“I love that man,” was what she said to me,
and “I hate that other one,” her follow-on, bait-switch statement,
that morsel of red herring to mislead my unwanted retort
to her bleating caterwaul. I knew this kvetch ranked
behind turd infected punji sticks in heart and soul.
Niggle not. Poetry is sycophantic art when inoffensive kindness
and socially sensitive ethics are euphemisms for hidden truth.
Look both ways, if he can tell it like it is, I’m also justified. Mind gaps for expiration of truth.
“The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.” (Marie Kondo)
New clothes were brought home
as treasured items proudly worn.
Gifts of love once remembered.
And cloth diapers for three babies,
none of whom used wash and wear for theirs,
but they sure as hell wore them.
Old shirts, their purpose long fulfilled,
now used to clean, dry, or wipe.
They’re washed, then continue to serve.
Old rags have memories woven into fabric—
from experiences with life;
from when first worn, old rags aren’t discards.
They’ve simply changed uses. Like people.
And memories. Lots of memories.
“…a rite of passage to a new life.”
Look both ways,
from the marvel of the mint to the value of the venerable.
Mind the gaps, but for most, “it don’t mean a thing.”
Thanks to Merril (from New Jersey) for hosting this dVerse bar challenge: Prosery Monday: A Time, to which I am responding on Tuesday. Merril says to write prose of less then 145 words in response to this line from the poem “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hodge Coke.
“when it is over said and done
it was a time
and there was never enough of it.”
Genre: flash memoir
Word count: 143
Title: L’esprit de l’escalier
Last Fall, I wrote a poem about watching my father drink coffee and smoke when I was a young child. Our father-son relationship improved slightly later in life.
I’d received good reaction to the piece, so I considered its potential for submission. I requested further feedback from a critique group (mostly fiction writers). I was aware of the potential risks, but I wanted to know their thoughts.
One person asked, “I did not understand the last few lines where you said, ‘I figured it out. He did too. In the end, it was just the end.’ Can you explain what you meant?”
Stumped for a good answer, I copped-out with, “He died”—a true but poor response on my part.
Now I could simply say, “When it is over, said, and done, it was a time. And there was never enough of it.”
Look both ways for answers.
Mind the gaps in the poetry of others,
it’s where we may find answers.
Today’s dVerse Poet’s Pub prompt for poetics is Looking out the window, provided by Peter Frankis. While the challenge was to take a picture, post it, and write about it. I adjusted time a bit. I used a picture I searched for and found that my wife took of me through a window, 48 years ago. This idea came to me quickly and I could not let it go.
The Window Behind Me
A window from the parlor to the covered front porch
of my parents’ home, a memory of chewing paint off the sill,
of watching adults sit and talk and wave as neighbors walked by.
For eighteen years, my view of the world outside
where wind blew, rain fell, thunder clapped, people sang,
cars passed and honked. Life beckoned me to the stage,
through that window.
What was I thinking 48 years ago? My young wife and new son
in the window behind me. Our future? Was I talking or listening to
a passerby? Was I thinking of losing that hair as it turned gray?
Four-years military—done! College degree, done! Responsibility
branded me an armed man. Was I up to it? Did I have life,
or had it taken me?
Would the photographer still be my wife after 54 years? Would I have two
more children and would they be in their forties with more kids?
Would I build two careers and retire? Would I write poetry?
I had time. I knew I would live forever. I did not even know what I didn’t know.
Now, I know. Some I wish I didn’t discover. A window from the past
reflecting the future. The present me, right here, right now, today.
I want to say, relax, you’ll be fine.
Look both ways through every window.
Mind the gaps and cracks.
Many thanks to Rochelle @Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for orchestrating Friday Fictioneers. The challenge is to write a story based upon a photo prompt (today she gets extra credit for providing the photo, as well). With fewer than 101 words we are challenged to contrive a beginning, middle, and an end.
Title: Pleasure Palettes
Genre: Romance (autobiographical) Fiction
Word count: 99
I was at my easel trying for a loose, semiabstract, colorful urban cityscape.
Conjetti walked in.
“Did I hear you talking to someone?”
“It was your boyfriend. He’ll call back later.”
She cleared her throat.
“Okay. It was Julie. We discussed art. She said watercolor is a metaphor for letting go.”
“And you said?”
“I told her it was like herding wet, angry cats of different colors that don’t mix well.”
She reached around and grabbed me, biting my neck.
“Follow me,” she said with a sultry gaze.
I smiled, “At your service m’lady.”
“You’d better be.”
Look both ways as
“Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life” (Oscar Wilde).
Mind the gaps of romantic truth.