Monday’s Rune: Drove my Chevy to the levee…


But Buyer Be

My family didn’t own one—so,

I knew nothing of
automobiles back then
except about how to drive
(not well) and add gas—

My first (legal) car
was twenty bucks—
I got it for fifteen;
Mom said,
(Dad didn’t know, yet—
he called cars “motors”
and expensive things “dear”)
but she said, “Oh, dear,
I wonder
what’s wrong with it.”

I was about to learn so much
about oil,
rings, pistons, and
timing points, and why not
grab hold of a bare spark plug wire
on a running straight six,
and about positive and negative.

Guys at school, the ones taking
auto mechanics shop classes,
(learning something useful)
were not the ones to ask
even though I took
English III (again) with them.
(I’m still grateful for how
smart they made me look
and feel—but
another story there.)

Because
while those know-it-alls
claimed auto knowledge,
helpful they were not,
and I’d already bought
my old green Chevrolet
capable of burning
a quart of oil
per city block or
country mile—either way,
lesson learned late.
Learn first, then buy
(now I tell me).

And used car salesmen—
that lesson took a lot longer.

Buyer
beware. Be aware.


Look both ways as time keeps on slippin’ into the future.
Mind the gaps, feed the babies, shoe the children, house the people livin’ in the street.

Looks better than mine did. Click on pic to hear Don Mclean’s song, “American Pie.”

Sammi’s Weekender #272 (dazzling)

Click this pic for more dazzling 53-word wonders.

Candled Darkness

She dazzled—
blindingly brilliant.

I was humbled, dim and dull—
overwhelmed by sadness and shame.

Yet, in her glitter and gleam,
She loved my blackened heart,

kept me close, when other
men were blinded by her glare

She smiled.

Au contraire, mon amour.
Darker nights make brighter stars,
the moon shines even more.


Look both ways but listen with an open heart.
Mind the gaps for that’s where stars shine brightest.

Caption me.

Sammi’s Weekender #271 (sibilance)

Click the graphic for more 28-word takes on the prompt word at Sammi’s blog.

 


The young, attractive, angry suicide survivor glanced at her phone before reciting

an angry poem in contralto voice which obscured nervousness,

each sibilant rapidly voiced in pitiful pain.


As you look into their eyes, look both ways when they tell their story.
Mind the gaps for hidden meanings in of the human condition.

Sammi’s Weekender #268 (year)

Click the graphic for Sammi’s blog page and links to more 46-word applications of “year.”

Neverending

It’s how I remember the year that she died.
I watched for weeks while she suffered, and I cried.

It made a big impression on me although I was still a young man.
Her life was over—suffering ended. I still do the best I can.


Look both ways year after year.
Mind the gaps as we try to remember, and we try to forget.

My inspiration:

Monday’s Rune: Independence Day


On This July Day

Born a year after
the last big war,
for decades,
I said the pledge
with hand over heart and sang
patriotic songs.

I took cover under my desk,
was a Boy Scout of America
who could properly fold the flag
and post the colors at twelve.
I prayed every day. I trusted God.

I played at war and we
always won. We were
always right, better,
and stronger. Powerful,
but merciful.

I enlisted before
graduating from high school,
I saluted. I knew, followed,
and respected flag etiquette —
still do. I swore
to protect our Constitution.

I spent two careers in the service of
(willing to, but not wanting to,
die for) my country—my people.
I thought I taught my children well.

Now,
examining my conscience
I find I am a man of a different mind,
No longer as certain of our goodness,
of our unitedness, of our honest
democracy. I feel fooled and
deceived. I feel hated by my own.

It’s not the date, it is the old spirit
where I question my allegiance,
to what or whom?

It is still in me. I still care.
But nothing is the same.
Confidence is dead. For our
freedoms, I worry with dread.

I feel conflicted. Lost.
Our enemies are close.
How patriotic am I?
I should be. I want to be.

In truth, I feel this way
not because I no longer love
my country,
but because I still do.

Happy 4th, anyway.
Be careful out there.


Look both way as we try to understand.
But deeply mind the gaps.
Even the Nazis thought they were right.

According to THIS Gallup poll, it’s a thing.

 

dVerse – Prosery:“How many more will it take?

This Prosery is written around a line/sentence from a Facebook poem called, Notes on Uvalde. The dVerse line chosen by Lisa was, “These are the things they don’t tell us.”

To read other prose responses, click HERE.


My First Experience

I was barely 20 years of age and newly married when on August 1st, 1966, Charles Whitman, after killing his mother and wife, packed three rifles, three pistols, a shotgun, 700 rounds of ammunition, food, coffee, vitamins, medicine, earplugs, water, matches, lighter fluid, rope, binoculars, a machete, three knives, a radio, toilet paper, a razor, and deodorant. He went to the observation deck of the Main Building Tower at the University of Texas at Austin.

Whitman killed 14 people and injured 31. He was shot dead. For 18 years, it was the deadliest mass lone gunman shooting in U.S. history. It was unthinkable.

Whitman had sought professional help for “overwhelming, violent impulses;” fantasies about shooting people from the tower. He told them what and where. These are the things they don’t tell us.

“I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”


Look both ways. To the beginning and to the end (if there is one).
Mind the gaps as you live in this moment of grave concern with sadness or anger. 

To see the Notes from Uvalde poem and Prosery rules, follow this link: https://dversepoets.com/2022/06/06/dverse-prosery-how-many-more-will-it-take/.

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.

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 9)

Click on the NaPo button for today’s prompt and links to other poems.

Because it’s Saturday, day 9 of the NaPoWriMo challenge, and the 9th of April, my numerically poetic task is to write a nine-line nonet poem. A nonet renders out to about 36 words. It’s a brief form. The first line has nine syllables, the second has eight, and so on. The number of syllables reducing until you get to the nineth line, which has just one syllable.

I supposed that one could write an inverted nonet, which I did, beginning with one syllable and working up, line-by-line, back to nine. I felt like I had the time. Two poems, 72 words, 90 syllables. Not much for a Saturday. So, I also wrote a 57-word poem for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt.


Never Understood

He had a quick pride which pained him much.
So many loves he’d won and lost.
His narcissism reflecting,
the part he’d never see.
Sadness lived within
his tortured soul.
When he died,
I still
cried.

***

Had
I known
of his soul,
the cost to him
was in no way small.
I never understood
many burdens he carried
they just split his being apart,
making it worse, the curse of his heart.


Look both ways and up and down before asking why or why not.
Mind the gaps in mirrored perfection of human discernment.

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.