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.

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 May 6th, 2022

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?

 

Click on the flowers to get more info from Rochelle’s. The PHOTO PROMPT by © Na’ama Yehuda.

Genre: Murderous Fiction
Title: I never promised you a
rose tulip garden
Words: 100

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).

Click on the flower gun to link up with more marvelous stories by the Friday Fibbers cast.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 28)

Click for more.

Today’s prompt was to write a concrete poem. I wanted to do all 30 prompts.

What I did instead was intended to be a black out poem in lieu of the prompt, I’ve done concretes before. Not today.

I decided that rather than black out unused text to create the poem, I would extract the lines from the first few paragraphs of a longer story. If I had more time, I might have attempted some art to overlay the blacked-out area.

If I included the entire narrative, it would have been too long with entire paragraphs blacked out. So, I extracted the parts/words/sections that made up the poem.

I selected the first few paragraphs from the titled section, “On the Rainy River” from the book, The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien © (published in 1990 by Houghton Mifflin).


Drafted

one story I’ve never told,
it would only cause embarrassment,
a confession…
makes me squirm,
I’ve had to live with it, feeling the shame,
it’s a hard story to tell.

if evil were evil enough, if good were good enough
I would simply tap a secret reservoir of courage…
Courage, comes in finite quantities,
it offered hope and grace to the repetitive coward.

I was drafted to fight a war I hated.
(You can’t fix your mistakes. Once people are dead, you can’t make them undead.)
…I assumed that the problems of killing and dying did not fall within my special province…

The draft notice arrived on June 17, 1968.
I was too good for this war.
Too smart, too compassionate, too everything.
I was above it. A mistake, maybe…I was no soldier.


Look both ways for reasons why and why not.
Mind the gaps. That’s where the booby traps hide.

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.

Sammi’s Weekender #254 (yodel)

Click on Sammi’s graphic to mosey on over to her blog where you’ll find more 57-word wonders.

Ignorance Ain’t Bliss

When I was a boy,
they told me
which were the good
and bad guys.

School, books, and movies,
taught me Indians were bad guys,
always lost, and
cowboys sang and yodeled.

Now I know
about Little Bighorn
(Indian tribes won)
and the Wounded Knee massacre.

Now I know
cowboys don’t yodel.
Singers singing about them do.


Look both ways for truth in history.
Mind the gaps for prejudicial evidence.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 6)

Today, I’ve been challenged to write a variation of an acrostic poem. But rather than spelling out a word with the first letters of each line, I’m to write a poem that reproduces a phrase with the first word of each line.

I chose Find what you love and let it kill you. (Attributed to: Charles Bukowski [unlikely], Kinky Friedman [more likely but with like instead of love], Van Dyke Parks [attributes to Friedman], and Anonymous [possible, but someone said it first]; and if it was Kinky, who used love first?)


Seriously

Find my reason for being, my why did I not die,
What is it that makes me do the things I do?
You may have some thoughts about my dilemma;
Love or hate and genes and things, like moon phases,
And everything about what I was and now I am.
Let us feel, taste, smell, see, and hear all there is.
It is my life, after all, and I must find it or
Kill myself trying because this is too important for
You to take things like love and death so lightly.


Look both ways while searching for all the love to live for
and all reasons to die. Mind the gaps for gods with all the right answers.

Monday’s Rune: Perfect People

logic died that day
you thoughtlessly
glanced away
and dropped the ball,

you crashed and burned,
fubar’d,
faltered, spent,
stepped in it,
tripped over your own schwantz.

bathed in sweat and grime
you made this mess,
but you know what?

i stand with you
at your side
to share burdens.
what’s fallen to you is also on me
you kicked logic and reason
out the door, invited misery in.

let’s share glory,
disappointment,
pleasure, pain,
achievement, and failure
because we are us,
we are — not alone
with human foibles and frailties,
blessed by them, together.

Look both ways in love and friendship.
Take the tests and mind the gaps together.

Monday’s Rune: War Poetry

But First

To balance my blogosphere life, I shall henceforth post my unprompted poems (or prose), called runes, on Mondays (formerly Thursday) so I can plan to post about every other day.

I claim King’s X for April because I hope to be working my way through 30 poems in 30 days with National (Global) Poetry Writing Month (napowrimo.net). I try to write to the daily prompts/assignments (it’s optional, I’m not that masochistic).

Thus, I shall post every day in April. When possible, I will combine or do a second post on Friday Fictioneers and Sammi’s Weekender. I will also try to read and comment on those challenges when I can.


Why Can’t We Be Friends?

What is the difference between
genocide, slavery, life,
and freedom?

It’s war. Granted. War is bad.
It’s literally hell on Earth.
Innocents and soldiers are killed.
War’s destruction is
without logic or proportion.

But pacifism is worse.
Evil cannot be appeased.
War is the symptom.
Humanity is the cause.
Hate is the disease.

Choose well but take a side.
Peace is a dream guarded
by nightmares. History proves
we always get the war we want.
There may be no winners in war,
but there are losers. I’d rather not.


Look both ways in the real world.
We must always fight for what is right.
Mind the gaps for seeds of hate and find the first casualty of war: truth.

 

Sheri’s Alliterative Challenge

Author Sheri J. Kennedy is hosting a writing challenge she calls “Alliterative Literature Plotted Prose and Poetry Challenge.” I call it alliteration on a double dose of steroids. She is taking submissions through April 10th, 2022.

If you would like to test your skills click here or use the link below for Sheri’s blog (Reality With a Twist) with the composition rules, submission instructions, and Sheri’s example.

My entry is posted below. While challenging my story telling ability, my vocabulary, and my overall mental acuity, I found writing this to be fun and educational. You have about three weeks, so why not give it a try?


Benevolent Bedlam

Bronco buster, Bret Butler and his beautiful brunette bride, bonnie Bamby Buttercup, bebopped into the Bohica Brothers Barrelhouse and Brewpub brandishing boo-coo bucks to buy beer, bratwurst, and beans.

They bantered with the blond bimbo barmaid Brenda Bobbitt before her bashful barback boyfriend, Buck Bukowski (brilliant but a bit of a boor), butted-in with bragging babble about Bret’s bright blondish brew. Bebop blared on the boom box.

Bamby bought brandy but Bret brabbled and briskly begged Brenda to bring boosted bitters of basic brown or beclouded brews for his blooming belly, blessedly beseeching her to bear with him and bide his bleak befuddlement. Bret could be a bit of a bullheaded brute.

Brenda beamed back at Bret’s bargaining blast and brought him bottles of black booze. Bret belted back the boss beer. Buck begot barley-broo from behind the billet. Before bada-bing bested bada-boom, the blasted boys were buzzed and boasting bushels of blarney.

Bamby briskly beseeched her bae to bring back a brindled bundle from the boot of the Buick. Bret brought her brand-new babushka, beholding his brazen brilliance. Then all blazes broke out blunting the barroom bliss.

Buck boasted about Bamby’s bodacious breasts baffling a befuddled Bret and betraying Brenda. Briefly, Bret was bar borne and bounced bedeviled upon Buck and began bashing and beating his brains while bumping Brenda’s bodice. Beaten Buck became befogged by Bret’s bustling brawl and bummer blowout. Bret and Buck bled. Before long, the blotto bestial barbarians were befouled and besmeared with blood.

Bret brooded about Bamby’s besmirched beauty and his babe’s big as buckets bosoms. Buck brandished a borrowed Baretta, but Bret bullied him badly by bashing his bean with a board. By and by, Bret’s biscuit was buttered, and Buck’s bacon was baked and boiled. Both bemoaned the bustle as the Beatles blasted Bad Boy in the background.

The boxing bickering buddies became Bamby and Brenda’s bane. Bedimmed and befogged, Brenda bitched and barked barbs about the bamboozled buffoons so their breathless ballyhoo could be belayed. Bamby bargained with the boneheaded, broken, badass boys.

The beginning bourne bombed because the bloke and beau butthead’s blatant boisterousness brought bandy bromides, blank bywords, and behests before breaking off the boxing bout. Bewitched, bombastic, and bedaubed, Bret and Buck broke bottles on bones before breaking up the brouhaha. The brainless bumpkins backed their bodies off, bearing beaming blue blisters.

Now buffoon Bret bowed to benighted Buck. Brandy berated Bret to begone. Betrayed, they booked as Buck breathed, being borderline bitterly batshit and buggered. Brenda beheld Buck as a binger of a bacchanalia. By and by, byes were blabbed and broadcast by all. Brandy and Bret bolted for their bus. Blowsy and bursting, Buck blubbered, babbled, and bawled as Brenda bickered, bayed, and bellowed.

(by Bill Reynolds)


And this is the link to her blog: https://realitywithatwistbooks.wordpress.com/2022/02/25/alliterative-literature-plotted-prose-and-poetry-challenge/

****

A glossary is unnecessary for submission, but since I used some unusual words, I am adding one here.

Glossary: referenced from merriam-webster.com, or as cited

babushka: triangular head covering, scarf
bacchanalia: Roman festival, an orgy.
bae (ˈbā): slang acronym, before anyone else; baby, babe, or sweetheart
bandy: to discuss banteringly
barbed: pointed, biting criticism
barley-broo: whiskey (also, barley-bree)
bedaubed: ornamented with vulgar excess
belayed: stopped, to cancel
benighted: a state of intellectual, moral, or social darkness
bide: to tolerate, withstand
billet: a chunk piece of wood (synonym for bar)
binger: a drunken revel, excessive – compulsive
Bobbitt: alludes to Lorena Bobbitt
bohica: (slang; Google, Wikipedia, urban dictionary; ‘Bend Over, Here It Comes Again’)
boo-coo: much (Google, military slang)
bourne: a goal or destination (synonym – plan)
brabble: squabble
bromides: tiresome person, a bore
brouhaha: uproar, hubbub
Bukowski: alludes to Charles
bywords: epithet (disparaging, abusive word)