At one point back in the middle of the pandemic, or what he thought was the middle, Slim grew tired of the word pivot. He proclaimed to anyone who would listen that if heard that word again he would vomit. He became obsessed with lesser known words like spigot, argot, davit, grommet. But secretly he wished that he could, yes,
irritable vowel syndrome
pain in the assonance
inflammation of the lower case
fear of sonnets
the irrational fear
on entering a room
that someone is going to recite
The Lake Isle of Inisfree
in a plummy, orotund
stage Irish accent.
Taking part in Open Link Weekend over at earthweal.
Kenopsia, Minnesota is a pissant, little burg has been ever since that one horse died, only landmark is Mel’s Burgers on Main St, the only street. Try Mel’s Famous Burgers the sign on the outskirts of town says and some people do.
One day a stranger came to town dressed in black with a low brim hat and Lee Van Cleef eyes some say he hailed from Aphasia, Wisconsin others were past saying you know what I’m sayin’.
The stranger walks into Mel’s Burgers and Mel’s dog starts to howl a pitiful howl that could be heard in Amentalio, ten miles down the road. Give me one of your famous burgers he says to Mel, and Mel does ten minutes later the stranger is dead on the floor and all hopes the town had of appearing in a Stephen King novel or an episode of Fargo died with that stranger.
Thanks to Linda over at dverse for her excellent prompt, check it out here. The names of the towns in the poem were taking from the book The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig. All is explained in Linda’s post.
Your cell phone rings but you’re not listening because you left it in The Fox and Vixen behind the cistern in the last stall on the left next to the condom machine and now it’s 4 am your wife sleeps soundly beside you, in the corner of the room your hangover squats sorting a tray of instruments.
It all began with a few beers, some Christmas Cheer so how did it get from there to here?
Slowly you remember or think you remember….
Did you really poke your boss in the chest and tell him that you know better that you know best?
Did you really down three shots of scotch grab Mark from marketing by the shoulders and proclaim “I love you bro” over and over ‘till he begged you to stop to let go?
And why, why, why did you call that shy Dutch girl from accounting “sad-eyed lady of the lowlands” again, over and over?
You groan inwardly you groan outwardly
and just when you think it could not get worse your hangover stands up and crosses the room carrying what appears to be a small mallet Zooooosh, he enters your head and proceeds to knock on the inside of your skull with that same mallet all the time chanting this manic mantra “deck the halls with human folly Fa la la la la, la la la la”.
Four hours later your wife is shaking you Up you get, she chimes It’s time to do some Christmas shopping! Joe Fresh opens at 9!
he wants to retire back where all the spires conspire to show him the way.
2 (too much of a good thing)
summer evening the red sunset bleeds regret maturity lost.
3 (Why can’t I write like Rupi Kaur?)
my quinoa* quota was far from quotidian thanks! sunflower seeds! *’keen-wah
4 (Climate Change is Opening Windows)
rumours dropping from the eaves neighbours thick as thieves singing off key at three
o’clock in the morning.
The challenge from Laura over at dverse is to write a poem consisting of fragments:
“Either: a poem of several numbered stanzas. Each being complete in itself and having only a passing relationship to each other, if at all OR a poem of disjointed images (like listening to conversation in passing, repetitively switching between radio/tv station, random images across a screen, or paintings/photos seen in a gallery)
Rules: Your poem should NOT conform to any rhyme scheme Your poem MUST include Fragment(s) somewhere in the title”
The moon is waning gibbous the pollen count is low and yet another atmospheric river is on the way, all that warm moist air all that water vapour looking for a place to condense; based on anecdotal evidence this is either normal for the time of year or a signal that we should start building an ark but one thing is starkly clear the data with which the calculated risks are calculated is no longer valid is in need of an update the paradigm has not shifted but the perimeter has been breached like a dike in need of repair.
Taking part in Open Link at earthweal….it’s raining again in British Columbia.
We got off the train from Machu Picchu at the Ollantaytambo station, walked up the station road to the town square and came upon this: Mother’s Day in Ollantaytambo. It went on all day – entertainment, raffles, prizes, politicians’ speeches. The ladies seemed to enjoy themselves, although they never clapped once.
Later that evening, we had dinner in the restaurant down at the station and walking home we witnessed this haiku-worthy scene.
In a dystopian future there’s rioting in cities and towns all across the USA and anyone who cares to can own a semi-automatic weapon. One fateful night a seventeen year old baby-faced punk called Kole heads into town with his semi-automatic rifle to restore order on The Streets of Somewhere, by the end of the night three people are dead. Kole is arrested, tried and acquitted in The Court of the White Over Caste. He becomes a hero, an icon, an example and soon young punks all across the USA are starting to feel lucky. (Spoiler Alert: It’s not the Future).
Taking part in Open Link Weekend over at earthweal
not the kind of place for revelations, then boom! awooga! there it is, the unbearable flatness of beige pancakes in the morning.
Over at dverse , Grace’s challenge is to write a wayra incorporating onomatopoeia. What’s a wayra? I’ll let Grace explain:
“The Wayra (Quechua – wind) is a popular verse form of Peru and Bolivia. It appears it originated in an indigenous Quechua language but has found its way into Spanish literature. It is a short syllabic verse form found at Vole Central and some other sites around the internet.
The elements of the Wayra are:
1.a pentastich, a poem in 5 lines. 2.syllabic, 5-7-7-6-8 3.unrhymed.”
The sheriff disagreed He tried to make the distinction between death and extinction They stopped off at a place called Hamburger Heaven to grab a bite to eat But Helen had no appetite, she just drank a 7 Up while the sheriff tapped his coffee cup to a distant beat Kind of like Ooh ooh-ooh Ooh ooh-ooh It won’t look like those old frescoes, man, I don’t think so There will be no angels with swords, man, I don’t think so No jubilant beings in the sky above, man, I don’t think so And it won’t look like those old movies neither There will be no drag racing through the bombed out streets neither No shareholders will be orbiting the earth, man, neither It will be hard to recognize each other through our oxygen masks The successful sons of businessmen will set their desks on fire While 5-star generals of the free world weep in the oil choked tide It won’t sound like jazz Jazz, jazz, jazz Jazz on the Autobahn
Now isn’t that something to aim for…
The Felice Brothers are from New York City.
“The band has two main members, Ian and James Felice. Former members include their brother Simone Felice, their friend Josh “Christmas Clapton” Rawson, frequently described as a traveling dice player, fiddle player Greg Farley, and drummer David Estabrook. At other times, they have featured a horn section in the band, composed of local Hudson Valley musicians. Ian is the main vocalist and plays the guitar and piano. James contributes vocals and plays the accordion, organ, and piano. Christmas plays the bass guitar. Dave Turbeville played the drums from 2009-2012, performing on Celebration, Florida, Poughkeepsie Princess, Mixtape, and God Bless You, Amigo. Simone Felice was the drummer as well as a vocalist and a guitarist. Simone is also an author, having released books entitled Goodbye Amelia, Hail Mary, Full of Holes and Black Jesus. Simone Felice left the Felice Brothers in 2009. He now leads his own band – The Duke & the King (named after the duo of con-artists in Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) with Robert “Chicken” Burke. They released their debut album – Nothing Gold Can Stay on Loose / Ramseur Records August 4, 2009, followed by Long Live the Duke & King in 2010. Simone released a self-titled album in 2012, followed that up with an album titled Strangers in 2014, and then released his third album titled The Projector in 2018.” ….from Wikipedia.
I just popped that pill I got from a guy who called me ‘dude’ now the signs along the highway are leaking semiotic fluid
and the cacti look psychotic lizards parse the desert floor far off in the clint-eyed distance I see a slowly revolving door
and I’m feeling, demotic, neurotic, anecdotal, overused I’m looking for a sanctuary, the fisherman and the shoes I’ve got those hallucination highway peripatetic blues.
I’ve been writing/ rewriting this poem verse by verse this week, posting a new verse each day. I think I may have come to the end of the poem, but I may take it up again.
Either way, there is a fascinating prompt from Bjorn over at dverse on the subject of conceit: To quote Bjorn:
“A conceit is defined as an extended and complex metaphor”
“In literature, a conceit is an extended metaphor with complex logic that governs a poetic passage or entire poem. By juxtaposing, usurping and manipulating images and ideas in surprising ways, a conceit invites the reader into a more sophisticated understanding of an object of comparison.”
Given the week that it is, I decided to bring this poem back from the dead…..
Thom Yorke takes a walk on Halloween Night
The dead move slowly
through the graveyard,
they are few at first
but as they pass
each row of headstones
grey fists punch
through mounds of earth
in a manic salute
and the throng grows
and the throng grows
and the night howls
and the fog curls
and a thin cloud
bisects the moon
and at the edge
of the graveyard
is an old well
and at the bottom
of that well
is a little boy
and that little boy
is crying for help
and that little boy
is Thom Yorke
it’s a name that you come across
in someone else’s bathroom
beside the shaving cream
and those pills that people use
from your head
down to your shoes
there ain’t no doubt about it
there ain’t no doubt about it
you’ve got those Estee Lauder blues.