it’s a melt. If that’s what you want, well fine!
Let Brits have their toasties, jaffles for Aussies,

panini is Italian and bless the French
for le croque monsieur. Nice. But none of that is GCS.

Done right, fried golden crisp with a shell’s
shades of black to yellow-brown, either square or round.

Cut squares diagonally, two isosceles right triangles
for proper holding, touching, and eating (warm to hot).

And kissing if you want. See the colors and shape,
the moist but firm surface.

Pick up with clean dry fingers, opposite the
triangle’s hypotenuse, gently between two legs.

At the right-angle corner, hold it between your
index and middle fingers, and thumb, gently lift

its moist crisp oiliness to your face. Allow it
to touch, to be felt on your skin and lips.

Holding near your nose and mouth, invite
sensual fragrance to enter your nose, slide

it gently between your lips, barely touching,
before being taken into the mouth.

Gently bite it. Feel your teeth crunch through the crust
into the warm melted cheese. Chew slowly, thoroughly.

Swallow the bite while planning the next. No rush.
Eye the stack and plan your next attack.


Look both ways.
Food and sex are both pleasures.
Enjoy.
Mind the gaps, the dips, and company.
Bond with the world.

Thursday’s Rune: The Intern

I really don’t understand this retirement gig. I never worked this damn hard when I was (over) paid for what I did.

I know. All those years of experience, knowing and rarely telling where the bodies were buried. They paid me with hush money and free coffee.

Now I work for the worst slave driver of my life: relentless me. And I am not giving myself a good review or a raise.

Too many goals I’ve missed by miles, shabby work posted for the world to see. No pay, no benefits, but staff meetings are mercifully short. Praise social programs and media.

Art supplies going dry. Travel bennies unused. Zoom training ignored in favor of you tubes and naps in the afternoon.

The sexual harassment policy, while mild is embarrassing, even though nobody knows how it all goes. Breaks lead to fun honey-dos I often prefer.

Don’t get me wrong. I love retirement. The highlight of some days is wasting time in erotically creative ways. I love to say that tired cliché, “been there and done that.” Experience never gets old.


When I look both ways, seeing more past than future, it’s telling.
I mind the gaps as best I can, and I still hope for a happy ending to my wildly romantic life.

***

I shall allow Robert Anthony De Niro Jr. (as old Ben) show me the way.