The Loveliest Bones

Bebe shoes

Since reaching late thirtysomething,
Anne had wanted to know what it was like
to have a child who would tell her she loved her
without prompting,
& the awareness she saw in the weeks-old bundle
was sometimes more than she had seen
in the years-old bundle
who was crawling towards the age of accountability.
As she looked at her children,
one cradled in one arm,
the other,
snuggled under the arm that had yet to fall asleep,
she knew there was not one daughter she preferred over the other,
for how could one choose a right eye over a left?
This mother—
a family tree whose feminine, blue-eyed branches
reached for the sun in opposite directions—
brought the fruits of her labours closer to Solomon’s twin fawns.
When Anne of the 1000-plus days looked to her husband,
the king of her 900-square foot castle,
she saw confirmation & absolution of her beliefs,
reflected & shining from within the deep green pond,
for to this ageing former head-banger now headmaster,
they had the best of both worlds:
a child who may never leave them
& a child who may know well enough to do so.

Micropoetry Monday: Opposites

Opposites

The Shutterfly edition

He was a movie star,
she, a stage actress.
For him,
life was a series of endless retakes,
for her, endless rehearsals.
He wanted his performances
to be seen by the masses,
& she,
the elite.
They each sought to be remembered
differently—
he,
through those who would enjoy him in the spirit,
& she,
through those who had enjoyed her in the flesh.

He had the knack
for making money,
even as his wife
had the know-how for raising it,
but when he got all mixed up
with “the other woman”
who only knew how to spend it,
he fathered the child
who left him spent.

Her face graced the covers
of every magazine,
his disgraced the front page
of every newspaper,
but when one saw beyond
her made-up looks
& scripted lines,
when they saw beyond
his words,
taken out of context,
& his works—
the intents of which
were misunderstood—
the reasonable person
understood
that just as there was money
in building her up
to the point of deification,
there was just as much money
in tearing him down
to the point of demonization.

Micropoetry Monday: Opposites

Opposites

The Shutterfly edition

His life was spent seeking absolution,
hers, validation.
She sought
what she needed
through God’s images,
but he,
through God Himself.

He was a hospice worker
who sought to make comfortable the ill
& comfort the well.
She was a pathologist
who only dealt with the cadavers
that she disassembled.
He saw his patients as whole,
even as she saw her “visitors”
as parts of one.
She couldn’t deal with the
grieving family members
any more than he could deal
with the body after the soul
had left it.
Their vocations–
his, a calling,
hers, a trade–
was all the reason why
he came home to an empty,
fifth-floor walk-up,
& she surrounded herself
with the presence of so many
who were so full of life.

Money was the only thing
that ever came between them;
he made not enough,
& she made too much.

Micropoetry Monday: Opposites

Opposites

The Shutterfly edition

She was the art of language,
he, the science.
She knew how to get them to feel
& discuss what they felt,
even as he knew how to move them,
to manipulate them,
into action.
The first did it to further her own cause—
that of her survival—
the latter did it to further a cause
he saw as greater than himself
but which he himself was a part of.

She was foreplay,
he, wordplay,
which made for a powerful coupling,
for she didn’t waste time talking,
& he didn’t waste time doing.

No one could hear
the introverted writer’s mispronunciations,
nor could they see
the extroverted public speaker’s typos,
but when they had to do
a PowerPoint presentation together,
they had to strengthen their weaknesses
by learning from what the other did.

Micropoetry Monday: Love Story

Sepia heart.jpg

He wouldn’t have loved her whole,
but when he became half a man,
he loved her wholly,
for she was willing to be
his more able half.

In the worst of times,
she wanted to set their life on fire,
drown his sorrows with gasoline or
punch hers into confetti,
for the entire picture was too painful
to take in all at once;
in the best of times,
she forgot the worst of times.

He took a vow,
she took an oath.
Though his wife was difficult,
& her terminal patients were
in pain,
they remained steadfast,
but when his wife left him
& a particular patient passed away,
he found refuge in the nurse,
& she,
as a wife with but 1 patient:
her husband.

She Said, He Did

It was the morning after she’d said no,
and she rose with the sun alone.
She’d had a good time, and sometimes,

that’s all it was–
one night of a hundred others,
sifting through those who either wanted to make a dishonest woman out of her
or crown her as the heroine of their love story.
But the sun seemed just a little bit brighter
when her phone rang,
and he asked her out again,
already knowing what her answer would be then,
and what it would be once again at the end of the night.

Deep Exploration

When they explored the land,
they saw how the faster travel and communication became,
the smaller the world became.

When they explored the spaces beneath them,
they saw the dark side of the earth–
an underworld untouched by the living
but populated by the dead.

When they explored the space above them,
they were in wonder of all they did not know
and all they could not see.
And it was there they hovered–
in awe of the God who would not show His face,
but had set it all in motion,
this God whose voice was unheard
but whose signature was on everything.

When they explored one anothers’ bodies,
making love on the beach at low tide
where the honeymoon rose and set on their salt-beaded skin,
their hair like the rim of margarita glasses,
they lost themselves in each other,
even as they found themselves in awe of one another
and of everything they were;
for they were the dust of earth,
even as they were the debris of the heavens,
rearranged in such a way
that made them perfect for each other.

Book Review: What Alice Forgot

201506-summer-reading-12-949x1356 (1)

On the surface, this was a breezy, light-hearted romp about a woman who loses the last 10 years of her life via amnesia.

However, once I read past the first few chapters, I realized that it had more depth, though I found myself wanting more out of this book than it wanted to give.

The book’s overall message (to me) was that kids and shared memories are enough to hold a marriage together, even when both parties don’t change anything about themselves, but rather, just accept that such is married life. (And that sleeping with other people while separated is acceptable.  Why are you dating anyone when you’re just starting to get over a relationship, when you’re not even divorced yet?  What is wrong with being single for a while and getting your life back in order first?)

The premise reminded me of my own life, and how different I am at 37 than I was at 27–before marriage and a child–and how horrified I know I would feel to wake up at not only being married to a stranger, but a mother to a little one.

When I was in my twenties, I was rather la-di-da, but once I became a wife and mother in my thirties, it was as if I’d been under a spell that had finally broken.  It was as if something in me had snapped, and I realized I needed to get serious about my life.  My 27-year-old self wouldn’t recognize my 37-year-old self (though I think she would very much approve). 

Eerily, Alice’s progression very nearly mirrored mine.

I thought the mysterious Gina (or rather, the idea of her was more fascinating as she got so little screen time) could’ve been developed so much more, as she had such an influence on Alice.  However, I abolutely hated the parts told from Frannie’s point-of-view; her story (told through letters to her dead fiance) about her new boyfriend was boring as hell and added absolutely nothing.

The relationships Alice had with her husband and boyfriend did not interest me, as those men were crashing bores–bland, bland, bland.

Though I enjoyed Elizabeth’s story (told via letter to the even more mysterious “Dr. Hodges”), I didn’t like that her whole existence was dependent upon someone else’s.  If things hadn’t (magically) worked out in her favor, she would’ve never been able to get it together.

The ending, set 10 or so years into the future, was a nice touch, but rather unsatisfying, as there wasn’t a good case for it to end the way it did.  I felt like the book ended up being more of a “love conquers all” story than a self-love story of how a woman took an unexpected vacation from herself to become her best self.  

Overall, Moriarty gets a B-.  She did a great job characterizing the kids and some of the more minor characters.  I absolutely loved the idea about the giant lemon meringue pie made using construction equipment.

“Alice” just could’ve used a bit more editing and tighter writing.

 

Kandi Barr’s Quandary

When a beau broke up with her
(it was never the other way around),
she turned to Mr. Goodbar.
When she lost another job
(always a dead-end one),
she found a Payday.
When she needed a break from the world
(a world where size 28W was hard to find),
she opted for a Milky Way.
When she didn’t know what the hell she wanted,
she went for a Whatchamacallit.
Then she met the man
who gave her a 100 Grand–
a man who knew she was the one–
even though he couldn’t wrap his arms around her.
The fact that she was king-sized & marshmallow-soft
appealed to him,
so when she became happy,
the stress (& the fat) melted away,
but so did his fat fetish-based love.