Never Underestimate an Old Man Who Is Also a U.S. Veteran

I’m not very good at the art of journaling on time… Well, not unless it has to do with hospital stuff, in which case I have no choice. When it comes to recording (and sharing) life’s bits, I like to take my time. Not just because I can be mildly lazy, but because I like to digest experiences before I write them out.

That’s the reason why I’ve yet to write a post about our recent trips to Salt Lake City and Friday Harbor. We went to Utah to celebrate my Father-in-Law’s 90th birthday. The picture below is not from the celebration, but do I need a reason to share the fantastic t-shirt my Mother-in-Law got for her love?
Never Underestimate an Old Man

It was wonderful to see my Piano Man share a bit of scotch with his parents…
Scotch

…and rage about a certain wild-haired politician with his father.
William and Grandpa

There was time for with visiting old friends…
Old Friends

…and sharing fun anecdotes with former colleagues.
Old Colleagues

No hometown visitor should go without ice cream…
Grandma and Grandpa

…or without paying their respects to those who have gone before.
Graveyard in Utah

After Salt Lake City, we flew… drove… ferried… to Friday Harbor. I’ll save those details for future posts. All this mind-travel can be quite exhausting. We were so tired on our way to the island, too. Most of my bits were issuing wild curses into the wind. Except my teeth… my teeth never got the memo.
Magaly and William, 8-9-16

Use Word Foreplay

This weekend, over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Kerry invited us to craft a poem while keeping in mind the phrase, “This is not what we came to see”, from Brian Patten’s “The Projectionist’s Nightmare”. My muse might’ve had way too much fun with the prompt *cough, cough, cough*.

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“Use word foreplay”, he ordered.

She obeyed, whispering, “Hard,
deep, harder!” her edge and her tongue
cutting quick and bleeding bone.

His eyes opened so wide, his mouth
wider… as her stiletto hit the right spot
between his legs, and his screaming
thrilled her will to take all.

“I am trouble”, she batted
long bloodied lashes, “it’s not a rumor.”

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the wee notes…
– Kerry’s prompt asks for a new poem. The 3 blackouts that inspired this short piece were born months apart; separate, they tell three different tales. I’ve combined them, tweaked them through the mind of a slightly disturbed speaker, and (I believe) turned them into something new. Let’s see what Kerry says…
– I am also linking this bit to Poets United – Poetry Pantry 316.

Use Word Foreplay

Thrill

A Troubling Rumor

Stones, Echoes, Skulls

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!          
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!   
Weave a circle round him thrice,      
And close your eyes with holy dread,          
For he on honey-dew hath fed,        
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
~ Kubla Khan, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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“I lost the skull charm three years ago, Grandmother. But there is nothing to worry about. I promise.”

Her eyes grew wide and shiny, so he added a smile to the fib. “Grandmother, there are no echoes. There have never been. I feel a little silly telling you this, but I never really heard them. Or saw anything. I used to wear the charm to bed because it made you happy. That’s all.”

She shook her head and began to fade, slowly gliding backwards towards the opened window, as if pulled by a force she couldn’t control.

“Grandmother? Don’t leave like that. Don’t be upset. I… it’s just that…” He knew he had to tell her, but the lie had gone for so long. He was sure that if he refused to believe in them, they would just go… But their screams just got louder and closer, and her voice faded. “Grandmother, I threw it away. The skull charm, I buried it.”

Her translucent features crumpled, phantom tears filled the wrinkles that cracked her youth. The unseen pulled on her, ripping off her clothes. Before her skin was also torn, the lips of his grandmother’s spirit mouthed: Stones, stones, stones…

It was the last time he saw her, years ago, when the dead only whispered from the shadows. The first echoes began to take shape the night he turned twenty-one. He went back for the skull charm, but the earth had eaten the protection. He returned home with hands and pockets full of stones.

Placing the rocks around him didn’t quiet the dead, but it kept their skulls from smothering him into madness. Some nights, when he fell asleep between books and stones, he could hear the echoes of his grandmother’s warnings: Beware, beware…

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a wee note…
– First published in 2014. This wee tale was born while a motif from my AlmaMia Cienfuegos world, my favorite bit from Kubla Khan and the illustration below dance in my head. I’m linking to Prompt Nights – Let’s gather around for some ghost stories (Sanaa, thanks so much for helping me revive my oldies).

Poet's Sleep, by Chang Houg Ahn“Poet’s Sleep”, by Chang Houg Ahn