She Wasn’t a Creature of this World

The weapons instructor who taught me how to properly place an AT-4 on my shoulder told me that his people spoke in poetry.

“It’s an anti-tank weapon, Warrior,” he said. “Treat it like an untrustworthy friend—always keeping a strong hold on it, but touching it with light fingers.”

“I will, Chief,” I said, and watched his poetry speaking lips tighten into a line that couldn’t hide the mirth crinkling his eyes. He hated when I called him Chief, so I did it every time he called me Warrior, and not by my name. “Will I feel the flash on my back? After I fire it?”

“War is hot, Girl Warrior, full of recoils and burns. Just like raising a child,” he said, “it leaves the mother cracked and stretched and changed and scarred.”

“Reading does the same for the mind, Chief.” Remembering what he said about his people, I added, “But the scars left by stories are poetic tattoos.”

He said nothing for a long while. Not even after he removed the practice AT-4 from my shoulder and placed it back on the weapons rack. Then he gave me one of his deep amber-eyed looks, and said, “What have you been reading, Word Eating Warrior?”

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Poetry Speaking Chief. It’s about—”

“I’ve read Márquez,” he said. “What’s your favorite part? The war between Aureliano Buendia and Úrsula Iguarán, I bet.”

I shook my head. “I love how Márquez portrays Remedios the Beauty. The woman is clearly mad, but he decides to write that she ‘was not a creature of this world.’ He didn’t write lies. He just made madness beautiful, even desirable and uplifting. He plucked Remedios out of the dirt. And she ascended.”

Chief smiled, an enormous smile full of gums and teeth too white for his dark-honeyed complexion. “A Caribe Warrior who sees beauty in the lunacy of another. I wonder if you’ll find poetry in war.”

“I don’t,” I said, leaving the classroom without looking at Chief’s face.

Process Note: Sanaa, sweet mistress of Prompt Nights, invited us to write a poem or prose piece inspired by our favorite book or one of our favorite quotes. I chose to repost this tale, birthed out of the following passage, from Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude:

“Remedios the Beauty was not a creature of this world… She reached twenty… wandering naked through the house because her nature rejected all manner of convention…

Remedios the Beauty began to rise… abandoning with her the environment of beetles and dahlias and passing through the air with her as four o’clock in the afternoon came to an end, and they were lost forever with her in the upper atmosphere where not even the highest-flying birds of memory could reach her.”

AT-4: an 84-mm unguided, portable, single-shot recoilless smoothbore weapon.
Caribe: Spanish word for Caribbean and spicy/hot, another word for piranha; its variation, Carib, refers to a fierce indigenous people of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean.
* First published in 2014. I clipped a word or two… aside from that, it remains unchanged.

Floating Woman“Close”, by Martin Stranka

Madness, Darkness and Carved Lies

The cruellest month is nearing its end… only a couple of bites left. I’ve been having all sorts of fun poetizing our April dearest. Have you been delighting in poetry? I hope so, for having fun with words is pure yum for the soul. Below are 5 of the 28 Dark Poem Bits I have shared on Instagram and Facebook in April. I am adding this post to Open Link Night at dVerse. Go ahead, my Wicked Luvs, pick a favorite… tell me what you like about it… and I’ll expand the bit most liked in the weeks to come. Yes, April, you don’t get all the yum. May must get some, too.

“Madness and Moonless Nights”
Madness and moonless nights are kissing
cousins. Yes, she has tasted them both…
but, in the dark, she can’t tell whose lips
are driving the mind out of her skull.
1. Madness and Moonless Nights
– inspired by a quote provided by Sanaa Rizvi. Go HERE to read the quote.

“Carved Lies”
Your kisses carved lies
all over my backbone.
I defleshed my spine,
rubbed it on dirt to forget.
But bones have strong memories,
and soil always remembers
the salt of tears and hurt.
2. Carved Lies
– inspired by an AlmaMia Cienfuegos quote provided by moi. Go HERE to read the quote.

Bite me, and I will
bite back. And remember,
betrayed teeth cut equally
through old friends
and new foes.
3. Bite Me
– inspired by a Jake Roberts quote provided by moi. Go HERE to read the quote.

“Darkness Builds”
Darkness builds her home
in wood, mortar and stone.
She digs her nails deeper
with the setting of the sun.
In the brightest human souls,
Darkness finds a catacomb.
4. Darkness Builds
– inspired by a Stephen King quote provided by Denise Scoville. Go HERE to read the quote.

all muck dwellers squeal,
when the heavens weep hot oil
down storm drain cities
5. Squeal
– inspired by a quote provided by Debra, She Who Seeks. Go HERE to read the quote.

One more thing, everyone needs something bright, surreal and wild in their home garden. If you’ve yet to do so, go ahead and enter my current giveaway. See if These Roots Were Made for Walking home to you. Something tells me that they probably were. I mean, look at those blooms. 😉
These Roots Were Made for Walking, a Giveaway