Day 5: Short Spring

Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

Short Spring

over time, trauma is a thief of joy
two fingers of bourbon mug the mugger
spring oozed into her room nonchalantly
embracing us with equanimity
her voice cooing we shouldn’t do this now
her lips tasting of why haven’t we yet
the fire in her almond eyes read mine
we chose the same musk-knotted adventure
music was jealous of our harmony
you introduced me to Martin Gore and
I didn’t get him, but through you, I did
I’m jealous I missed your London punk scene
and all the parts that broke you apart
we were both trauma and broken things
we been runnin’, done ran, till we bumped heads
finding joy in tending each other’s shards
I lived to cut myself open on you
seducing you into seducing me
say I won’t rise to meet your velvet taunt
your tongue had already run us through
I marked you as mine when your teeth pierced me
by the thinnest skin of goddess sinew
we loved, clear-eyed in the blackest of night
as the box-springs sang je t’aime, je t’aime
you took my life each time I surrendered
only to find your dear Eeyore renewed
I’ll re-steal this joy, returning to us
delightful, bottled beautiful struggle
thus was the elixir of our short spring
***

NaPoWriMo Day 5: “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” developed by Jim Simmerman. The challenge is to use/do all of the list below in the same poem, or as many as possible. This was extremely challenging, but also super engaging. I kicked off my shoes, threw out the punctuation, meditated on a topic that frequents my thoughts, (I was born a dirty old man. Sorry/not sorry) and started tinkering. I fudged some of the criteria, but I honored the spirit of all twenty requirements.

Here they are:

  1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
  2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
  3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
  4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
  5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
  6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
  7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
  8. Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
  9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
  10. Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).
  11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
  12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
  13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”
  14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
  15. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
  16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
  17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
  18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
  19. Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
  20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.

Day 3: crashing a block party over on fullerton…

By Flickr user: Seth Anderson Chicago https://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/ – Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/331315405/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22585050

crashing a block party over on fullerton…

the boom to the kick
and then in comes the improv
to the moon, riding thick
when the sun bows and dissolves

too soon the pulse quickens
when the fun begins
she said her sign is the twins,
I’m trying to get in them skins

so I’m lying like I know
about the horoscope
like I try bending flow
like I’m skipping rope

even though I hate the shallow
like a misanthrope
I play the rope-a-dope
hoping to feel her cantaloupes

she say nuh-uh,
you a Capricorn,
yall’ boys are too uptight
I said if our minds vibe right,
I would beat the daylight

to her bedsheets,
we could creep like TLC,
or wile-out like Janet
anytime, anyplace,
I don’t care who sees us
on this planet

she played me to the left,
calling me thirsty like Rice Krispies
but not being risky, she
slipped me her digits,
knowing she frisky

bystanders threw it in my face
like I was vexed by her reply
but I knew she was two-faced,
just like all sexy Gemini
***

NaPoWriMo Day 3: basically, use Rhymezone and a random book off a shelf to create a palette of rhyming words to construct a poem.

This one didn’t grab me, so I modified it a bit, using both Rhymezone and a quasi-freestyle from words that popped in my head while listening to a 90’s Hip-Hop song (the one imbedded above).

It was pretty fun. Reminded me of when we would gather in hallways banging out beats on the walls while “passing the mic” around to each other.

Day 0: Just Past Dawn

Image by falconp4 from Pixabay 

Just Past Dawn

I’m roused by a crimson red sun
streaking across reddish-brown skin
nude, save for pale thigh, tinted rose,
draped midriff, ignited by dawn.
What on earth was in that merlot?
Cherry-red lips mark morning kiss;
my red-eyed world turns to meet them.
Disturbed, pale-pink thigh shrinks from blush.
What on earth was in that merlot?
Scarlet kiss, ruddy thigh, opposed?
What on earth was in that merlot?
And I, red sun, caught between worlds?
Trapped between dawn-reddened kisses
my neck and spine tattooed in wine
bracketed by lavish pink pours
confusion yields to crimson want
the cock crows rise with day aflame;
I drown in cups of red again.
“You touch me nice,” said your pink grin.
“Me too,” said your cherry-blushed friend.
But was it really the merlot?
***

NaPoWriMo Day 0: Early-Bird Prompt

A Wondrous Harmony

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Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash

A Wondrous Harmony

You are my favorite song
prolonged by our lifelong sing-along;

the seemingly ringing
random sequence of beaconing
notes bringing me in ungainly,
unacquainted, yet infectiously
groovy set melody
that soothes and threatens to
relentlessly bring me
blissful expressions;

you are this to me
as well as destiny
of warm contemplation;

the un-played keys
that say everything,

returning it;
the indeterminate rests
among joyful-singing notes,

reaffirming its depths,
gasping for breath between
belly-laughs by the lungful;

your barely half-measured
triumphal treasure
fills impassioned sensations
with blasphemous pleasures;

ears favor your treble,
bones savor your bass,
and touch yearns for your encore.
***

Only Way to Know

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Photo by Valerie Elash on Unsplash

Only Way to Know

“Come and see”
you sternly demand
without speaking
in midnight silence
with icicle eyeliner
a cold glare that incinerates
inhibitions, leaving only
appetite and tongue wandering
to taste where boundaries blend
black and white into
delicious greyscale.
I see your intent
and hesitate,
just a beat;

“Come and see”,
I calmly answer
your unspoken demand
with an in-kind moon-soaked stillness,
and I wait, knowing
intuitively that the
crescent reflected in your scowl
won’t wait for my verbal consent
as my silence screams yes,
in fact, I am indeed
delicious;

come and see
that this cold pale night
is nourished with the
red succulence
she urgently craves;

come and see
if your prey bites back
with carnal-clawing contempt
as you hope he does;

come and see
where the pulse of my
power comes from
by gripping my flesh, my neck,
my third rail,
writhing, thrashing
as my voltage and current
animates and courses through you
and you find yourself
lacking the energy
to release me,

come and see
the ice goddess convulsing,
coalescing upon our blending,
knowing herself sated
and overflowed upon a
worthy vessel,
whose goal was only to answer
her unspoken question coolly,
casually, completely and
comprehensively.

Come and see.
***

Bed Unmade

Bed Unmade

“But I couldn’t control my restlessness, an eagerness for violation was growing in me, I wanted to break the rules, as the entire world seemed to be breaking the rules.”

– Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, a novel by Elena Ferrante

We should forget.
It’s better this way.

I won’t divine
entangled spirits
from rat-nested bedsheets,
shades unfurled,
eclipsing shame.

We have fun.
Yeah we did.

No love misplaced,
like spilled spirits
and tongues.

Yet I return,
haunted spirit,
to the mistake
we never made.
***

Inspired by Real Toads Words To Live By, hosted for the final time by Rommy. We were asked to reflect on a word or quote that means something special to us.

Ironically, as someone who loves words, I drew a blank here. Ultimately, I settled on a quote from a book I’m currently reading (Book three of a four-book series by Elena Ferrante, collectively titled Neapolitan Novels.)

Also shared at dVerse Quadrille #93: Spirited Poems, hosted by whimsygizmo. Other poets contributed to this prompt here

Tension: A Line Drawn Taught

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Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Tension: A Line Drawn Taught

I am a tyrant.
I yielded her harvest so decent.

I play at decent.
I gorge on her harvest like a tyrant.

I am engorged; a tyrannical decency.
I yield to her harvest.

A yielding tyrant who harvests what she gorges –
Her decency.

Harvesting her “play at decent”,
yields her as a tyrant.

Decency of a tyrant!
Do I yield? Does she harvest?

Tyrannical decency! I gorge.
I gorge upon her.

I yielded, gorging her harvest so decent.
Do I play at tyrant?
***

Inspired by Real Toads Weekend Mini Challenge: The Uncertainty of the Poet, hosted by Kim M. Russell. As depicted, I opted to go with a familiar tension of sorts.

I’m kind of bummed that Real Toads is so close to ending their amazing run, so I’m trying to contribute more to their remaining prompts. It’s bittersweet, but as with most finite things within our cosmos, nothing lasts forever.

Also shared at Pantry of Poetry and Prose #7 hosted by Magaly Guerrero.

Initiation

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Photo by Simon Wijers on Unsplash

Initiation

“Though your eyes are kind, I’m afraid,” she confessed, lying nude before me.

“Me too,” I said through angelic gaze, “but I see something in you that I can’t explain.” I gorged myself upon her kiss. “Deep within you; I must have it,” I continued urgently in the fading light, embracing her shoulders gently, sliding towards her neck, enclosing her throat with the yip of her last gasp, her fingernails, sunk into my clenching forearms before dropping lifelessly, dangling from her naked corpse.

My ecstasy was interrupted by her now-disembodied laughter. “Foolish mortal,” she hissed, “now you are mine forever,” as my body slowly dissolved. “Of all my new candidates, you surrendered yourself completely. Now you will never know pleasure without death; never the sensual without senescence. This is the barrenness of harvest or pestilence reserved for only my favorite Incubi.”

I regret nothing.
***

Inspired by dVerse Prosery 5 – All Hallows, hosted by Björn Rudberg (brudberg). Other writer’s contributions can be found here.

Lurlina’s Intimates

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Image by ElinaElena from Pixabay 

Lurlina’s Intimates

“Welcome to Lurlina’s Intimates. My name is Lurlina,” sang Lurlina musically over the soft sound of Muzak being piped in overhead. The store was so empty that every note, every windbreak to breathe between the notes could be clearly heard.

“Can I help you find something- oh! I remember you!” she added, beaming, with a wink. “Vic, isn’t it? Couldn’t stay away from me, could ya?”

Vic smiled. “Actually, I’m here to find a gift for the wifey,” he said.

Lurlina pouted, biting her lip. “Oh boo. I though you came back for me.”

Vic blushed, grinning warmly. “Well you are quite pretty, but…”

“It’s ok honey,” said Lurlina, gently touching his forearm. “I’m old enough to be your mom, so I can get away with it.”

“Yeah?” said Vic with raised eyebrows. “I’m 26, and you don’t look much older than that!” His gaze lasted a half-measure longer than what was needed, and as he became aware of himself scanning her vitality – as if the lie could be seen in the nooks of her hips and the crannies of her cleavage – he forced his eyes toward a rack of unremarkable halter tops.

“Aww… bless your sweet, nearsighted heart,” purred Lurlina. “You’re getting all the discounts when I ring you up.”

Vic laughed, looking around the empty store nervously. Taking a deep breath, he returned Lurlina’s fixated gaze. “Don’t worry,” he said. “My momma raised me right. I know better than to ask-”

“My age?” said Lurlina, cutting him off with an electric smile. “Yeah, you shouldn’t ask me that.” They both laughed as Vic shrugged and then relaxed his shoulders. “OK, so, let’s just say that I’m old enough to be your…  older sister.”

“Whatever you say, big sis!” replied Vic with a smirk.

Lurlina lightly slapped at his shoulder. “Oh, don’t mind me, honey,” she said. “I’m just a harmless flirt.” Her eyes lingered on Vic’s chest and arms a few full measures before snapping back to his face. “So, uhm… What can I help you find, sweetie?”

Vic drew a breath as if remembering that oxygen is essential. “Oh! Uhm, I’m looking for some comfy loungewear for the wifey.”

“I might have just the thing over here,” said Lurlina, sauntering over to several racks of lavender lacy tops with matching soft, billowing pants, pulling a top off the rack with a cheeky flourish. “I find this to be the perfect balance between comfort and,” she leaned forward, making a comma with her left index finger, singing teasingly, “‘here kitty, kitty, kitty!’ You know what this is!” she said, straightening with a laugh.

“That looks…” Vic said, with eyes that were definitely not staring at her cleavage on purpose, as the top displayed by Lurlina was within the same eye-frame as her cleavage – so technically speaking, those caramel breasts just happened to be bouncing there – the lavender top, and not the caramel breasts looked, “really good.”

Vic shifted his weight, adjusting his shirt and his pants, with a slight fidget or two.

“So how big are we talkin’?” asked Lurlina softly.

Vic’s smile vanished, and his brow furrowed, knitting together. “I’m sorry… what?” he asked, tilting his head slightly.

Lurlina blushed, laughing nervously. “I’m sad to say it, but I didn’t get a good look at your wife the last time you both came in. Do you know what size she is?”

“I’m sorry,” Vic repeated, closing his eyes, shaking his head as if that’s ever helped to reboot a brain. “what about my wife?”

“Your wife,” Lurlina said slowly through giggles. “How big is she? Is she about my size?” Lurlina pressed the top to her chest, posing to demonstrate as Vic swallowed. “A little bigger? Smaller?”

Vic, finally composed, stared at her as if solving this algebraic problem would win himself a lifetime’s supply of vodka and weed. “She’s about the same size,” was his final answer. “Shit. I should know this, shouldn’t I?

“Probably!” laughed Lurlina. “It’s OK, hun. I’ll include a gift receipt.” Lurlina reassured him with a touch of his forearm. “You can always come back to exchange it. Even if you lose the receipt,” she added with a teasing tone and a slow-jazz grin, “if you come back, I’ll remember you! I’ll always remember you.”

“Is that a perk of being the owner?” laughed Vic, now following her lead to the check-out counter, taking full-measure of her hip-sway.

“I’m not the owner yet,” said Lurlina, between scans and beeps, ringing up unearned discounts. “My mom’s the owner. She’ll be retiring soon though.”

Vic gave her a puzzled look. “Is her name Lurlina too?”

“Her name is Fritzi,” Lurlina said plainly. “I think she used my name because someone trademarked her name or something.” Lurlina grinned and her eyes narrowed. “But I really think she used my name because it sounds more enticing.”

Vic stroked his fuzzy chin. “Hmmm… Both names are unique,” he said, pausing with a crooked grin, “but I like yours more.”

“Now who’s the flirt!” exclaimed Lurlina with a light tap on Vic’s chest. “It’s ok with me, honey. Flirting will get you all the discounts up in here!” Their eyes and glazed grins synched over several bars of the piped-in jazzy sax Muzak. “Don’t worry. I won’t tell.”

“But won’t you husband mind?” Vic asked, briefly breaking their eye-contact.

“Husband?!?” Lurlina laughed, ringing up his total. “Real smooth, young fella.”

“What you mean?” Vic pulled back, shrugging his shoulders while fumbling in his wallet for his debit card. “You got me curious, is all.”

“Oh, I got you curious, huh?” Lurlina stifled another laugh while queuing-up the keypad for Vic to enter his PIN.

“I’m just sayin’,” said Vic, shaking his head and gesturing for emphasis, “you gotta have a lucky-ass-hell man waiting for you at home, right?”

Lurlina stopped laughing and her smile faded. “Oh, that ship sailed two U.S. Presidents ago, honey. He long gone.”

“Oh,” said Vic, turning his gaze to the floor as Lurlina seemed to look right through him, towards something only she could see, her eyes fading, becoming dull and unfocused, her lips pursed pensively. Their financial transaction was completed within the momentarily awkward silence.

“I messed up a real good gumbo we had back then,” she admitted, shaking her head.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Vic offered somberly.

Lurlina pressed her face into smiling again. “Oh, don’t be, child! Lessons learned. We build and grow and move on. Hell, his own mama even forgave me! She and I still have dinner together sometimes!”

Vic laughed nervously. “That’s… pretty cool and nice and…”

He winced, continuing with, “…and totally not weird at all, right?”

Lurlina laughed a genuine, bubbly laugh. “Boy, you silly! Too bad you’re off the market! But it’s just as well. When you’re sure you’re vibin’ with the right one, make sure you pay attention! Don’t wait for something better or pass it by because you don’t wanna be tied down!” She shook her head, smacking her lips disapprovingly.

“Cause when that person’s gone, when you let them leave the store, sometimes they don’t come back, ya know?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Vic said, nodding thoughtfully. “But sometimes someone else comes along when you least expect it…”

Lurlina broke their eye-contact after a few more musical measures. “Yeah, but I’m not lookin’ for any of that these days,” she said with a finger-wag. “My kids are not quite your age, but they’re off to college, and I’m just out here having as much fun as I can while I can, ya know?”

Vic’s brow furrowed skeptically. “You don’t look like you have kids old enough for college,” he said.

“I already rang up your discount, Mr. Smooth,” Lurlina said with a smirk and faux-exasperated eyeroll. “What more can I possibly give you?”

Vic reached across the counter, resting his hand on Lurlina’s forearm. “I don’t know,” he said, “but I get the impression that you might have more to offer…”

Both took in a shallow breath when they remembered to breathe.

“…in here,” Vic finally finished his thought.

“I… I don’t know,” Lurlina stammered, tensing up, pulling away slightly, but not completely. “Maybe I… uhm… I dunno, baby, maybe I already showed you too much?”

Vic gently squeezed her forearm. “Perhaps something I haven’t seen yet, then,” he said.

Lurlina swallowed hard, biting her lip, her carefree smile yielding to an earnest urgency. “You sure this is what you want, Victor?” she asked carefully, in a husky, almost chilled low growl. “Cause I don’t do half-measures, boy.”

Victor nodded. “I think we both already know the answer to that,” he said with a blunted, lustful authority, his smile also fading to a soft, somewhat faux neutrality.

Lurlina placed her off-hand on top of the one Vic used to hold her in place, giving his hand a reassuring squeeze. “Well then…” The door-chime signaled another customer’s entrance into the store, compelling the two to quickly disengage, standing across from each other stiffly.

“You should come back tomorrow evening after we restock, just before closing,” said Lurlina through a practiced professional smile. “We’ll have a new line of more risqué designs that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. I’ll be alone, but it’s usually dead here. You’d have me all to yourself, ya know?”

“I’d like that very much,” smiled Vic “Tomorrow it is, then.”

Vic gathered his purchased items and left the store.
***

Written for the OLWG #27 – What is he Thinking? weekly prompt. This week’s line prompts to incorporate were:

  1. get away with it
  2. Here kitty, kitty, kitty
  3. You shouldn’t ask me that

I decided to try this prompt after reading Violet Lentz’s intriguing contribution to this prompt, Mrs. Oswald.

I sketched-out the dialogue in about 25-30 minutes, but afterwards, I kept coming back to shape and frame it, a nip here, a tuck there, until two hours later I had… well… whatever the hell this little thing turned out to be. I feel like there’s a bigger story here. Perhaps I’ll chase it someday.

 

Something about Moonlight

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Image by Theresa Otero from Pixabay 

Something about Moonlight

I will moonlight to melt your nightgown,
shearing away the shear cream lace
from your cocoa butter-oiled skin,

leaving only our want laid bare
and plain in the pale, made flush and
flesh ripens with readiness,

follicles forced to attention,
energy flowing to the epidermis,
primed to exchange forces

that brought us closer than now,
the point of no return with my fingers
clenching your throat as you implore me

to bite the nape of your neck again
– this time like I mean it – and so
mid-thrust, I lean in and you moan

my name, each moan piling-upon
the last thrust, building a rhythm until
it becomes a chant and percussive covenant

between you and I, building until
you yell my name loudly, impatiently,
shaking me from my moonlit vision…

“Where were you just now?” you ask
between sips of chamomile tea, nearly spilling
it on your makeshift pajama sweatpants.

“I was telling you about the lace negligée I was
going to wear to surprise that jerk Eric before
he dumped me for that bimbo Twyla via text.”

“Sorry about that,” I offer,
adjusting my seat at the foot of your bed,
careful to conceal my erection from you.

“Wanna talk about it?” you ask, adding
“It was weird. You spaced-out and started
mumbling something about moonlight.”

“Don’t worry about it,” I insist.
“You need me. I’m here for you,”
which was true; I am here. For. You.

You continue ruminating about Eric; “I mean,
can you believe that guy? The sad part?
I’m more disappointed than surprised.

I should’ve seen it coming.”

“Sometimes, when the heart is involved,
we only see what we want to see,” I reply,
trying to elude imagining you

in that lacy getup again.

“And Twyla, of all people!” you continue,
spilling tea down your chin as I
resist the urge to lick it off.

“Some friend she turned out to be, right?
She must live to pounce on my table-scraps.
Can you imagine pretending to be a friend

just so you can sneak in on the sly like that?
I mean, how shameless! Who even does that?”

“Lust makes folks do strange things,” I tell you,
offering a napkin for your spilled tea,
now drizzling down the nape of your neck

where I wish you’d implore me
to bite like I meant it. I sigh, adding,
“What can I say? People be trippin’.”

“Not you though,” you assure me with a warm
smile. “I tell you I got dumped, and you’re here
in less than ten minutes, consoling me.

You’ve always been a good friend to me.”

“I’m nothing special,” I deflect,
returning your smile, “but I’d do anything
for you.”
***

Written for Real Toads The unreliable narrator prompt, hosted by Björn. As this is one of my favorite tropes to read and write, I had to participate.