Thursday, July 9, 2015

July 9 -- Facing Your Fears


  1. Divorce

    Do you remember the last afternoon, the one where we knew
    it was over before it ended? How your whiskey breath rose and fell
    in your esophagus like a stain? The way our newish kitchen lights
    dappled bluish CFL brightness onto the granite, highlighting our
    hands and the small shadows along the creases of your face?
    You traded looks with the floor and my brown eyes - now bullets-
    hard as any alloy. It was all hard.

    There was the counselor and the apologies that fluttered the room
    like confetti made of broken bones. There was the trip to the zoo,
    where you found me with my lover, our babies so small, you picked up
    one by a chubby hand, then hoisted him to your breast by his arm,
    and all my screaming as you ran stopped rhesus monkeys cold.
    Hard to remember how cold it was that day.

    Later came court-ordered exchanges at a thousand feet, little
    toes in Stride Rite’s hitting asphalt flat, running in a straight line,
    we both lost weight, too worn down by then to know any exact time.
    I blamed you for our artifice of happiness. After our existence was measured
    in pauses, the house foreclosed but before we gave them the keys
    I dug our maple out of hardpan, the drought that summer held everything hostage.

    If we were talking again, it wouldn’t be you walking the halls of this house,
    in yet another summer -so much repressive sun- it’s hard to hide in the light anymore,
    you would laugh with a deep rasp, like river rocks in a drainpipe, breath
    whispering from your vinegar lips, the merciless words that would scale
    the trenches of your throat, because I am now the hunched coward, shrunken inside
    soft, melting, walls. You’d say so only I could hear, “it’s you, it’s always been you.”

    1. Wow, that is powerful and angry and I love it. I love the zoo imagery.

    2. let me catch my breath - amazing.

  2. Well done. My favorite line: "the merciless words that would scale the trenches of your throat."

  3. I'm too tired to work on a cleaner draft, but at least I’m writing. Thanks for the opportunity for some creative writing, John!

    All Crawly Things

    I love the way they look
    Spindly like my mother’s arthritic fingers
    Long-legged for tippy-toeing around others
    Alien, invading eyes as if they know my secrets

    I love the way they move
    Double-jointed and sideways as if practicing law
    Flying erratic to fool any prey on a straight path
    Leaping, crawling, and scurrying late for work

    I love what they do
    Strategize while trolling for food or potential mates
    Spin webs to catch, poison and consume them
    Lay eggs as if Sir Guinness was counting.

    Carole Avila

    1. You're writing well Carole, as you always do!

    2. well done. I like the use of the repeated "I love..." & "-outside"

    3. Ah, shucks. Thanks, T2 and John. Your comments are like gold stars that I never got in kindergarten. Scary that I still like gold stars!

  4. Meeting a Mountain Lion

    The sign read
    Mountain lion sighting
    Look large and wave your
    hands and keep hold of small
    They call it by many names
    Mountain lion, Puma, Cougar
    Whatever the name it is still the same
    Big cat on the loose
    If I were to run across one
    I think I would turn to stone
    Petrified to move a muscle
    A sheer fear as my enemy
    looks at me and snarls
    What defense would I have
    I could yell and wave to look bigger
    Or I could pick up a branch and have
    it eat through some wood before getting
    to me, and climbing a tree, well, that would
    be helping it out and corner myself
    I think I would just stand there and take
    fate by the hand to see if I would survive
    I always thought the big cat was a timid
    creature and didn't like to be seen?
    Well, in any case, I would be encroaching
    on their territory and from what I know about
    cat's and their space, they like to protect it
    I still would like to see one though
    And have a camera with me to capture
    it on film
    No one would believe me without the
    evidence of a picture!
    So, I will take my hikes and take my camera
    And prepare to see the wildest and rarest of
    North American creatures without harming it
    I think it will be beautiful
    A big cat in the wild
    The first I will see and
    probably the last time I ever see one
    face to face
    I will embrace the moment
    This will be exciting to witness
    a real cougar, a puma, a real mountain lion
    to remember always
    and have my camera
    poised and ready to
    take a snapshot
    If it does look hungry I can look larger than I am
    Wave my arms in the air and yell at it to scare it
    And maybe, just maybe, take a photograph
    with its golden smooth hair and it yellow green eyes
    and its snarling teeth with its call to the wild
    In its high pitched growl
    it's distinctive growl

    1. I saw one once while hiking. I knew he was much much more powerful than I was!

    2. Geez, I'll stick to fearing bugs. At least I'm more powerful than they are.

  5. claustrophobia

    was it Dad
    sending me
    under houses
    because I was small

    of my brother
    holding me down
    under a blanket
    until the panic
    gripped me so tight
    I lost my sense of being

    it could not be water
    I still love sitting
    at the bottom of
    the pool or
    gliding under water

    maybe I was born
    that way maybe
    I couldn't wait
    to escape the womb

    it explains why I
    don’t like to be touched
    why seeing pictures
    of people huddled
    with their faces touching
    shivers me

    except by my
    one lover
    and then I
    still need
    a space
    time alone

    and why I’m not
    afraid of death
    where I am no more
    or I am so
    much more
    a spirit
    free from
    all fear

    1. I think you could do a month (or at least a week on fear. I am already thinking of another one.

    2. I would take a year. Love your work, Thomas Thomas.

    3. thank you Carole. sometimes I think I'm confident and independent, but I just want to be and the encouraging words are really appreciated (and John is such a giver).

    4. but it's the emotions that drives us, so it would be a year of really great stuff.

    5. I think you two are right. Maybe we'll do a month later in the year!

  6. My Inner Ham Got Stage Fright

    Smith's Dress Shop had a fashion show
    when I was four
    I was one of the cutting edge models

    The Veterans Hall was packed with people
    waiting to see me.. uh, I mean us
    I was eager to greet my public

    From oldest to youngest, they strutted out
    working the catwalk
    I was dying to show off my skills

    The time finally came for my earth-shattering debut
    I marched out...
    Wow, that's a lot of people

    The crowd held their breath in anticipation
    I just stood there
    overwhelmed by the smiles and cheers

    A voice behind me urged me forward
    yeah, that wasn't gonna happen
    my legs were frozen in place

    Finally I found my voice
    Mom said it was cute, funny,
    And sad all rolled up into one moment

    I had nowhere I could go
    nowhere to hide
    so in that tacky 70's brown dress...

    I stood there and cried

    1. That's an awfully sweet memory, but you must have been sad at the time!

  7. Catholic.

    My Father is Catholic.
    My mom was born again Christian.
    Many of my friends in 1st grade were Catholic.
    So during recess, I would give into peer pressure.
    The girls would play Bloody Mary in the bathroom.
    I was secretly very intrigued by the game.
    Bathroom lights off.
    Eyes to the mirror
    With hands cuffed around them...
    And we would chant...
    "Bloody Mary One,
    Bloody Mary Two,
    Bloody Mary Three..."
    Until she'd jump through the mirror at us!
    Scaring us almost to death.
    You'd never seen little girls run so fast!
    But day after day, we did it.
    And day after day, we were horrified and ferociously excited....
    The scary thing is,
    As I get older,
    The more and more I recognize the face of the bloody Mary,
    She looks like me..

    1. Oh NICE ENDING! Fantastic! Send this one out!

    2. Oh NICE ENDING! Fantastic! Send this one out!

    3. Thanx, where to, would you suggest?