Micropoetry Monday: The Writer’s Life

Writer's Life

The Shutterfly Edition

The young reporter’s first job
was editing the obituaries.
For the elderly,
they were celebrations of life;
for the young,
they were a mourning
for all the life
they could have lived.

Paige Bookbinder wasn’t much of a public speaker
(privately, she rocked it),
but the words she put to paper
would endure longer
than the voice in which she spoke them.
Learning to overcome her fear of speaking
in front of a group of any size
would enrich her life now,
even as the words she’d leave behind
for others to read in their own minds
would ensure her legacy.

Her authorship had once meant something,
but when she worked for the one
who only cared if she was the subject,
she realized that she had to write something
so great,
someone else would be compelled
to write about it.

Fiction Friday: Poetry from the Book

The idea of living in a home for unwed mothers,
of passing one’s child off as their sibling,
or that having a baby out of wedlock
would hurt a woman’s chances of marriage
was so foreign to me,
reminding me not of another place
but another time.
Living the Mormon life was like living in the Fifties,
or how I imagined living in the Fifties was.
Yes, they were a peculiar people,
who wore the cloak of victimhood
like a medal of honor.
They had been persecuted,
just as Jesus had.
Joseph Smith had been jailed,
just as Jesus had.
And they called themselves saints,
even as Jesus had been the saintliest of all.

In the Mormon Church,
one was born without sin,
but in the Catholic Church,
every child was born in sin—
passed down from the mother
like some debilitating disease,
thus, the necessity for infant baptism.
But what of those unborn
who could not be sprinkled with holy water—
who had thrashed around in amniotic fluid?
Did they atone for their original sin
with their life—
or just their chance at it?
I didn’t know it then,
but I would come to know God’s infinite grace
for those who had sinned
& those who had been sinned against,
as I was the latter,
who then became the former.

The Schafer home was a Mormon version of the Cleavers.
Pictures of Jesus & the various temples around the world
hung in leather frames on the wall,
giving them the importance of a museum painting or an ancestral portrait.
The Saints may not have worn Jesus’s corpse around their necks like the Catholics
or covered their cars with Bible quotes like the Deep South Protestants,
but their houses were a shrine to the Mormon Jesus,
to Joseph Smith,
& to everything that told anyone who entered
that they were a latter-day saint
in this new dispensation.

Micropoetry Monday: The Writer’s Life

Writer's Life

The Shutterfly Edition

She hated starting her day with business,
but she loved ending it with pleasure,
& when she made writing not only her work
but her way of life,
every day was a joy,
for through that writing,
she connected with others
by telling their stories
& in sharing hers.

Novella & Novelette,
the Italian & French literary expatriates
who came to America in a giant plum,
learned that just as there was a time to write
& a time to edit,
there was always a time to read.

She was the Grammar Queen,
he, the Punctuation King,
but when they were stung
by the Tory,
Spelling Bee,
they no longer knew
how to capitalize on their gifts,
& their crowning achievement
became
learning how to dress
their well-spelled word salad.

Micropoetry Monday: The Writer’s Life

Writer's Life

The Shutterfly Edition

She wrote about “Florida Woman,”
he, “Florida Man,”
each always seeking to outdo the other
by finding the most outrageous characters
who had done the most outrageous things;
but when the newspaper had to cut corners,
namely, their offices,
leaving these columnists feeling several stories too short,
they had to reinvent themselves in this new era
of shrinking newsrooms,
so they collaborated on the “People of Pensacola” project,
humanizing those they had once lampooned.

When Passive Voice met Active Voice,
Active believed ze was editorially superior
while Passive believed ze was the target
of numerous microaggressions,
perpetrated by English teachers,
but when they met Passive-Aggressive,
who wasn’t just talk,
P & A literally joined forces,
realizing that both had their place—
Active, when the question was “Who?”
& Passive,
when the question was “Who cares who?”

When Scholar Lee wrote her story
in the 1st person,
she was accused of making it all about herself;
when she revised it to reflect the 2nd person,
she was accused of telling her readers what to think;
when she rewrote it in the 3rd,
she was accused of being a know-it-all,
so she decided that she would write poetry,
where the only voice that mattered
was her own.

Micropoetry Monday: The Writer’s Life

Writer's Life

The Shutterfly Edition

She was a washed-up comedy writer
whose life was always taking serious turns,
turning her security-seeking self into a risk-taking one
because circumstances kept giving her no choice.
She drove a car with several dings that had given her cha-ching,
though now she could only open the doors from the outside,
so heaven help her if those windows quit working.
She lived on continental breakfasts at random hotels
& fancy leftovers from board meetings,
but never did the water that ran yellow
through the Pensacola pipes pass her lips,
for even though she may have been all washed up,
she had inadvertently made it happen
with the best Olay body wash her coupons could practically buy.

He was a nosy reporter,
she, a mouthy writer,
& together,
they not only captured the smells & tastes
of the world around them,
but they beat every lawsuit for slander & libel
that was leveled against them.
With his nose for news
& her gift of gab,
they leveled their opponents so swiftly,
they didn’t know what hit them,
though if anyone asked,
they would say it felt like
18 wheels & a dozen benders.

For him,
the clients were always ruder,
the women, fatter,
& his workday worse than the day before.
According to her,
her grandmother had played Sarah on The Andy Griffith Show,
her father was an illegitimate direct descendant of Diamond Jim Brady,
& she, the reincarnation of Bettie Page before her pin-up years.
Being tellers of big windies,
they always tried to blow the other away
with their vast stores of hot air,
so that as their stories got taller,
their credibility got smaller
& their notoriety got bigger.
When they realized the diamond mine they had
in spinning tangled yarns,
they made money cranking out fake memoirs—
paid for by GoFundMe accounts.