I’ve begun writing everyday.
Ok for 3 days.
They are 100 word pieces like I have been submitting on here (off and on) for the past couple of years.
In case you are looking for the prompt, I downloaded the Webster dictionary app and have been writing pieces based off of the “Word of the Day”. Perhaps it’s not complicated enough, but it saves me having to randomly point to words in a dictionary or find inspiration in the same environments I am exposed to everyday.
There is also much that has changed in my life since the last post. Mostly good, some bad, some merely products of time.
I’m still struggling, but I’m still fighting.
Hoping you, too,are persisting.
We are not yet ready to share a suitcase.
I pack too many shirts, and you too much underwear.
You cannot part with your 24 oz doubt, and that leaves no room for my travel size anxiety.
We can organize, re stack and re fold, but TSA will not allow our combined fear in one bag.
So for now, you’ll check one bag, and I’ll check two : the third for misplaced apprehension and imagined scenarios. We’ll each keep a bag apart as we travel, for our secret and reoccurring pasts.
*From the prompt: “(Add 3+2 – me and you)”
Her only expression of care, even love, she missed giving.
As each person left, drifted to towns across time zones,
Her language fell out of reach.
She tried with words
Ordained by men
To keep them tethered.
But the cooking, the aromas,
The pallet teasers could not communicate
As they once did.
No longer could she
In her giving
The smiles and jokes,
Warmth extrapolated from full stomachs.
And so the epicenter of her joy,
The power of nurturing—
Anonymous and kind
Leaving her to cultivate alone,
Feeding only herself.
Here’s a quick 100 for you guys. I know it’s been a while (almost a month!) But I am hoping to get back to a normal-like schedule soon. This 100 is currently alternating between prose and poem, so consider it rough. But exercise often is, right?
The root cellar under the oak tree is where he told her to meet. She hated the smell of dirt and potatoes, but it was cooler, and hidden from the road. So she went.
The cellar was tucked into a barren field on a farm that was reclaimed in the 70s by Heinz™ Ketchup. They sent factory women who needed to convalesce here.
Crazy women, she thought, hysterical and desperate for attention—if psychology had anything to say about it. She brushed a cobweb off her shoulder, wondering how many women had found it in this hole.
“Fairfax, South Carolina”
Magnolia cones lie, red berries crushed against sidewalk, buried in overgrown lawn. The petals, long ago bruised and wilting, have blown into suburban gutters. He tries to make it up once a month to mow; air out the house; remember.
Fifteen years and by now he starts to feel nothing except a musky heaviness. Mildew has seeped into the cabinets and wrap-around polyester couch. He sees only the hospital bed in the living room, instead of the swivel armchairs he used to play in.
Looking out to the yard, ghosts of daughters run—swinging along tree branches, riding bikes up the block. He will find them at home, grown and smelling of flowers.
This is definitely a moment from a much larger whole and maybe you can discern that I have Carson McCullers on the brain today.
“Caught and Loose”
He’s been running the perimeter for five years now; trying to shed forcefields: family, girlfriends, leases. His feet jolt against gravel asphalt, always stopping short of the town limit. He pauses as his chest struggles to expand—wants to erupt and spread out across the border.
He hocks a loogie, right into the next county and turns back. He passes others riding out on their scholarships, jobs and military orders. They gleam hopeful from driver’s seats, but it’s its own settling; chained to their inevitable track. As bad as staying put. He wipes his face with his shirt and runs on.
We never say we are going to Papa’s or Dad’s house. It has always been, will always be, Granny’s or Mama’s. Even though their patriarchal hands hammered the nails that shelters our visits, it is always the matronly warmth that caulks the gaps.
It clings to our clothes when we leave, a guiding sealant reminding us to eat, brush our teeth, be open to love.
Inherited, I hope, so that light may be blessed upon children and children’s children. Crafting the home with embraces and tears. So that even as we pass, the mothers of the past, the bond between boards only strengthen—the home that men built and women filled.
You can probably blame this from a 3 hour walk along the beach…the title is abstract/obscure. Trying to see if it actually contains any nuance. Maybe not.
Over 200 jellyfish lay washed upon sand. Separated from their bloom, they lie like cement blocks incapable of grace. Once they were ballerinas, floating and trailing. A tidal dance woven amongst their brethren. Dreamlike, they captivated prey, drew them in, and lightly—with quiet shocks—devoured them.
No longer do these cnidaria pulse, the waves digging them deep, tentacles long detached, stinging aimlessly with the current. The seagulls taunt, flitting and diving with the breeze, in control of their path all the same.
Beachgoers jab them in disgust. Their majesty evaporated. They pray only for the treacherous tide to drag them away again.
Flaking snakeskin bark, she climbs the pines and forgets her age. If she can make it to the top, where the trunk bows with each small breeze, she will never have to go back. If she can grip pine cones in her palm and not grimace; if the cone snaps from the tree, she will have won strength. If she can still feel the caress and stab of the needles through bark-worn skin, she will know humility. She climbs branches without pause, eager for a treeline she knows she can never safely achieve. But still she climbs, anticipating the lurch.
Hey all! I know I am behind on the poetry updates. I have been visiting loads of panels at AWP and mixing that with a lot of form-oriented prompt doesn’t really beget too much writing. I am writing/thinking about the prompts, though! I will just have to post them once I am back home. However, I did manage to get my 100 word story written for the week–based off the word “rings”. This is actually a creative non-fiction piece, mostly just a snapshot of some past experiences I used to have on the farm. I hope you enjoy!
“Papa at the Pond”
I think of bread, a weathered dock. Training fish to come, bribing them with starch, tossed lightly within a pipe hoop on the water.
“The bread’s a treat.” He wipes crumbs off his overalls—they fall through the planks, alighting like snow for minnows to nip. “The worms are the main course. Then they’re our main course.”
He smiles, leathered wrinkles. Spits some tobacco into a dixie cup.
Tearing more pieces from the bag of Sunbeam, they land without sound. Sonar waves span from centers—crash into other echoes. The gaping rings of fish mouths bob up, close down, disappear.
As an aside, because I went to a bunch of flash fiction panels today, this was one of those stories where I actually had to shave off 50 words or so to get to what it is now. And that was difficult, but I also found it interesting how it changed the voice of the story as well. I don’t know, I guess I am suggesting you try doing something like that–it helps with revision, but it also helps you understand what voice you are working with, I think, since language is playing such a large role because of the word constraint. Hello run-ons!