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,
and then five more,
(if not ten) minutes early.
A military obsession
greater than want of
or crazy-ass war.
Embrace the suck
if it makes it
better how ya feel,
about it all,
was not late,
but had to wait.
We’ll all be early
for our own
(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.”
Na’ama Yehuda’s lovely flower garden picture posted by the incomparable Rochelle, mistress of pools of water and writers was both inspirational and challenging. A rose by any other name is a tulip, even on Friday Fictioneers, right?
Genre: Murderous Fiction
Title: I never promised you a rose tulip garden
We were so much in love, hotly in lust, blindly infatuated—the perfect couple. I decided I could trust him with my biggest secrets. We just clicked.
“Hey Babe, I need to tell you one more thing.”
“Oh, Sweetheart, you can tell me anything. Without trust, there’s no us.”
“I worked as a hooker when I lived in Reno.”
“Okay, Love…that’s over now.”
“I also shot a man there just to watch him die.
“You did what? You’re a murderer? We need to get that mess cleaned up.”
“I’ll be packing tonight. Don’t worry about me leaving. I’m already gone.”
Look both ways to see that no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, we can only be who we are. Mind those gaps so you don’t forget that your truth may be none of my business.
My story was musically inspired by: (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson, Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, and Already Gone (also maybe the line, And there’s some rumors going round, someone’s underground from Witchy Woman) by Eagles (sic).
My final 2022 NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a cento. This is a poem made up of lines taken from other poems. For my cento, I took lines from various poems in Donkey Gospel and What Narcissism Means to Me, both books of poems by Tony Hoagland.
We were drinking beer with the sound off
Greg said that things were better in the sixties
when I was pale and scrawny
and we soar up into the summer stars
but I admit that in the dark
(where a whole life can be mistaken) cavern of that bar
where men throw harpoons at something
costly, beautiful, but secret
jockstraps flew across the steamy
rickshaws gliding through the palace gates,
an act of cruelty which we both understood
the dreams rising from the sleep of children
far out from the coastline of America
a ten-foot sign says, WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
which makes us wonder if Time loves Memory back.
Look both ways (forward to May, back at April) and wonder.
Mind the gaps for those chores left undone.
At the two-thirds complete NaPoWriMo Wednesday, my assignment, should I choose to accept it, was to humanize (anthropomorphize) a food.
Ask any front-line (combat) Army or Marine Corps Viet Nam War veteran about C-rations, especially about this one.
It is not an acquired taste
c-rats (thankfully) are nevermore.
But he who must not be named, you-know-who—of Hogwarts,
the Dark Lord of chow, bitter
Lord Voldemort of field rations
universally despised for bad taste.
In the boonies, in another world:
The Nam! What was in that can?
Bad luck shall befall if you say it— Ham and Lima Beans, say it
like a soldier: ham and motherfuckers
hated by virtually everyone,
thrown back like VC returning fire
by starving children: numba ten, GI!
International agreement at last.
The most disgusting (real) food ever.
(You gunna eat that?)
Look both ways and tell it like it was.
Mind the gaps when everything sucks.
My interpretation on the mid-month NaPo prompt was to write a poem about something I dislike or find absurd. I concluded this because the assignment was, while seemingly counterintuitive, to write about something I have absolutely no interest in; but not like indifferent to (apathetic). I was also invited to investigate why I don’t give a damn. Here’s my take.
I’m curious about few woo-woo,
but astrology ain’t in my playbill.
Are there 12 or 13 signs?
There’s yer sign.
Who TF cares, Ophiuchus?
People read that shit?
Believe? Live by?
not by constellations,
not by birthdays.
Connect the dots,
but not that crazy way.
Fun, interesting, or amusing?
Blame the Babylonians. I couldn’t care less
if they left one hanging dingleberry.
You do the math. Is one two?
If I’m interested enough to care
I will ask, not your Zodiac sign,
but what kind of beer do you drink?
Look both ways when you stare into the night sky.
Identify stars, planets, and constellations.
That’s astronomy. That’s science.
Mind the gaps for the wonder of galaxies.
To begin the second week of the NaPoWriMo challenge, I was to give a name to my alter ego. Then I was to provide you with a detailed description of him or her (in my case, his). Finally, I was s’pposed to write in my alter ego’s voice, presumably a poetic piece of some kind. I looked up alter ego because I wasn’t certain what that was. I’m still not sure.
I’ve provided you with two video clips. One to clarify my alter ego’s behavior and attitude (Gus McCrae from the Lonesome Dove miniseries, played by Robert Duvall). It’s close, but not exactly right. So, I added another clip from a Bloomberg interview with Sam Elliot to help with the look, facial hair, and voice. I also added a photo for the uniform and a bushier mustache.
Meet Scratch McGillicuddy, my alter ego. Scratch got his first name playing pool (poorly). His last name was bestowed by his father, but it’s not his real family name. He never uses that. Scratch’s motto is do no harm but take no shit. He has a soft heart that he wants no one to see, and a hard head that everyone sees. Like Gus McCrae, Scratch has an appreciation for the arts, the intelligence of others, all kinds of learning, and he talks and drinks too much.
While McGillicuddy has seen better days and his best is in the past, he is seriously in denial about that and thinks he can do it all as well as always. Scratch is older than he looks, is more physically fit than many think, and admits to selling himself for a bit more than his worth. In many ways, except for his cowboy image, Scratch is an average sized man who hits hard and shoots straight, metaphorically and literally.
He sees things others miss. While his hearing is waning, he loves music. Secretly, he is proud of his physical and emotional scars. Yet, he doesn’t show them off or talk much about what price he paid for them.
We’re all gone now, but we ain’t
And we ain’t them Louis L’Amour pokes,
but we are too, in many a memory.
Now, we’re the Larry McMurtry truth.
We’re not the western movie,
but we’re the western hero
and the Liberty Valance, sorry to say.
We don’t drive pickup trucks,
but we ride, smack dab in the middle with you.
We love horses, snakes, and cows,
but we ain’t no farmers nor them
drugstore cowboy goat ropers.
We drink rank coffee and cheap rye whiskey,
and we cause tons a trouble on the double.
We’re on your saddles, in yer picture shows,
and we be a permanent part of yer art.
In Oklahoma we’re gussied up in a dad burn museum.
We’re who y’all pine to be, but you can’t be no more
b’cuz they done bob-warred the dang prairie.
We all been throwed, and some of us been rode.
Don’t be messin’ with our women folk,
now, ya been nicely told.
Hang on to the myth, the cowboy stories,
because it’ll be nowhere on earth, ever again.
Never like it was way back then. Like I said,
We just ain’t here abouts no more. But you are.
Look both ways for the stories of history: the truth, myths, and mysteries.
Mind the gaps, the hats, the spurs, and the boots.
It isn’t what it was, but it was what it is. Make the best of it.
Today the ever lovely and charming Mistress of Mystery and lover of history and animals, Madam Rochelle, teamed up with David Stewart to serve up a delicious challenge which she prompted from her recliner throne surrounded by things important to her.
My 100-story follows the prompt photo. Is yours here?
Genre: Breakfast Fiction
Title: I Got You, Babe
Word Count: 100
They had told me there was another man. She’d soon be leaving me. I’d catch them in the act and kill them, then myself.
I parked a block away, planning to catch them having breakfast. I cautiously entered Big Al’s Restaurant. I saw two meals without coffee. Did she give it up for him? Probably a Mormon.
Her voice, “Hi Babe. Eggs sunny side up, right? Just like you, bright and sunny. I had to get our coffee. Did you drop the kids off? I’m working on that writing prompt you told me about.”
I decided to delay my plan.
Look both ways for drama in your life.
Mind the gaps for reasons to commit fictional crimes
if you are indeed a writer of such.