Verse Exercises

A portfolio for her verses

Archive for the ‘Telling a story’ Category

This is writing about loss.

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This is a story. It took a minute for the core plot to set down in thought. A few seconds later, the details were worked out, like the slant of her eyes. But it only took a moment of distraction, for attention to stray, and a colossus fell to the sand, again.

This is a story about a story, written on the back of a draft. The draft is work and the story on its back is distraction, warming a seat. But the draft was thrown in the trash, the story forgotten; remembered only when the irrevocable had passed.

This is a story about a story about a story, now a draft on a notepad in green ink. It is writing about loss, also: clumsy people. It is an attempt to recollect the first trawl. But not everything is here. There is more ephemera – including a line about eyes.

The first story was about a boy and a girl. The first story only took a moment.

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Written by thedoe

April 15, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Posted in Telling a story

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Tenement Housing

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The room light is dim, only the blue glow from the screen,
her howling, her sorrow, her scream, the music playing, and the neighbors not hearing a thing,
the bitter quiet in the basket, the pillow stained with snot and tears
in a unit.

 

Written by thedoe

December 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Visitation

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The woman, the traveler, cast out her arm, and gaining substance and distinction from the dim sky of dusk, the peregrine grew in her sight until it came to roost upon her forearm.

“You had been forewarned,” the giant bird said.

The woman could only nod back in silence until the peregrine’s weight grew unbearable on her arm.

Sensing this as the arm upon which it perched began to tremble, the bird hopped to the woman’s shoulder and saw the maturing scar.

“My apologies,” the peregrine uttered in what sounded like a human whisper. Then without announcement it launched itself into the darkening sky.

The woman, the traveler, turned toward the light pack she had placed upon a rock, lifting it over the long-healed shoulder. She set off on a brisk pace. The last light of dusk would not sustain her through the path to the next shelter.

As she walked, the injured arm swung at her side. She felt her own blood trickle down, warm against her skin. She could not know then that the blood spattered all the way down to the ground, and nourished it.
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An earlier form appeared here

Written by thedoe

December 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Quiet Child

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There is just myself. I am happy. Contented. I live a simple and minimalist life. I thrive in the quiet, teaching myself. I am a curious little child playing with my toys in the sandbox. Alone and absorbed, the landscape of sand greens with valley and meadow grass in my mind. But a noise comes from the hall, from out the room. Voices carry through the concrete, loud and panicked. Some laced with anger, others of despair and suffering. In my quiet room I stand, my hand on the door.

Written by thedoe

December 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Posted in Telling a story

Prayer Before a Meal

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Prayer Before a Meal

I remember that one Christmas brother brought home a friend from his church and that first awkward meal (was it dinner?) when brother said grace at father’s signal. Was it brother’s victory then? That finally he could bring God into the house by way of our stomachs? I was ill at ease. How considerate we can be, sometimes. How we pretend so that people do not worry for us and our waywardness. Something blasphemous had happened and it came with the stranger who was the household guest. It was sacrilegious to say grace over the family table where meals never begin or end with prayer to silent and deaf gods. How easily we tramp on the sacred for propriety, and so after hearing wide-eyed my brother’s pleas to his father God, I asked for the rice to be passed and wolfed down my food, intent on getting excused from the table as soon as I could.

Written by thedoe

December 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Posted in Telling a story

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A Variation

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Then he bolts, arms swinging in a run –
So beautiful, so ripe, this run away, this story –
On a train, leaving and arriving somewhere –
You, on the chase –
It is like this other story –
But he stalked. She ran.
Also, you are no god.
And how to bring in the trees?
Now it is more like that other story, maybe.
Closing the gap, until that last dash.
But so close, each time.
So very close you could almost write it –

Written by thedoe

October 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Posted in Telling a story

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Surgery

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One day it just happened, she clawed around the rib cage, confident,
feeling around the soft interior of that cramped cavity, parting flesh
where it barred the way. She went, through the maze of bone and cartilage,
until her fingertips brushed the firm wall of a beating heart,
her heart, all muscle, all strength, so strong for a tiny tissue glob.

Her one hand wrapped around it as in a mitten holding something warm,
or better, as in a mitt catching a ball. But this ball pulsed as she tightened her hold
into a grip, and swift as thought ripped it loose from the vena cava, violent,
but clean.

She quickly slipped the heart into a washed mayonnaise jar,
turned the lid shut with a bloody hand. There was no need of formalin;
hearts could live outside the body. There was no need,
with none to preserve.

She pushed the jar into a shelf of many other old compartmentalized hers.
In a moment, the water was running.
She hummed as the soap lathered in her hands.

Written by thedoe

June 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm