I should use this as my writer’s bio.
I’m scared of leaves on Sunday,
and egg whites chastise me often.
There is exotic fruit in my backyard,
which is an unknown planet.
I made of video of my time
in the womb, but it did not go viral.
My core body temperature
is hotter than your wife.
I can’t understand colors,
so I call everything I see black.
Still on a writing break (for the most part) but the opening lines to this short poem kept running through my mind, so I sat down for a moment to see what would come of it.
You want to breathe new
life into your past, rewrite
the flash fiction of your youth
into something longer and deeper.
It doesn’t work that way, I tell you
and you smile like Cleopatra
before Marc Antony, before
she thought the only way out
was to hold an asp to her breast.
I remember making this sitting on my laptop while my oldest son did taekwando practice. I’m not sure what sparked the idea; perhaps it was me reflecting on the one PTA meeting I attended, which was I went to one, which was awkward and incredibly boring.
I can’t insert a bigger picture, so if you can’t see it well, I’m afraid you’ll have to zoom in.
I’ve been on a creative writing break for about two months now. I didn’t plan to take a break, but I’m glad I did. Doing so frees up my creativity so I can write more music…it turns out I have a hard time spending energy on both pursuits. I’m sure the pendulum will swing the other way in time.
I still engage in freewriting periodically, as is my wont. I usually go back through it to find a theme or a few lines for the beginning of a poem. I’m not sure if there’s anything here worth saving, but it struck me as interesting nonetheless:
Do you ever want to speak about the funeral? No. Of course not because you were all, “Uh, I can’t stand dead people!” and then you went somewhere and got drunk. Do you think it was easy for any of us? The rest of us had to sit there and take it, deal with our pain. We had to listen to that idiotic preacher spin a story about a man I never knew existed. It sure as hell wasn’t our father, which you know if you’d bothered to stick around.
Have you even been to the grave? God, you’re so disappointing. You have some pair of balls showing up here and expecting me to forgive you. If I start forgiving you for this, where does it stop? Am I supposed to forgive you for everything? Is that how forgiveness works? Is there some kind of statute of limitations on forgiveness, like a certain number of crows that are allowed to gather before they officially become a murder? Don’t look at me like that. Jesus. I’m making perfect sense, but you don’t understand anything because you’re so focused on yourself. If there’s a god in heaven, which is highly suspect, he doesn’t care anything about you. You were a tragic mistake, a slip of the pen, a scribble in the corner, an accidental union of chromosomes that somehow managed to make it out of the womb and draw breath. If I could go back in time, I’d kill every single one of your ancestors.
Well then. (ahem)
I’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the last few months, but I still write when I can. I wrote this piece during office hours before teaching a freshman composition class. I’m glad I can write just about anywhere.
6:03 PM in Hell
She rolls over in the darkness
and asks, “What time is it in Hell?”
I fumble with my watch, still set
to Hell time, and say, “6:03 PM.”
She’s quiet for a while, then says,
“I guess they don’t do daylight
savings, do they?” I sigh, pull
the covers up, and answer, “No.”
It’s so like her to ask about my
experiences there, in the middle
of the night, just as I’m starting a dream
that has nothing to do with the damned,
screams, or eternal anguish…and now,
it’s all that fills my mind as I flip the pillow
to the cool side, grateful for having escaped
but bearing scars I’d rather not discuss.
I was looking through some old files and discovered this poem from 1997. It holds up pretty well. I wish I remember about whom the poem was written…but perhaps it’s best I don’t.
At dinner last week,
she wanted to be the wine,
rather than destroyed by age,
and the week before that,
she craved shelf-life,
sitting untouched and unwanted
in an abandoned fall-out shelter.
Obsession being enough
to encourage appetite,
I ate of her, tasted
the awkwardness of her habits,
turned them into golden juice
dribbling down my chin,
transformed her affair
with apathy into fireworks,
her penchant for irresolution
into a perfect cantata.
This week, she is desirous
of all things fresh,
blooming fat and tender-red
in the center of the table.
Even now, she wants more,
which is perfect for me,
emotionally deaf by choice,
a thinking man’s Van Gough
who took the gift too far.
I don’t suppose I’ll ever be done with this subject….
My Father Confuses Murder with Worship
Do what you hate, and you’ll
never lose a wink of sleep, my father,
ensconced in red leather and fog,
says and tips me a sagacious wink.
Are you sure that’s the saying?
I ask from a distance of 1,567 kilometers,
the exact length of his heart from mine.
My father borrows someone’s cranky
boss and offers him as a burnt offering,
and the smell reminds me of childhood,
which says nothing good about my home.
As sure as I am about anything, he says
and wipes blood on his checkered apron
while I carve off a piece of charred flesh.