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.

Sammi’s Weekender #239 (smuggle)

Click the prompt graphic to teleport to Sammi’s blog and other poetry or prose.

Egregiously Absurd

Smugglers
of humans seeking better lives, liberty, to taste
freedom, asking only workman’s wages.

They flee to us with wicked problems,
bringing constantly changing confusion,
due to undefinable inequalities of states.

By coercion or consent, trusting snakeheads,
coyotes, or polleros; at great cost and risk,
begging asylum from worse.

We pick them up, send them back;
our failed fences, blank walls.
WTF is beautiful about that?


Look both ways and “Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too.”
Mind the gaps on the high road of morality.

Friday Fictioneers 12/10/2021

Friday Fictioneers challenges us to write fewer than 101 words mused up by a photograph supplied by one of us and posted as our prompt by the ever-wonderful Rochelle. Click the prompt photo to see her blog page and get clued-in on all the fun.

Here is today’s picture and my story.

Click on the PHOTO PROMPT © by Claire Fullerby for Rochelle’s blog to get all the FF info.

Genre: Crime Fiction
Title: The Payoff
Word count: 100

I was out walking behind the old abandon Morrow Brothers service station, where I had my first job. Hearing voices, I climbed over the mess of old mufflers and tires to see.

I saw Clay Morrow arguing with some guy. Morrow pulled a gun from his toolbox and shot the man.

I saw youthful me—watching.

Then, I watched as Morrow walked over to me, said something, and handed me a paper.

Back home, I called Dr. Kupferberg.

“Doc, I wasn’t dreaming. I remember. I witnessed a murder and told no one. Morrow paid me off. I’m holding the check.”


Look both ways.
You won’t recall repressed memories, until you do.
Mind the gaps in criminal acts, especially if you’re involved.

Click on Clay Morrow’s (Ron Perlman) gun to read other renditions.

 

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.

Friday Fictioneers 12 – 01 – 2021

Friday Fictioneers challenges us to write micro-fiction (<101 words) prompted by a photograph supplied by one of our colleagues. It’s all teed up by our friend, extraordinary artist, and fabulous leader, Rochelle. Click the prompt photo to see her blog page with all the skinny. It’s fun.

Today’s picture has a two-level outhouse indicating politicians up top and voters below. I recall seeing this arrangement in a military cartoon with officers on top and enlisted below.

In the Viet Nam War, officers and radiomen were preferred targets of the North Vietnam Army and the Viet Cong, which is why soldiers did not salute officers in the field.

Click on the PHOTO PROMPT by © Lisa Fox for Rochelle’s blog to get all the FF info.

Genre: Military Fiction (War Story)
Word Count: 100
Title: FNG* Down

The new Lieutenant ordered me to be his radio man. Our platoon leader was callow, yet confident and eager. A stickler for rules, he risked soldiers’ lives needlessly. A poor listener with a gung-ho, know-it-all attitude.

He chewed me out in front of my squad and gave me extra guard duty. Bad enough I had to hump the motherfucker’s goddamn radio.

In the jungle one day the lieutenant ordered me to step back, I yelled, “Yes, Sir,” stepped back and saluted him. The crack sound of the AK-47 made me dive for cover.

Our next lieutenant was a big improvement.


Be aware of enemy presence and men with guns.
Mind the gaps, make more friends than enemies, and keep your powder dry.
Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being watched.

Click on the soldier to link to the squares, where other stories are being told.

*FNG is military initialism and jargon for fucking new guy.

Tuesday Rune: Health

Nine on Tuesday

It’s nine o’clock on a Tuesday.
The patients just shuffle in
with oxygen tanks and walkers,
some in wheelchairs, hoping
for something better
for medical science
to keep them in one piece
to keep us alive and well.

Now, for some, is the time
of politics over health,
religion over medicine,
conspiracy over science.

I look around
and I say to myself,
man, what are you doing here?

It’s nine in the morning
and I am just one
of these people.
Another old fart
or flatulentess
getting a test to tell us
what we already know.

Some day this shit’s
gunna kill us,
if our own stupidity
and pride
fail to do it first.

It’s a lovely, sunny, cool day
here in Temple, Texas,
for wondering, Bill,
what are we doing here?

So, we sit and wait,
neither early nor late,
to have some clinician guide
say it has not gone away.
“If you stroke out,
give us a call, and
have a nice day.”


Look both ways.
Understand life backward but live it forward for as long as you can.
Mind the gaps for the fountain of youth, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and life everlasting. Amen.

Thursday Rune (Kip)

Temporary Friendships

I never understood him.
He told me things,
as others have,
where truth
may have been shaved,
distorted, or it was not
exactly as it was.

He was my roommate,
at times a friend,
but solid ground
did not bridge us
for very long after
I went one way,
he another.

Many silent years later,
Yolonda found Kip.
Living in Florida,
where he has since died.

It’s hard to say
what matters,
so many years later.
I wonder what
I saw then, that
I cannot recall now.


Look both ways but mind the gaps.
Hold on to dreams and memories. But sometimes,
I wish I knew then what I now know. At other times,
I wish we didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.

Friday Fictioneers 11 – 19 – 2021

Today, two of my favorite people conspired to inspire Friday Fictioneers. Magnificent Rochelle teamed up with photographer extraordinaire, Dale, to throw us on the old woodpile.

We write micro-stories of 100 words or fewer given ideas mused by a new photo each week, provided by other creative and imaginative compatriots. You can read the rules over on Rochelle’s blog and join in the fun. Here is the photo and my story for this week.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson. Click it to fly on over to Rochelle’s blog to get all the hot words on how to join up.

Genre: Gonzo journalism
Word Count: 100
Title: Chainsaw Hammer

***

I cut logs all day with my new chainsaw. After dark, I drank a beer in the yard with my new toy. I thought when all you have is a hammer

I heard footsteps, then voices. Two burglars! They jimmied a window. I worried and drank more beer.

I grabbed my chainsaw and jerked the start cord. She sounded off. I gunned her a few times before yelling, “prepare to die, mutherfuckers.”

You never heard such a commotion. Yelling and running for dear life. After they left, I finished my beer and went to the house to change my pants.


Look both ways if you’re gunna burgle in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Mind the gaps where crazy old farts sit drinking beer with their favorite new toy.

Click on Gonzo, The Mordant Scribe to read some other stories from the same picture prompt.

Thursday Rune: Vet’s Day Poem


Why I am Here

Are we united? One,
indivisible nation
facing all that division
and diversion
has to offer.

When politically
trapped rhetoric becomes
the dark knight, when
lies form gospel,
when logic is lost, when
hate becomes faith,
we form our own
deep “Troubles”
dis-united.

On this Vet’s Day,
let us remember,
and never forget,
why we are here.


Look both ways and work for peace.
Mind the gaps as we make it a better world.