First Night

Less our doubts will be,
Stowed away with trouble.
Some sweet peace to sleep with.

In this our first night to be,
Holding love for life.

Time under this moon;
Light on our twining bodies, so good.
Will this first night never to end!


dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Compound me a Sleepy Quadrille night!

dVerse Poets Pub graphic
dVerse ~ Poets Pub

I pull a double dVerse duty swinging two prompts in one write:

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Quadrille night! Sleepy times.

First Sarah (sarahsouthwest) invited us to write a sleepy little quadrille. A quadrille, is simply a poem of 44 words, excluding the title. It can be in any form, rhymed or unrhymed, metered, or unmetered. You MUST use the word “sleep” or some form of the word in your poem.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics: Compound me!

Next Lillian insists we regale her a poem using at least one compound word from a list provided.

The catch being to split the word over.
Achieving its two components; yet keep it together. (<– see what I did there)

Naturally, does Muse just use one compound word in a poem? Noooooo…. Let’s make every confounded end/start line be compounded – yeah! Oh!, and still make a quadrille – right!

Some SOL Company

When I encounter friends, colleagues, countrymen, hell perfect strangers, who were raised with civility and make the mistake of asking “How are you?” one would presume being a woman raised by Sothern Belles one would think I was equally brought up with such manners that would have me politely respond with some variant of “I’m fine.”

But nah, my NYC mouth blithely shuts down all such social convention as I almost always reply with “Insane as usual. And you?” {Hey at least I’m housed trained enough to ask – mostly I’m tired of my southern Grandma reaching up from beyond to Gibbs SlapTM me upside the head – but I digress.] This is almost always met with a chuckle that ranges from exaggerated eyerolls [those that know me very well], through amused head shaking [those that know me somewhat], to nervous smiles [those who are not entirely sure if I’m joking].

Today I took it one step further. Having had the above exchange with a colleague in the ladies earlier, I pass her office a while later.

“You know how I said that I was insane?”

She knows me just well enough that she starts smiling, “Yeah?”

“I can prove it….”

The smile turns into a I already regret letting her in grin, “How?”

“Please explain to me why I cannot get the bass line, not the melody, not the lyrics, but specifically the dang bass line to DuckTales out of my damn head?”

She blinks a few times getting the reference and asks the pertinent question: “When is the last time you’ve even seen DuckTales?”

“My youngest is thirty-eight, so-decades!”

For those who don’t know DuckTales is an animated TV series produced by Disney. The original cartoon series premiered in the late-80s and ran for several years. The show featured Scrooge McDuck, his three grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie (yes, the nephews of Disney’s Donald Duck), and others, on various adventures. It was part of the afternoon line-up my boys watched after school. Thus, I was not exactly kidding when I said decades.

It had a very catchy theme song, with a pretty groovy bass line, which I heard five days a week for several years. And for some reason it was now stuck in my bird brain.

After stating she how she concurred with my self-assessment, I was informed I was SOL because she couldn’t help me and laughingly ordered me to get away from her immediately before I infected her. Another colleague was passing and made the mistake of inquiring what shenanigans were I causing now. I do have a slight reputation for such – slight.

Long story-short: going by my burning ears, there are at least five colleagues cussin’ out my name for the bass line likely still running through their minds.

I mean we all know adage Misery loves… Well I’ve had that miserable bass line in my head most of the day – so guess who’s joining me? For those of you reading this who know theme in question, and now are equally infected, I would say I’m sorry, but we’d all know I’d be lying.

That SOL in the title doesn’t stand for Slice of Life today.


Let’s see how others are slicing it out this Tuesday…

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Glad I Didn’t Wait…

  1. I love jalapenos and had them in my salad for dinner. Uncouth and greedy idiot I am, did not use utensils, but fingers to consume said jalapenos.

  2. On way to the loo to wash my grubby jalapeno scented talons, I run into a friend I have not seen in a while who was leaving the restaurant. My mind said wash your hands it can wait. But my mouth had already called out to her. No choice now but to have the chat I garnered her attention for in the first place.

  3. Typical of me, hands forgotten, the chat devolves into silly conversation that soon has me wiping tears of laughter from my eyes. People – please review 1 and 2 above. It was a bit not good as I am quickly shown the error of my ways. Eyes now beginning to sting I hear a familiar motor sound approaching me.

  4. Another patron in a motorized chair is coming down the hall. When I politely step out the way as she passes -I don’t always apply them, but Grandmama taught me manners(!)-, I hear another very familiar sound, that is soon followed by cold wetness through my blouse.

  5. I turn in surprise realizing I backed into the automated hand sanitizer dispenser, that did its job and dispensed itself – on my back. The friend I was conversing with saw the stain and lost it, making a reference to a scene in the James Spader/Maggie Gyllenhaal movie “Secretary”. It was a reference I got, which sent me completely over the giggle edge. [Either you know the scene or you do not, I am NOT explaining it. Just know that it is sexual in nature and let your very dirty mind -if you have one- extrapolate from there.] I make it to the ladies room at last and she goes on her way.

  6. Now imagine walking into the ladies room to find a female at the sink, make-up ruined, seemingly trying not to cry while tears stream down her face, holding copious amounts of paper towels trying to blot dry a blouse spotted with suspicious looking stains down her back, without taking it off. Only when I saw the horror stricken look on her face as she slowly approached me in genuine concern and gently asked asked if I wanted to call someone did I get the enormity of how it looked from an unknowing eye.

    And me, being me, continue to be a child at a most inappropriate time, told her “Mr. E. Edward Grey!” referencing James Spader’s character in the above mentioned “Secretary.”

  7. Still giggling like the twelve-year-old I am mentally, I finally finished washing my hands and face as I assured her the only assault was from the automated hand sanitizer dispenser whose motion sensor I had accidentally set off. Much to the woman’s relief, and momentary blush, I also explained about the movie and that I refer to the Spader character as the original Mr. Grey, where I believe the author of the 50 Shades series of books/movies may have taken the surname inspiration.

  8. I had to wear my blazer with paper towels between my blouse and my back until the wet spots dried. But so worth the unexpected laughter. Yes, speaking to the my friend, instead of immediately washing my hands, could have waited, but I’m glad I didn’t.


    I also now have a mental bet with myself that the woman from the ladies room will be watching a certain movie before the week is out. It’s a Schrodinger’s bet, but I’ll wager it’s in my favor.

    And since I’m still in a puerile mood, I feel obligated to remind you dear readers May is National Masturbation Month – handle that information however you will.

Let’s see how others are slicing it out this first Tuesday in the merry, merry month of May…

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Two Writing Teachers

Drop It Like It’s Con

I spent the weekend in Atlanta at 221BCon. It’s an annual fan convention celebrating Sherlock Holmes. It started out, and it’s primary focus is, BBC’s “Sherlock”, fanfiction writers and readers, and now includes Sherlock Holmes in all the varying incarnations of television, film, radio, books and of course the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Over the years it has given nods to Good Omens and other fandoms with similar esthetics. OFMD fans anyone? (Either you know, or you do not –so not explaining it.)

In the months, weeks, days, hours leading up to it were its own type of agony as enthusiasm mounted. Twitter groups for the event were active nearly 24 hours in the final couple pf days leading up to hit. But it’s these last couple of days after that are my focus.

I made it home late Sunday night.  I should have taken Monday off. Overworking arse that I am did not, and around 2pm I was reminded of why. I had been in since 7:30, my usual Monday busy little bee when it hit me. This overwhelming exhaustion and complete sense of loss. I did not want to be there. It took a moment to realize what hit me.

Convention Drop.

Also known as Vacation Drop. It’s something that happens after you get home from a vacation, convention, bash any multi-day fun event, especially one where you had to travel. It was the moment my heart, mind, soul, and body came completely down from the massive adrenaline high of the previous days of fun at the convention.

It hit hard.

I wanted to be back in Atlanta. I wanted to be back at the convention. I wanted to attend another panel. Go up to the writers room. Hang out and chat with fellow writers. Play another round of “Sherlock Against Humanity”, a customized BBC “Sherlock” themed version of Cards Against Humanity, that is just as hilarious for all the right, yet wrong, reasons. I wanted to eat some more of the oh so good food discovered at Tom, Dick and Hank’s restaurant. I wanted to meet and chat with other fellow fic writers whose work I’ve admired for years. To be in the room where it happened with people who immediately get the jokes and snark references that pepper some of my conversation. Because for all of the people I have seen this weekend, I am learning I have missed crossing paths with others who were there and dammit I wanted to go back and meet them!

I was sitting at my desk at work and the longing for Con and to be with my Sherlock tribe again was so deep it made me want to cry. That’s how hard it hit. I knew of the phenomenon, but it had never happen to me before. Not even after travelling to Dubai or Antarctica. Those are two trips where it certainly should have hit, but no. Having it hit after only three days in Atlanta showed me just how much being around so many like-minded lunatics meant to me, that the loss of it was one hell of a shock to my system. That was when I remembered why I usually take the day after such events off. I need the time to reset myself across the board, do laundry and have a day to ease back into my normal insane life.

I’m fine now. Already have next year’s convention in my calendar with a couple of days before so I can tour a little of Atlanta, but most important, that much needed day off after.

The game is on!


Let’s see how others are slicing it out this Tuesday…

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But Soft What Spring Through Lovely April Breaks

Arise sweet spring for signs of you have sprung

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I get to enjoy the sight of Venus in the late-winter, early spring mornings on my walk to the train station for work. It the very first sign of spring for me, but there are others.

The landscapers for The Commons around my job arrived last week. Gone are the winter evergreens, and the first shoots of the annual tulips are breaking through the ground. In another week or so the area will be awash in the reds, oranges, and yellows of tulips in the garden beds. With the addition of daffodils and lillies, the white blossoms of the dogwoods and always the pinks of the cherry blossoms the next few weeks will be awash springs bright colors. I will love it as I always do, but surprisingly, or not, for all the visual beauty that is the coming spring, it is not my favorite part.

My favorite part is aural.

The blocks I walk are tree-lined and have begun to bud in their own markers of spring, but it’s their occupants that hold sway for me. I step out my building, cross the street and there it is, a sweet trilling; the first calls of the day. Birdsong. For the next couple of week, my walk to the train station will time with the waking of the local flocks of pigeons and quarrels of sparrows. And as the mornings become brighter, if I’m lucky,I am also treated to flashes of robin and cardinal reds or the less frequently seen blue of a jay.

And yes, even the occasional caws of murdering crows and the conspiracy of ravens have greeted my mornings.

Oh, I am in no way, shape or form, an ornithologist. It is the decades of living in different NYC neighborhoods, and my penchant to look up, that have made me observant of more than just the people and pets that share the sidewalks with me.

The chirping of birds in my mornings is also a harbinger of the coming winter when their waking and my walking will again align, but we shan’t speak of such ill things right now. No. No. No.

This is the time for the most vernal of thoughts and I am here for it.


Let’s see how others are slicing it out this first Tuesday of April…

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Hades to Persephone

Flanked by the seasons
twixt chill through warmth
Then back ‘round
Who could
know?

That you’d fall for me
Or that I’d fall
So deeply
in with
you?

This in no surprise
We’re touched as gods
All that’s left
Is to
ask…

Marry
Me?


dVerse Poets Pub graphic
dVerse ~ Poets Pub

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | ‘Tis the Season Quadrille #149

Tonight at the pub, Lisa tends bar and sets the season on a quadrille.

A quadrille, is simply a poem of 44 words, excluding the title. It can be in any form, rhymed or unrhymed, metered, or unmetered. You MUST use the word “season” or some form of the word in your poem.

I also cheat a little in that my quadrille is also what I’ll call an Reverse Extended Arun. A nonce poem created by blogger GirlGriot. An Arun is a fifteen-line poem in three sets of five lines. Each set of five lines follows the same syllable structure: starting with one syllable and increasing by one syllable with each line. 1/2/3/4/5 — 3x. There are no other rhyme or structural requirements. I inverted the syllable count and add two words to fit the quadrille requirement into a proposal of mythical proportions.

Red, White, Blue

Much
Too deep
Much too fast
You blazed red in
Betrayal’s fury

From
Tears that
blurred the sight
With lust’s white heat
You let yourself fall

So
Cold in
Broken-hearted
Blues of too much
And not enough

<>==========<>==========<>

As is now tradition for me, I open National Poetry Writing Month with the Arun.

A nonce poem created by friend and fellow blogger, GirlGriot, an Arun is a fifteen-line poem in three sets of five lines. Each set of five lines follows the same syllable structure: starting with one syllable and increasing by one syllable with each line. 1/2/3/4/5 — 3x. There are no other rhyme or structural requirements. Today, I follow the pattern she’s set, left aligned and un-rhymed.  As always, I will take a little poetic license, in future runs of the form.

National Poetry Month 2022 graphic

And Press “Pause”

Today is the finish line for the 15th Year Slice of Life Story. It’s been a great run. I have not missed a day, and while I have definitely pants it close a couple of times this month, this is the first year I was never in danger of missing a post for 2022. I must say, that’s a pretty good feeling. Alas, another 31 days and flavors is in the books. Off to the next big thing, right. Hmmmm, not exactly.

Usually I go straight from the Slice of Life Writing Challenge straight into National Poetry Writing Month as I have done for the past several years.  

However, there are 18 items sitting in draft mode here on WordPress alone. Some are partially done poems needing tweaking, some essay ideas to be fleshed out, three are nothing more than a couple of lines of an idea I want to work with at some point. There’s a book I’ve been working with off and on for a couple of years. There’s my fanfiction. And let’s not talk about the literal pages of ever multiplying plot bunnies clamoring to be fleshed out into something more. Thus, I know it is not because I do not have anything to say. Because in spite of Muses best efforts to get as much out of me and onto paper, canvas and pixels, it’s all bottle-necked. I don’t like that for all my output, the things I want out the most are not getting out there. And I don’t know why.

I don’t like not knowing.

I do consider myself a decent story-teller, and yes, it pleases me that some want to hear/read what I have to say whether in poem, prose, essay, blog or my Verbal Diarrhea Diaries, but I also feel something of a responsibility to that which will remain behind in these pixels long after I am gone. Because one edict I did have is this: if I felt strongly enough about something to put it out there, even if I must apologize later [and as a Virgo who abhors being -gasp- wrong, believe me, I avoid being in that situation like it’s plague], I may edit or tone it down, but I do not take it back.

Noticed that did in there?

It is that responsibility, where I have increasingly found myself thinking of better ways to express a thought coherently only after I hit ‘publish’, which has me galled to no end. Between the bottleneck mentioned above, and this lexical lethargy has become increasingly worrisome and hit its head earlier this week. La Impostrata, a personification of the Imposter Syndrome coined by fellow blogger and real life friend GirlGriot, struck big time and for the first time ever I trashed something I wrote. No, I did not return it to draft mode to be pondered over and reworked for another time – I trashed it. And then trashed the trash can in my perturbment. I can all but hear writer friends of mine gasp in the horror at this cardinal writing sin. I know, I KNOW! I sincerely apologize to you for that horrid lapse in judgement. But mostly I apologize to myself because as a person who has files with snippets of discarded writings in the belief it will be used elsewhere later, I damn sure know better. I am ashamed of myself. Something has to give.

So rather than submit myself to another month of more writing pressure, I’m choosing to press pause on challenges for now. I’m going to step back and sit out this year’s National Poetry Writing Month.

Oh, I will still write and post poems in April, fret not (not that those who know me were). There is no way Calliope, Erato or Melpomene are easing up on me. It just won’t be for the next thirty days straight. Naturally, I’ll be here on Tuesdays for our weekly slices.

I want to feel comfortable in what I write, whether it is poems, blogs, short stories, flash and fan fiction. That the something I say that makes sense. Sometimes I need to write because I feel confident that what I say that will inform or entertain others and sometimes I need to read so that I can be better informed and entertained myself. What I will always need regardless, are times when no matter what is going on in my life I pick up my pen.

I’m simply allowing myself the grace to ease up on the writing pressures I put on myself.


We made it! Day 31 of 31 – Let’s see how others are slicing it out this final day of the challenge.

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Unheard Spokesperson

How’s my day, well the past three days, going so far…? I’ll let my current Facebook post answer that:

screenshot of my Facebook post: bemoaning a twenty-minute conversation on alopecia and the literal politics of black hair, only to be told “But it’s just a hair style.”

** mentally inserts every facepalming gif in existence here **

Of course, the conversation started with the slap heard around the world. I segued away from it being about the men involved and focused on the woman involved that few are talking about. The trials of alopecia for any person, but especially women, and why it’s such a big deal for black women in particular. That naturally lead to the point of the Crown Act and why it’s important, just to be told “But it’s just a hair style” after all of that. Arrggh!

I know I gave her The Look. I imagine my face must have said everything while several generations of great-grandmothers, my grandmothers on both sides and Mommie all reached out from their graves and held back my tongue, as Jesus whispered in the person’s ear um -yeah, that’s a bit not good, turn and go, my child and Lucifer concurred Yo, even I thinks ya betta walk the fuck away from her right now. My jaw still feels some kind of way weird, from the teeth ground so hard in that moment that likely kept me employed as the person made their excuse and hastened away.


Day 30 of 31 – Let’s see how others are slicing it out today…

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

I Knew It!

Last night as I chose on my clothes for today, I pulled out a turtleneck. Despite it officially being spring, by the calendar, I knew it was going to be cold today.

This morning I look at my footwear. Originally, I had selected loafers, I switched to booties. I knew it was going to be cold today.

I look out the window and see the tree branches yield to wind. Soft open knit beret? – Sorry, you’re on the bench. Tightly knit grey toque – suit up! I knew it was going to be cold today.

Last, but hardly least, I pull my red pea coat into service. After all, I knew it was going to be cold today.

Forewarned and armed, I open my front down and head down the stairs. I reach the curb to cross the street. Now away from my building protecting me from it, a gust of wind sneaks around and slams into me. I mean, I’m physically shifted from the ferocity of it. How rude!

So what comes out of my mouth: “Holy f—! I didn’t know it was going to be cold today!”

[A warm thank you to Amy Ellerman for the honor of using my post, Amused and Bemused, in today’s Be Inspired section at Two Writing Teachers.]


Day 29 of 31 – Let’s see how others are chilling in a good way and slicing it out today…

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers