#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

While Caitlin had gone to my father’s grave
to pay respects to a dead man,
Mother & I had gone to Church
to pay respects to the dead
Son of God.

Even as David had kept secrets from my mother,
he had kept secrets from me,
yet there wasn’t one secret either of us kept from him.

Machines had kept my father’s body alive,
his soul hovering in Purgatory,
while Mother & David had enjoyed heaven
through adultery.

Mother was as Goddess,
for she had taken us to an empty grave,
only to resurrect my father from the dead
with a few words.

Had David allowed my father to die,
he could’ve loved my mother without sin.
For her,
he had risked his eternal life,
even, in her own way,
she had considered herself
above God’s law.

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Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #476: Spring

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One Woman’s Life

When time sprang forward,
she fell behind–
trying to catch up on her sleep,
catch up on her life–
a life she often felt got away from her.
For one week,
with abbreviated visits
to the land of shuteye town,
she muddled through her mornings,
her afternoons,
her evenings,
as if she were high on diphenhydramine.
But then Spring Break came,
and she was able to,
for once,
think about something other
than moving (if not shaking)
her moneymaker,
unless shaking her head
at her husband counted.

https://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/wednesday-poetry-prompts-476

#Micropoetry Monday: The Writer’s Life

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She took inspiration from their expiration,
internalizing their words &
externalizing the actions those words provoked.

When she wrote for the newspaper,
she periodically became a better writer,
increasing her creative circulation.
Though she wasn’t an MD or PhD,
her ID was somewhere between MLA & APA.

He was a famous plagiarist,
stealing the words of his betters,
until he wrote the story of his ill-gotten fame,
& his victims became his lessers.

Book Review: The Husband’s Secret

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Is it possible to enjoy a book even if you don’t like (or relate to) any of the (main) characters?

Yes, for such was the case with The Husband’s Secret.

Because the plot was compelling (e.g. The DaVinci Code), I couldn’t put it down.  Compelling characters, however, give a book “re-readability,” so this story was a one-time read.

One of the most frustrating things about this book was the hook; it hooked, but it took a helluva long time for Cecilia to get around to opening that letter.  But, this nasty little trick kept me reading when I should’ve been sleeping. Another reviewer pointed out that this letter over which there’s all this brouhaha, we don’t even get to read in its entirety.

This book would’ve been improved if all that business about the Berlin Wall had been scrapped.  I didn’t need a boring history lesson that had little to do with the book. I get it: If a kid has a hobby, like collecting rocks, mention a few interesting factoids to “make it real,” but don’t include a lengthy geology lesson.  

Now I’m going to say something about women authors, many of whom are guilty of this:  They portray a fat woman (never a fat man) as never being able to attract a man; even the heavy ones (authors) do this.  Truth: A lot of fatties have sexual relationships and even get married (and not even always to other fatties).

On Rachel:  She was a total jerk to her daughter-in-law (who seemed like a decent person); rather, Rachel lavished all her love on her grandson but didn’t bother trying to love his mother; all the love she gave her grandson, she withheld from her son.  She wasn’t just a mom who made mistakes; she was a bad mother.

When we go back to Janie’s (Rachel’s daughter’s) time in 1984, and she mentions she wishes she could text or email, it’s so false, as there was no way this teenage girl was thinking about how she wished she could do something that didn’t exist yet, unless her character was the type to dream stuff like this up.

On Cecelia:  Extremely self-absorbed.  Her husband’s (John-Paul’s) self-flagellation was obnoxious.  I could not bear either one of them. She was a terrible person, too.

On Tess:  The least interesting of the three protagonists but the least whacked.  

The premise of her story didn’t seem real but rather, a random plot device thrown in, and her revelation about something she’s been suffering but never had a name for wasn’t that earth-quaking.  

I do think her description of her relationship with her “best friend”–with whom she snickered at the other players of life on the sidelines–was a great one, but it went beyond that:  Even if I didn’t feel my friend was a threat (in this case, because she was fat), I still wouldn’t want another woman living in my home with me and my husband.

That’s just weird.  Wouldn’t you want privacy?

I didn’t like Tess’s husband (what a ninny!), but she should have told him what transpired after she left; he started it but did she ever finish it.  Talk about taking advantage of a bad situation!

My biggest beef was that the storyline with Tess and Connor just didn’t tie in that strongly with the other ones.  (I think Moriarty was just trying to follow the “rule of three.”) It was also the weakest and the least interesting of the three stories.

I found it hard to swallow that when Rachel finds out who the murderer is, she was okay with letting him/her go–even though she JUST tried offing the wrong person?!  I guess she felt she’d already gotten her vengeance sans the justice.

This book lacked all the charm and humor of Big Little Lies (I’m already sucked into the TV-series) and characters I could care about.  There may have been a few stereotypes in Lies, but at least they were grounded in reality.  The only characters I liked in this book were the minor ones, but maybe I just didn’t get to know them well enough (except for Connor, who was just an all-around nice guy).  

I thought the epilogue was interesting, though I do wish the truth about Janie had been revealed to the characters and not just the readers.  The alternate histories were rather fun–made me think a little bit about all that can happen when you zig rather than zag–even though I’m not sure they were necessary.

Though Secret was an interesting read, I prefer Moriarty’s light touch to her maudlin one.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

For I was told that I had loved the man who had given me life,
even as I loathed the woman who had helped him do it.
Catholicism had saved me in my unborn state,
& for that, I would be indebted to it forever.

My earliest memories
had been recorded on a machine
that was still rapidly developing,
so that they were subject
to tampering,
to being recorded over—
like a double exposure.

I trusted David with my heart & life & body
as surely as I trusted God,
whoever He was,
with my soul.

When I’d thought my father dead,
I’d hated him;
when I found him alive,
I loved him,
if for no other reason
than that I had been told I had,
indeed,
once loved him.

I’d visited an empty grave,
when I could’ve been visiting a living person.
Rather than stroll through the valley of the shadow
of another’s death,
I could’ve been living in the light
that was my life.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #475: By (mode of transportation)

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By Car:  Before We Loved Lucy

Before we loved Lucy, we loved Lila—
a 1992 Cadillac DeVille, owned only by the aging Poppies.

Lila was our first car together—$500 and pristine as the sugar white sands
of the Emerald Coast
with red-leather seats and curves of shiny chrome.

She took us to Heaven and back—
Heaven being the surf and sound sides of Pensacola Beach.

We never pierced her with cigarette ashes or tattooed her with bumper stickers,
however strategically placed.

Come morning, her top would be sprinkled with the crepe myrtle
and moist with the dew.
Lila’s character became more dear with every ding and scratch,
the chip in her windshield like the dimple of Shirley Temple.
Sometimes her perfume was Chick-Fil-A;
at others, the darkest roast at Starbucks.

She was there when we found our first home
and when I went back to school.
She was our shelter from the summer thunderstorms,
our cool respite from the oppressive, breathtaking humidity,
and the hearth that kept us warm during the icy, snowless cold of Southern winters.

She was our metal parasol from the golden globe that warped our milk chocolate bars
like the timepieces in Dalí’s, The Persistence of Memory.

She brought us home from our simple little wedding,
her rearshield saying “Just Married” in soapy, green paint,
and carried us away to our honeymoon at home, for home was Paradise.

She shuttled me to the hospital when, after a jalapeno burger with Cajun fries at Five Guys,
I went into labor and gave birth to our baby girl—our Hannah Banana Beth.
She was there to pick me up,
cradling our newborn like a porcelain doll.

The interior panel lights with her emblem were like the tusks of elephants
and added to her beauty;
her functionality was in her large trunk where we often packed fried chicken and potato salad
and glass bottles of RC Cola on ice.

She was the vessel who sailed me over the Three Mile Bridge
to the sparkling town of Gulf Breeze
where I would meet up with my WriteOn! Pensacola group—
a scenic drive during which I would listen to the local radio host
who was like a friend I had yet to meet,
the windows down, tangling my hair.

For my birthdays, she brought me to the boardwalk at the Cactus Flower Café;
for Christmas, she bore gifts only she was large enough to hold.

Like a priest, she heard all our arguments and make-ups and worries about the future.
She knew what we ate, the kind of music we liked, the things that made us happy or sad.

She was independence and the first car I owned who completely belonged to me.

She passed from her second life as an auto,
donating her organs to the local junkyard to be recycled,
though we still have photos of her and some of her jewelry in a shadowbox above our mantel.

Though we’ve moved on in different directions,
we, with another addition to our family and she, with a repurposing of her life,
we will never forget you, Lila, for you were our first.

Love, The Richards family, circa 2014

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https://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/wednesday-poetry-prompts-475

#Micropoetry Monday: Opposites

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She was the society pages,
he, the sports,
& the closest thing they had in common
was that he knew how to throw a ball,
even as she knew how to have one.

She was a living doll,
he, a living legend.
He was lauded for the uniform he’d worn,
even as she was worshipped
for the clothes she didn’t.

She was postcards & thank you notes,
he, e-mails & texts,
but they were high class,
for they had enough of it to know
that breaking up should only be done in person.
(Unless that other person was a psycho.)