January 30, 2008

Little Slips

Something like sentimentality
shakes the house frame;
our watery past seeping
into the sub-floors again.
Yes, the floorboards are fortified—
the fourth basement especially
well-shored for surviving rough weather—
but a shuttering is off-putting
in any kind of jamb.
Is it fog out our window,
is it heat coming on,
is it settling into the creaks
and thumps of posterity?
A sleepy pillow shoved
at the bottom of the door
and, never mind, it was just
a little ole exorcism anyway.

January 24, 2008

JS Got Me Sick

I do believe
the lady’s contagious.
Her voice is loud,
the gossip’s outrageous,
but she doesn’t
see the need to rage thus.
With a sly wink
a light pat, a sage buss,
she cleverly
finds a way to assuage us.
“Tut tut, my love,
do be courageous.”

January 21, 2008

Hmmm, setting, you say...

Alice hears Leah hang up her phone on the other side of the cube wall. She raises her eyebrows at Freddy to let him know her time has come.
“Bye dude,” he says.
Alice resists the urge again to explain to him she is a dudette. He says goodbye like that to everyone. It’s one of the quirks that make him lovable. She finishes the five step journey to Leah’s side of the cubicle wall. Leah is typing an email.
“Just a sec,” Leah murmurs.
“Take your time,” Alice says. The production team is downstairs from her department and it’s unlikely anyone with real work for her to do will happen upon her here. Her purpose for seeing Leah could have easily been relayed by email or phone, but Alice was sick of looking at the pictures in her cubicle. She looks at the pictures in Leah’s: mushroom cloud, storm troopers, a cartoon of garden gnomes roasting a plastic pink flamingo on a spit…
“Here are your fucking ISBNs,” Leah mumbles as she types, “the same fucking ISBNs I sent you last fucking Tuesday. They are in the fucking folder. I put them in the fucking folder because you always complain you can’t fucking find them. May you fucking choke on them. Thank you, Leah Schultz.”
Alice Leahns forward to read the screen. As per your request on 1-16, I am sending you the ISBNs for the Dayle Screener report files, again. If you misplace the email with these ISBNs again you can locate them in the Dayle folder system on the common drive. They were posted to the folder “Dayle ISBNs” last week. Thank you, Leah Schultz
“How can you say one thing out loud while typing another,” Alice asks.
“I’m godlike,” Leah says. “What’s up?”
“I’m SAD.”
“Aren’t we all?”
“Freddy told me I’m SAD.”
“That bastard.”
Alice smiles.
“Seasonal affective disorder,” Freddy hollers louder than necessary considering he overheard them talking at normal volume. “She’s sad because there isn’t any sun.”
“’There isn’t any sun,’ isn’t that slogan for our company,” Leah smiles.

January 19, 2008

Last Saturday

Last Saturday has worked as I always hoped it would: this month's challenge inspired me to write another scene for a character who's story I've all but given up on. Perhaps there is hope for the Great American Novel yet. It's a small snipet for Alice, but it's more than I had before. That's a good enough reason for writing exercises once a month.

“It’s all your fault, you know,” Alice says to Freddy.
“My fault? Who me, what I do,” Freddy replies.
“You brought all this cold back with you from Michigan.”
“Who went to Michigan, I didn’t go to Michigan.”
“I thought you went back home to Michigan for Christmas,” Alice says.
“No, my mom came from Michigan to visit us this year. It’s too cold up in Michigan.”
“Oh, so it’s your mom’s fault.”
“What can you do,” Freddy shrugs.
“Well tell her I don’t appreciate it.”
“I’ll tell her. No more cold. Alice said so.”
“That’s right,” Alice smiles. “I don’t do well in cold. I know it’s cliché, but I really think it’s making me moody.”
“It’s not cliché. They’ve scientifically proven it. If people don’t get enough good weather they get depressed. They call it seasonal affective disorder. In Michigan they used to always do stories about people moving from Florida and getting SAD and going bonkers.”
“I thought that was cabin fever,” Alice says.
“That too.”
“See. This weather sucks.”
“It’s supposed to be this way,” Freddy says with a slight lilt of concern.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s January. Cold and wet,” Alice sighs. “Well at least there’s a reason I’m like this. I’m SAD.”

January 17, 2008

Last Saturday

This is a challenge to charter members A and JS of the Big D Initiative, but any of you may play along—even if you don’t understand why the 19th is Last Saturday.
Any Edgar, Emily, or e.e. can write about the biggies—birth, death, love, birds—but what about the mundane? If everyone’s health and the weather are truly the most polite topics of conversation, I name them this month’s (that is, the next two days’) challenge.

January 2008 Last Saturday’s Theme: Health and Weather

January 15, 2008

And you?

A solid fiver plus change
and the weather forecaster giggles rain.
Ah, machete weather.
Let’s call it possibility not path,
a hacking cough to his or her
throat clearing.
Any questions?
Just the one, repeated thrice:
could you, would you,
won’t you please,
explain to us why you keep asking?
A bride’s good luck
in unslippery hands,
my ears won’t pop,
and the question stands
because I’ve yet to find the answer
worth satisfying.

January 9, 2008

Altian, No. 2

Twilight winds away and with it takes my
suppositions of encountering him.
A waltz of hesitation and white lie
ensues to the agreeable chords of whim.
Strong back and unexpected forth play out
amid the sweet gestures of decorum.
Blue eyes step up and smile comes about
in a way expected for this forum.
But manners and dusk act in collusion
throwing off my tranquil procession.
Should I allow myself brief delusion
or again give logic my concession?
Does the world hold a greater joy to know
than the one I have found in his hello?

January 8, 2008

If you can't be a vanilla latte...

The Recipe For Anne

3 parts Grace
2 parts Ambition
1 part Mania

Splash of Inspiration

Finish off with a little umbrella and straw

January 4, 2008

The Fifth Dinner Guest

An unfolding napkin
gently collapsing
into the supporting role
of the evening.

A graceful artifice
faintly subsiding
into the pull and tuck
of the gathering.

The corner of the mouth
softly acquiescing
to the light touch
of fate.

January 1, 2008

Ahhhhh, 2008

As I celebrated the first day of 2008 by cooking myself a frittata whilst sipping a mimosa and watching the Rose Parade, I decided, life ain’t bad. I feel quite adult (and oh so tre chic) going into this year.

Yesterday, and last year, I was going through my journals in a nostalgic sort of way. I found a poem I wrote to conclude 2006. It was quite bittersweet, as was the year in question for me. I was thinking I should write a similar farewell to 2007, but when I sat down to try I had no luck. Perhaps because 2007 wasn’t bittersweet. Also, when I started to think about it, there weren’t any big significant happenings for me last year. Don’t get me wrong, I had some good times, some great adventures, and a couple petty heartaches along the way, but there weren’t any notables. No graduations or births or travesties to refer back to as, “Oh, that was 2007.”

It was a big year my friends. Right off hand, I can think of a wedding, two engagements, and a baby. Oh yeah, and my best friends in the whole world have decided to leave me to move to Vermont. (Do you know the annual snowfall of Vermont?! Well, neither do I, but the fact that they have an annual snowfall!! Oh wait, I was going to be more supportive this year…) Which I totally support the fact that my best friends in the whole world are moving to Vermont. But I have no such news for me. When I think about what I did in 2007, my biggest accomplishment is surviving a rough year at work. That’s not a good story to tell possible future grandchildren.

To be honest, 2008 seems no different. Last night, my friend kept pestering me for better resolutions. Apparently, “keep my budget” and “floss regularly” weren’t enough for her. To be honest, it’s not really cutting it for me either. What happened to my big ambitions and heady dreams? Is this what maturity is, a practical view of the reality at hand? Well, to heck with that. (I also resolved to cuss less.) Somewhere out there must be something nigh impossible to throw my heart and soul at.

I’m open to suggestions. (No JS, I’m not going to move to Vermont with you.) Right now, all I can come up with is I need to change my calendars and clean the dishes from cooking the frittata. Not quite quixotic, nes pas? (Apparently I’m going to replace the cussing with random smatterings of bad French.) I’m not really complaining. Adulthood isn’t the worst thing in the world to be stricken with. It’s not so bad to say that 2007 was a nice average year. All the same, I hope this maturity is short-lived and 2008 features some sort of tornado of ridiculous ambition.