Your judgments about cultures
are a matter for the Thought Police,
your judgments about counter-cultures are an anti-matter.
Your socks with flip-flops
are a matter for the Fashion Police,
your butterfly tattoos are an anti-matter.
Your overuse of commas and semicolons
are a matter for the Grammar Police,
your use of two spaces after every sentence is an anti-matter.
When I was a little girl,
I wanted to be a “beauty shopper”.
(I’d meant a hairdresser.)
I’m glad that never happened.
When I was a little girl,
I always wanted a dollhouse.
I’m okay that never happened.
When I was a little girl,
I wanted to be a writer,
but not necessarily a mother.
I’m glad I’m both.
When I was a little girl,
I wish we lived up North,
closer to extended family.
I’m okay that didn’t happen.
When I was a young woman,
I wanted to marry my first real boyfriend.
I’m extremely glad that never happened.
When I was in college the first time,
I thought I wanted to be a chef.
I’m glad I thought better of it.
When I worked for Lundgren’s Groceries,
I wanted to make it my career.
I’m glad they sold out,
or I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Looking back, I can see clearly now,
for the future that is now my present,
has cleared the rain of discontent.
When I look into the mirror now,
I see my path becoming straighter,
but not set in stone,
leaving room for things even greater.
For today’s prompt, take a word or two (I took it a step farther and used ALL of these: http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/wordsinvented.html) invented by William Shakespeare, make it the title of your poem, and write your poem.
What you are about to read is truly absurd (which is one of my favorite words, as it can be used to describe many things). It’s sort of a riches-to-rags story involving a dizzy redhead and is a satire/spoof of reality TV.
The Madcap Ginger
Lucinda Bahl catered and pandered to the one-percenters,
which was quite laughable,
as she thought they were greedy bastards
behind their majestic swagger.
She always greeted them quite obsequiously in disguise,
barefaced and blushing,
in a maid’s uniform concealing her tramp stamp—
a hint at her lower class from Flushing.
By dawn, she cleaned their houses;
by dusk, she cleaned their clocks.
In manic states of unrest and undress,
she was quite fashionable with body paint caked on as camouflage,
as she skulked through her employers’ McMansions,
replacing their Jackson Pollocks
with copies that mimicked the worthless works.
She was a zany, green-eyed bandit,
dauntless, equivocal and cold-blooded—
a klepto with dual personalities,
who often hobnobbed with her alter ego.
She drugged (or roofied) her masters,
rolling the women for their jewels,
then noiselessly, in bare feet,
tipsy-toed to the other side of the bed
and reached under the bedroom blanket for the family jewels.
Dressed as Greg Brady,
her eyes would turn dark with excitement as she hurried,
finishing with a gust of breath.
Her right hand knew not what her left one did,
and her arms were like those of Olympians.
Every year, she would have a baby bump,
which always aroused a kerfuffle.
DNA was a woman’s best friend,
and a compromise would be reached without a scuffle.
Mr. and Mrs. would negotiate for the baby,
in exchange for the boodle,
and none was the wiser,
for they didn’t use their noodle.
It was a safe bet for Lucinda Bahl–
this belle of the balls.
Being a millionaire heiress herself,
her father being the inventor of the Spice Racketeer,
and collapsible luggage,
she was still lonely.
Prone she was to metamorphize into a generous, frugal soul,
donating plasma for free juice and cookies,
which became a strange attention addiction.
Nevertheless, she was remorseless
when she was in her right mind (or left brain),
for she blamed the haves for the have nots,
that littered her lawn like gnomes with their deafening cries,
making her gloomy and disheartened.
Then it became apparent there was an outbreak
of some disease which caused lots of bloodstained puking,
an epileptic elbow,
and an eyeball so lazy it wouldn’t bother to open.
The only cure was a glass of skim milk,
which would ease the discontent.
It was quite the source of gossip.
The men (all friends) began to realize they’d been had,
and when Lucinda came to work wearing an eyepatch,
they decided to fix her unwelcome wagon once and for all.
They had suffered character assassination from the media,
and from countless anonymous online critics;
they had suffered savagery from their children,
torture from their wives,
who took delight in besmirching them to their mothers,
taking them to court and ruining their lives.
They wanted to charge Lucinda with unlawful seduction,
though they realized it was all circumstantial evidence,
for Yonkers was going bonkers with it.
Lucinda’s hair was no longer lustrous like sunshine,
her face radiant like moonbeams,
but lackluster and flawed.
She looked like the low-rent kind of broad
who lived rent-free in her head.
Lucinda the Accused,
became Lucinda the new star of TLC,
with lots of advertising from social media,
and with the backing of varied sponsors such as
Eastborough Baptist Church of the Quiverfulls.
“The Real Housemaid of NYC”, her label,
was obscene, but marketable,
and the gnomes had their hero.
Many assumed it had been a premeditated publicity stunt.
It was unreal, monumental,
this champion of the “working class”,
who was just a rehash of white trash.
She became a fixture on the cover of Starr–
a courtship that would last for 15 minutes.
However, it was never enough exposure,
and she got a show on MSNBC.
but an open platform to rant about the dangers of breathing
and anything Bush,
pandering to their audience of 1000,
impeding her stardom.
She missed the ratings,
and so she filmed herself submerging in a bathtub of iced tea,
complete with a Dalmatian,
uploading it to YouTube,
becoming a cult sensation.
However, her girls, once fans, had become jaded,
even though she got an interview with the President,
who was quite a pedant,
much to Fox News’ amazement.
Her daughters remained with their sperm donors,
in their birthplaces in the five boroughs of New York,
becoming Olympians in pole-vaulting.
Lucinda’s ill-gotten gains dwindled,
and she retired from her life of psychosis and crime,
feeling more secure in a place she belonged–
the last star of “Stars Behind Bars”.
She’d reached her summit,
like a great mountaineer,
but at the end,
had groveled for a sex change while on the mend.
The buzzer went off,
and Lucinda, now beached
and pumped full of meds,
awoke from her little trip back in time,
feeling tranquil without a dime.
Tis the end of my ode to those who dream of a life of reality stardom,
and to those who watch it.
Across the Sea
The day dawn is breaking,
the moon and stars are fading.
The cool water shimmers,
and I am but a glimmer
who floats with the flow.
I am not numb,
yet I feel no pain.
I have the vision of an eagle,
the hearing of an owl,
the smell of a bloodhound,
the taste buds of a child.
I am experiencing everything wonderful
all at once,
and I’ve only been out at sea for two days.
The morning ripens into afternoon,
the afternoon deepens into twilight,
and then the evening turns purple then black,
like a bruise.
The earth is dying once more,
only to be reborn with the coming sun.
I think of my husband,
then my child—
who was carried out like me,
many years ago now.
The coastline of Maine is becoming nearer,
I am so close.
It is the third day.
I see my husband standing on the sandbar,
looking neither near nor far.
“If ever I am lost,
I will find my way back to you,” I had said,
but he hadn’t believed me,
or so I had thought.
The tide carries me,
and I splash around his ankles,
for I am but ashes.
Life’s Awkward Moments
That moment when you’re volunteering in the hospital pharmacy, hold up a suppository and ask, “How can anyone swallow these?”
That moment when you ask if panhandling is a regional thing.
That moment you ask if freeballing is a sport in the Olympic games.
That moment when you spill a giant glass of ice water in someone’s lap and laughing hysterically while apologizing profusely.
That moment when you’re in a Pentecostal church for the first time, and someone starts shaking, and you try to get the person next to you to call a doctor.
That moment when the interviewer (at a place called “Hogi Yogi”) tells you he wants people who are hungry, and you tell him, “Well, I did just have breakfast.”
That moment when you’re at the deli, and the clerk asks what kind of fried chicken you want. You proceed to tell him all white meat, that you don’t like dark, and you suddenly realize there is a black person standing next to you.
That moment you walk around Target with someone for half an hour before you remember who they are.
That moment when you run into someone you unfriended on Facebook.
That moment when you run into someone who unfriended you on Facebook.
That moment when a guy asks if you have a Slim Jim (as he just locked his keys in his car) and you tell him you don’t think they taste very good (because you thought he needed a snack while he waited).
That moment when you share an article on “The Benefits of Bralessness” on Facebook, then realize that might be too revealing.
That moment when you call a “sir” a “ma’am”.
That moment when someone asks when you’re due (and you’re not expecting).
That moment when you’re at the ATM in the drive through at a bank and lock your keys in the car while it’s still running, as your arm wasn’t long enough to reach the portal.
That moment when your card doesn’t work at self-checkout and the voice says loud enough to scare the undead, “Card not accepted”.
That moment you learned that bunnies don’t lay eggs (but thought so because you had the Cadbury bunny stuck in your head).
Life is full of awkward moments.
It’s a great balancing act,
dancing all the while.
Sometimes it’s a ballet,
sometimes a waltz,
it’s something totally unrecognizable.
But that’s the kind of life worth living.
One Woman’s History
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” –St. Paul, First Corinthians
When I worked at Poet’s Coffee Corner,
I met the wrong man.
When I worked for the Book Nook,
I met the right man.
When I worked at Herb Spicer’s Pharmacy,
I married the right man.
When I worked there still,
I had our first child.
When I worked for the Café on the Bay,
I went back to school.
When I worked for How Now Ground Cow,
I had twins while finishing school.
When I worked for Sacred Heart Hospital,
my husband died and I had to finish growing up.
When I went to the Poet’s Coffee Corner one day,
for an espresso and a beignet,
by happenstance, I ran into that wrong man,
only to find that he who had been wrong for me before,
was right for me now.