Fuse

If there is one thing I have not missed since my fulltime return to office in October it is the daily commute. Door to door, it is an hour and fifteen minutes in the morning; then an hour and a half in the evenings. And that is if it is a straight run, meaning no sick passenger, some idiot somehow running amok in the tunnels, train suddenly going out of service, standard delays, and a host of other things that are the bane of daily commuting.  Especially in the evenings when I hit the height of rush hour where a two-hour run happens at least once a week.

And this was my norm pre-Covid.

Some reports say the trains are less crowded. That more people have chosen to drive their cars in order to avoid as much human contact as possible. That may be true, but I don’t see it, and the huddled masses packed into the trains each day would certainly disagree. After all, less crowded is still crowded. But now it’s crowded in a confined space where it’s a pure leap of faith, and for many the pure need of a paycheck, that the masked people around you are in fact vaccinated and not asymptomatic carriers breathing in the same enclosed space.

There are only two major changes that I can see:

  • Nearly everyone now wears a mask, including the homeless.
  • And nearly everyone seems to have a shorter fuse these days.

Still, I don’t have a problem with going to work. I am just a few very short years from retirement. And after close to a year and a half of remote working, the nearly three hours lost each day to my commute is grating my patience.

I found myself once again explaining “’cides” to a someone who asked for directions when our train went out of service this morning. She was standing considerably less than six feet away from a friend and I, and without a mask. My friend politely asked her to mask up. She did not want to.

Me (snarky to my friend): Then don’t give directions to a murder/suicide.

Woman (angrily): What fuck, I ain’t got nothing.

Friend: When’s the last time you were tested. We don’t know what you might have picked up a couple of days ago that’s can get us sick now.

Woman: Please I’m vaccinated.

Me. Vaccination doesn’t mean you won’t get covid. It only means if you contract it, you’re highly less likely to die from its complications. And you can still be asymptomatic and spread it.

Friend: Your masking up ain’t about protecting us from you, it’s about protecting yourself from us.

Me: If you knowingly refuse to mask up to protect us from anything you make have potentially contracted today that’s homicide. If you refuse to wear a mask to potentially protect yourself from anything we have contracted that’s suicide. We’re not down with either ‘cide. So, mask the fuck up or back the fuck up, or better yet, do both ‘cause we know how to get where we’re going.

We started to walk away to change trains. As I said we knew how to get where we where going. The woman put on her mask and we helped her out.

No, I don’t have a problem with going to work. I’m fine once I get there.

I just have a problem with going to work.

And it’s a little disconcerting to realize that short fuse I talked about sometimes includes my own.

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Slice of Life – Tuesda/y Writing Challenge – Two Writing Teachers

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2022 One not-so-Little Word

I have to say the Oxford definition of persistence “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition” has certainly been descriptive of me and my writing of the last few years.

I can either write blog and poems or read blogs and comment on others, not both, but I persist.

I can either write my own fanfiction or read and comment on the works of other’s, not both, but I persist.

I can also paint or draw, but not both. Unfortunately, that particular outlet has fallen – if not necessarily by the wayside, definitely down quite a number of rungs on the ladder, but I persist.

Yet even while I’m in the kitchen making lemon bars from scratch, I’ll be damned if Erato, Calliope, and even Melpomene won’t suddenly spark an idea in my brain that wants to be written down RIGHT NOW. And naturally Polymnia wants a visual of it that my mind can see, but regretfully my talent and patience cannot always procure to my satisfaction, but I persist.

To write or to read or to comment or to paint or to bake or to any of the several creative outlets that I try to enjoy has been both a bane and a blessing. A blessing that I can, to highly varying levels of proficiency by my eyes, do all of the above. A bane, because I cannot do all of the above all at once.

I know! I know! How DARE I be only human!

Only human in a small apartment where one corner of my dining room does double duty as my office when I work remotely and my creative writing station for blogging/poems/story writing, another as my painting crafts station, the third corner a multi-utility station and the fourth corner is my window and closet. Oddly enough what my dining table has not been used for in ages is that thing called you know dining.

Still, I can’t / refuse to call it my studio, because I cannot afford, never mind actually fit a kiln in it to pursue the glass and metal creative work that remains in my head.

Though it’s my fanfiction that gets most of my creative time, sans the items in need of a kiln, I doggedly try to indulge in all of my various creative outlets. Thus why I have chosen persistence as my one not-so-little word for this year.

I’m determined to somehow find a balance where my blog does not suffer as much this year as it has in past couple of years. Let’s see just how persistent I can be.


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Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge – Two Writing Teachers

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My Words

I’m stripped soul-naked standing bare
To a universe made of blank paper
Its mocking nakedness haunts me
Seductively taunts me with its vapor

I see my words as pieces of my deepest soul
Shattered apart in my passions throes
Then brought together in a multi-hued mosaic
A stained glass window, if you will, of prose

My words reaching through time with voices of one from long ago
My words reaching for the vernacular of the street griot, ya kno’

Words lose me in the folds of its scripts
And lets me discover myself yet again
Words listen to me when no one else wants to
Words speaks to me in a way no one else can

Sometimes my words scroll across my monitor
To let me say what I want to say
Sometimes I resort to pen and paper,
To express my words in some other way

It sometimes scares me to the core, being so beholden to such
I’m scared of being pushed away, I care for my words so much

Yes, I cater to word’s selfish lusts
It’s a call I’ll always heed
Words give off a satisfaction
That’s almost carnal in need

But lately my words are not happy
With the scratch of the mighty pen
There’s this new desire to be heard
And it’s a most frightening yen

Paper no longer holds them, my words have something to say
But in the excitement to be heard, my words get in their own way

I risk the bleat of my vocals failing
Changing the meanings I devise
Yes, my words on paper are lovely
My words from my voice are otherwise

But words have trusted me all this time
In the handling of its care
Spoken word is the natural evolution
If only I take up the dare

So, I put my trust in my words, as it puts in me alike
I take a prayer and a breath and step up to this mic


dVerse Poets Pub graphic


dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Take a risk!

Tricia at dVerse challenges us to explore the theme of risk. Whether it is tackling difficult subjects or laying bare a personal struggle in vivid detail, exploring a new writing form that you may find “risky” or unconventional; perhaps the risk we take falling in love.

Write on any topic as long the word “risk” is used,

I’m Baaaaack!

Yesterday was my first official day back in the office. I am one of the first people on the floor and it was lovely to see one of the other early birds whom I have not laid eyes on in over a year. After the pre-requisite elbow touching in place of a hug, the first few minutes are spent catching up. It was a routine repeated as others came in. I spent the day in a bubble of working, reconnecting and organizing as we also make ready for a floor wide restructuring.

Some of it was very familiar: Coming in early, jumping into work, plugging up to my music to focus, not taking a proper break for a few hours; rolling my eyes at the one colleague who insists on wearing ill-fitting shoes that squish and clomp noisily as they pass my desk, staying late to work with a client having an issue, even the extra-long commute home was an annoying comfort of the familiar.

Still, for all its familiarity something about yesterday that felt off and I could not identify it until today.

Yesterday… 🎵 Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so fa… 🎵  

Huh? Oh, wait sorry, sorry… brain wandered off for a musical moment, I’m back.

Yesterday, because I was distracted by several things, I had not taken my mid-morning coffee run.

Today I remembered. So off went I to my home away from home, away from home.

While the trip itself was done by almost by rote, it was once I was back at my desk and sipped that did it.

My Starbucks special order, the one thing I cannot get in my neighborhood, was in my grubby little talons once more.

There was a new staff from when I was there last; no familiar faces at all. I handed my phone to the barista and watched her face as she glanced from the phone to the register to place the order and then gave me a silent but definitive are you fucking serious(?) look as she handed the phone back. I especially enjoyed the look of resigned yet annoyed belief when I informed her of the irony that it was a former Starbucks barista who worked at that location, which gave me the recipe.

Starbucks cup
Yes, I erased my insane recipe from the image.
It’s MY recipe! 😝

I have a Keurig with Starbucks k-pods at home, and I love it, but it’s still not quite the same thing because I have that ridiculous order. Yes, my favorite order is one of those orders. When I cannot mobile order, I amuse myself by watching every new barista I hand my phone read the order and then tries, but inevitably fails, to not make a face as they re-read it a couple of times before they make it.

Whether it’s the fancier machines or their precise measurements for the base, it’s just something that I cannot duplicate in my kitchen.

As that first sip slid past my palette and settled oh so warmly in my tummy, I felt it. It’s a small thing, but a needed one.

Ah yessssssssssss! I was back…


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Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge – Two Writing Teachers

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Self

I remember a time when
Someone like I
Would never consider
Myself being worth anything, let alone everything
Funny how life can change a thing like that
As my self-worth, my self-care and love of self grows


National Poetry Month for 2021 Day 30

First time ever completing thirty whole days of original poetry – YAY!🎊

I end National Poetry Month, keeping it short and simple, with my first Golden Shovel poem using the opening line of Sonnet 15 by William Shakespeare

The Golden Shovel form was created by Terrance Hayes in tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks. The rules are simple:

  • Take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire.
  • Use each word in the line (or lines) as the end word for each line in your poem.
  • If you take a single line with six words, your poem would be six lines long. If you take two lines and the first line has 19 words, and the next has 13 words your poem would be 32 lines long in total and so on…
  • Keep the end words in order of the original poem.
  • The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.
  • Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines).

Got It Write This Time

For the past near sixty-one days, I have blogged every single day. Last month for Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Writing challenge was arduous enough. That self-promise of thirty-one days straight of blogging, especially when I had posted barely a couple dozen times from all of May 2020 to March of 2021, was truly diving off the deep end to see if I can swim. [I actually did that dived into a 16 foot deep pool without knowing how to swim.] No, I still cannot swim – don’t ask. Luckily I was much better at following through on immersing myself into regularly blogging again.

Because it is following right behind the March challenge, April is its own war as it is all about poetry. Each year for National Poetry Month I look around and enjoy the work of other poets. Each day I also post original work of my own, honoring National Poetry Writing Month. At least I’ve tried to. I admit I in previous years I have been a spotty poster during April at best. If a dozen new works happen it was a good year. C’est la vie.

As I had naught else to do, I also challenged my self to try more of a poetry form I was not fond of the Villanelle. I absolutely knew I could not do thirty days of them, but I have managed one new one per week, the most recent as of today which I published this morning. Which means I now have five villanelles in my poetry portfolio. Having written four more it is better than the single one that has existed for nearly decade by itself, so that is a huge win in my book.

2021 is the only year in which I have participated in National Poetry Writing Month where not only have I not bailed halfway through the month from writing exhaustion. Granted some were posted late, like yesterday’s coming in at nearly 11:30pm, but I will have thirty new poems under my belt, including four new villanelles! With the finish line a mere three days from now, I am confident I will complete it. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of myself for this!


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Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge – Two Writing Teachers

Unmarked

The spark that once set my soul alight
with fire and fight
I thought died in the embers of the long ago
killed slow
But a moment of the then returns to the now
and how
The desire for apathy crawls upon my skin
and sinks within
But I turn in tune, a marionette
who can’t forget
When words of honor marked needs
negated by dishonorable deeds
I am conjured by promises left unspoken
and now broken
In the end whose price is the one direly paid
for thoughts mislaid?
For once the Fates in their own twisted sense divine
it shall not be mine
And eventually, the pain subsides and the soul heals
from wounds surreal
Finally shelved to deal only with today’s realities
I welcome the banalities


In Fate and Time

I did not know that time could be heartless
In its impatient flight… how sad it is
I never knew the worth of you until
You slipped away one day on quiet winds

Myrna / “On Quiet Winds”

How quickly love can fill an empty space
Your presence oh so loud within my heart
If I became unglued, your love the paste
We’d have forever, if time played its part
Even with life’s curved balls that we would face
I worried not in those times of harshness
As moth to light you’ve always come to me
And for you here I’ve been and thus would be
In trust I closed my eyes to the starkness
I did not know that time could be heartless

We who are young think not of life’s avail
That Clotho’s thread will never come to end
Treating life as an ever crawling snail
The next adventure’s just around the bend
Day, week, month, year, how quickly it can sail
We don’t hurry, ignorant in our bliss
Thinking “I’m running as fast as I can”
But Father Time will merely shrug and scan
The sands that flow in that great glass of his
In its impatient flight… how sad it is

The only one of them that truly knew
Lachesis crossed two most unlikely strings
And begged unto us love, so deep and true
Despite our worst, to steer us clear of things
That did drive many who we’ve known in two
And love we did have, love beyond our fill
You did not believe in blessings and such
Not channeled by remote, I guessed as much
I knew we were blessed, but even still
I never knew the worth of you until

I felt that first graze of empty down deep
My face became a moon to absent suns
At brink of the final task left to keep
And knowing the effects once she is done
I think even Atropos dared to weep
Equal to lives saintly or ones that sinned
She cannot cater to the whom or what
Within her hands the strings of life are cut
Now silence reigns in my heart where you dinned
You slipped away one day on quiet winds


National Poetry 2021 graphic

National Poetry Month for 2021 Day 15

A return to one of my favorites the Glosa (classic).

Every Second

Bored ambivalence was the word of the day
Decided I was going to go home the long way
It’s only curiosity, was the cool wind blowing around me
Seemed like a day just like any other one
But then a curve ball was thrown into the mix hon

There she was the new big city kid now in a small country town
Sitting on the fence by the creek, so all alone and looking down
Didn’t take a psychic trick, to see she was homesick
I had passed by, but Fate triumphed and I came back after a while
And the reward I reaped was to see beauty in the light of her smile

Every day she smiles it’s just pure elation
Every hour she laughs I can’t help but laugh too
Every minute we kiss it’s an inspiration
And every second she breathes — I thank the heavens it’s true

I tried to descend from the fence, but my foot wasn’t quit clear
And yeah, she laughed as I fell in the water dead on my rear
But she was quick to quell, any hurt feelings and that was swell
By the time I walked her home as first stars shone bright
I was dry and she knew everything was going to be all right

We became friends who flitted twixt that love or the other
Took two years to learn that we were only meant for each other
The great gift I was to find was to let me live inside her mind
What wisdom knew back then, that one act of kindness from me,
Would ascend to a love for you that’s here for all eternity?

Fate stays unconquered every time on the when and where,
We only knew we had arrived once we got there

Every day you smile it’s just pure elation
Every hour you laugh I can’t help but laugh too
Every minute we kiss it’s an inspiration
And every second you breathe — I thank the heavens for you

 


National Poetry 2021 graphic

National Poetry Month for 2021 Day 11

Coming of Aging

I’m not questioning Mother Nature deciding
That the zipper of my favorite jeans parting
Is the result to my refusal of publicly farting

Father Time’s clock’s jingling, its hand landing
On where my body temp starts its constant revising
Between suddenly dropping and suddenly rising

Miss Clairol’s been looking more and more inviting
‘Cause not a word you say will be convincing
When the grays come in packs, I’ll be rinsing

Elastic is my friend while I’m weighting
And I carry a fan or a cloth for wiping
I’m content for now to cease my griping

I’m in no way catering to the act of aging
I’m simply deciding that the act of coping
Is more preferable than the act of moping


National Poetry Month for 2021 Day 9

I’m taking a trip down the lighter side of life even as I acknowledge that my trip is more like a prat fall – enjoy!

And today’s poetic form I tackle a Tritina

The tritina is a reduced version of the sestina written in iambic pentameter, which uses 3 repeated end-words (i.e. the final word of each line is repeated as the final word of each line in subsequent stanzas, just in a different order) and 3 three-line stanzas with a concluding one-line coda that must contain all three repeated words in order of their original appearance. The pattern/order of the repeated end-words is:

a
b
c

c
a
b

b
c
a

a–b–c