He Was Ridiculous… and Amazing

I enjoy hand-stitching for the same reasons I adore hammers, the colors red and black, Terry Pratchett’s writing, and the sky on nights when the moon is darkest. I won’t tell you why I love those things. Not because it might creep you out—I’d probably delight in that—I won’t tell you why because we don’t need to know each other marrow deep to be friends. If we do, then we really aren’t.

The idea of jumping off a bridge because everyone else is doing it disgusts me. But if the day (or wild night) comes when jumping is the only way forward, I shall leap into the precipice without bitching about it—my thoughts, legs, and spine must be all cat.

I’ve landed on my feet, and broken a few things before rolling with the punches takes hold of the metaphor. I’m prejudiced against welcomed stupidity. People who hurt others because they know they can get away with it should spend a lot of time on their knees being thankful to a curly-haired one-eyed woman who smoked a pipe.

I write because not doing so would kill me slowly (or someone else). I love for similar reasons. Today, I woke up in a world where my best friend was alive. Now he is dead. And I’m angry. Because the world is a bit emptier and it didn’t have to be.

The whole world will miss you, my bird of terrible feathers. And I will miss you most.

One Halloween, when we were still teenagers, he dressed up as… something covered in fake chickens. I remember asking, “What in the name of Hades’ fiery balls are you?” He said, “I’m a sexy beast.” When puzzlement showed that I couldn’t follow his logic, he added, “You know, ‘Just erotic. Nothing kinky. It’s the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.’” He was that kind of ridiculous, that kind of amazing…

May your soul fly high on laughter and bad jokes, you sexy beast…

A Spirited Soul

If I were 9-years-old, and living in the Dominican Republic, and my grandmother’s cackles were still bettering the world of the breathing… Then today, my face would be painted gray with ashes and my eyes encircled black with coal, until I resembled a calavera (or skull). We would dress my grandmother’s cross in brightly colored crêpe paper; we would cook sweet beans; and we would tell forever-living tales of our dead. The celebration would be nameless, but every heart and soul—young and old—would know what today was called.

But I’m 38-years-young and living in New York City. So my family and I will spend the day cooking… Then tonight, we’ll carve pumpkins, share a yummy meal, and tell tales of our dead. My cyber-home always partakes in the partying, so I’ve crafted a Halloween(y) haibun for you:

“A Spirited Soul”

I visit the place nearly never. It’s too dark… too many bones… too much death for a spirited soul; except on the day before All Hallows… when with pumpkin chili, rice, rum, Bachata music and belly laughs, my blood celebrates my life.

bare branches rustle
food and song in the graveyard—
to honor the dead.

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Inspired by “The Dead”, winner of From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 4; and linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Flash 55.

If you celebrate this witchy holiday, then Happiest Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve, Dia de los muertos, Samhain… and if October 31st holds little or no meaning for you, then Happiest Day.

A Spirited Soul