Monday’s Rune: Big Country Swap Meet


Listen: Brack-In Ridge

Reportage from Abilene, Texas.

The parking lot guy collects a five spot.
I joke: five dollars to see my
brother-in-law?
The good ol’ boy
with the best trash and
the biggest damn stash east of the Pecos.
I suppose west of, too.

A cowboy swap meet.
Auto stuff, mostly.
Kind of a thing in a place,
next to a silent (today) drag strip.
I spied more vendors than not.

Gear heads. Rust is the most
favored color and condition.
Many men’s junk—treasures
for another’s home, yard, or garage.
To be sold again one day down the road.

Huge bushy mustachios, semi-clean blue jeans
with stained dirty shirts work, baseball caps
of some kind to cover secret coded bald heads,
hidden lips that barely part
speaking a strange dialect,

What’s the least y’all take?
I’h gotta have ‘at old junk.

Gotta get that much,
‘at’s mah last one,
except fer ones I ain’t sold yet.

Big sky country, gateway to western Texas.
And women looking. And high priced
cars, trucks, scoots, and toys
that been rustin’ for years.
Who knows where?

It’s a tribe thingy.
I like ‘em,
but I don’t get them.
They don’t get me. Seems fair enough.
Still, it’s fun to sit and stare. To look,
and to listen.


Look both ways, be y’all a seller or a buyer.
Mind the gaps for the best deal.

 

Sammi’s Weekender #260 (omphalos)

A big congratulatory shout out to Sammi for five years of weekend wonders.

Click on the omphalos prompt for more 91-word creative wonders on Sammi’s blog page.

Navel Gazing

Am I lost, have you seen me?
Am I crying or standing angry?

I listen but I also speak,
I read but I write, I love—
but I also hate and abominate.

I must find myself,
so I may contemplate my bile.

Every day, untethered, to consider
my center, my core omphalos
being wisely chosen.

Not fooled by feelings or desires,
looking deep and true
before winter blows

that last breath from my chest,
before my dust returns to the cosmos
before it is too late,
true to myself, my love.


Look both ways at your best and the worst.
Find the true you without judgment or odium.
Mind the gaps and look there too,
for the stain of truth is better than vain and useless glory.

Sammi’s Weekender #259 (spotlight)

Click this graphic for Sammi’s page and more spotlight 21-word gems.

Mission

Never liked real or imagined
spotlights
except from the catbird seat.

The Spotlight movie—
religion’s villainous clergy
and journalism’s reporter heroes.


Look both ways to find the sorry ass truth.
Mind the gaps but tell all to make a better world.

The 2015 movie trailer, if you’ve not seen it.

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.

Monday’s Rune: Hurry & Wait


Call Alice or Jody Call

Hurry up! and then wait
might be a cliché to some.
Army’s GI Joes claim it
as their own,
but we’ve all been rushed
and rushed, hurried along,
forced into quick-step like
anthropomorphic white rabbits
through Alice’s wonderland story
(not Arlo’s restaurant one)
and Grace’s slick psyche-song.

Rushed to somewhere
only there to wait,
and wait some more,
and then wait longer.
(‘twas no rarity, either.)
On top of that,
just like the mad hat,
they’d (we) add five minutes,
early
plus five,
and then five more,
(if not ten) minutes early.
A military obsession
greater than want of
any weapon
or crazy-ass war.

Embrace the suck
if it makes it
better how ya feel,
about it all,
been there,
done that,
was not late,
but had to wait.
We’ll all be early
for our own
funerals, unless
it’s Oxford
(not Tulsa) time,
when late is just fine.


Look both ways if you’ve had “some kind of mushroom.”
Mind the gaps and “remember what the dormouse said, feed your head.”

 

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 27)

Click for prompt and more poems.

Today, I was to write a duplex poem, a variation on the 14-line sonnet form (also echoes ghazal and blues) developed by Jericho Brown. While I did not make the last line the same as the first, I think it still fits the form near enough.


Look Both Ways

In my seventh decade I can sense
How the shortened horizon stimulates me.

As near horizons power my desire
I feel impatient and curious.

Curious about much, impatient to learn
As my memory seeks its own beginning.

Like flashing movie trailers of memory
I feel a revival of haste when I see

Time is not long, and my need is urgent.
Reality has broken though my dreams

And my dreams bow to stark reality.
From this end I see better my beginning,

My story told from beginning till now.
My seventh decade has finally arrived.


Look both ways regardless of how near or far the horizon is.
Mind the gaps because memory is tricky business.

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.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 22)

Click this image to open today’s prompt page with links to more poems.

Today’s one-thirtieth of NaPo prompts challenged me to write a poem that uses repetition. I may repeat a sound, word, phrase, image, or any combination. I chose a name. (Note: published one day late because someone forgot to click on publish.)


When Nothing Else Can

Maybe Bukowski was right.
We are strange, we of the people.
Is someone’s world better
when we’re not in it?
Bukowski’s is gone.

Bukowski had a point
about hate’s self-sufficiency,
better to not care at all if love
needs so much help. Gratuitous
masturbation of the psyche
is all about Bukowski.

Bukowski was right when he said,
the world is full of boring, identical,
mindless people. They run from the
rain but revel in tubs of bubbles and water.
Where’s the glory here? said Bukowski.

Bukowski didn’t tell me to find what I love
and let it kill me, but I blame it on Bukowski anyway.
There is a loneliness in this world, wrote Bukowski.
Just drink more beer, more and more beer, now
that’s really Bukowski!

I think Bukowski was right when Hank said that
sissies have hard lives. And most important for me,
Bukowski said, nothing can save you except writing,
and equally important, a poem knows when to stop.
I think what Bukowski said is nuts, but also too true,
so it stops, but this is not the end of this Bukowski bit.


Look both ways when sampling the sweet and the sour.
Mind the gaps for clues of generations.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 19)

Click the graphic for the prompt page and more poems by other participants.

Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts with a command.

I wrote my poem as a more respectful, loving plea rather than a command, but the words suit the prompt’s intent well, as far as I’m concerned. My inspiration was the Peter, Paul, and Mary song, Day Is Done.


Our Day Undone

Tell me why you are sad, my son.
Let me hold your hand and listen
as you speak of woe. Call me
to your side as we talk, and we walk.
Stay near me. Tell me your regrets,
intone unknowns we both fear.

Is it wise for us to ask why, sadness
so deep we must cry? Tell me,
my son. I’ll be right here
until my last day is done. Burden my
purpose of commitment. I ask no easement,
but for your silence to clear.

Allow me to share this distress and bother
just as I’ve carried you before. I rejoiced
in your life, now let me suffer with you
the worst of your troubles. Let us be
like some small support
as we lean upon each other
and lift this load
until the healing is done
and sadness has passed.


Look both ways mindful of love’s burden.
Let compassion fill the gaps,
allow time and love to ease the pain until the day is done.

If you’re not familiar with the tune: