Pawn to King Four. The price of admittance.
And I earn a knight that shadows my very position.
Shall it be a war of attrition?
Or can a bishop angle in and hold ebony at bay, on restriction?
Long enough for my ivory tusks to sally up and slay.
A castle carried out then condemns this.
As their Rook & King Jet
In a Two part Two piece play.
That nullify’s a previous alabaster parlay.
Now I can dance around the question
"Is it black or white?" all day.
Until one can’t remember anything before?
All the grey I’m stepping in per say.
It’s like pulling teeth getting anything off the back line of the good guise.
A ransom does hand some a cheeky check? Checkmate guys.
I try to let them win me over.
So maybe I’ll leave em be.
Next thing I’m picking em off unconsciously.
If it’s found foreign to the topography?
A fact I can’t except subconsciously.
The dirty nails that pick em off?
Do what’s got to be.
If it wasn’t for hydrogen peroxide.
I’d be a digit or two down the dark side.
Done counting to twenty piggy’s
Sum of Which?
Concerns Craft of Witch.
A batched brewed to glitch.
The Itches that trigger my toes groves and holds noses hostage as everyone knows.
None better than worst
It ain’t roses.
But at least it distracted me from scratching at rashes. Picking scabs. Doing a general disservice to ones own health.
Silent: while raging on the inside
if i could just punch you like you punch me,
maybe all of this would be history
(I just want out of this confined misery)
You don’t want Nunchuck
"Hey Bruce! You got an extra pair of those?"
"For you? I’ve none Chuck!"
(Chuck Norris questioning Bruce Lee)
Ten reasons I’ve been mostly absent from Prose, in no particular order
which is a lie, of course, because they’re arranged at least somewhat for narrative effect, but anyway
1. February meant new semester with new students in new classes, which is absorbing and rejuvenating as well as more work. And as February continued,
2. I moved into February break and being home with the kids for a week, which meant more free time overall, but meant fewer occasions of “I need to kill five minutes” or “I’m going to jab a red pen in my eye if I read one more crappy student paragraph, time to read on Prose” breaks. Simultaneously,
3. I did my second stint of quarantine because a student tested positive in my class, and thus by order of Public Health could not leave my property for seven days (as I learned of the exposure three days after the fact). Such circumstances can screw with one’s headspace, and I am now appreciating how valuable dog walks around town are for my creative and/or ruminating process, as, relatedly,
4. I was in a creative lull for a stretch, characterized less by deep delving and more by desultory picking. I didn’t really do a lot of writing or reading during this timeframe, and instead
5. I watched a bunch of Breaking Bad (a season and a half to go and likely to binge watch on Saturday, when I plan to be ill from second Moderna dose side effects OR feel pleasantly surprised if I’m fine). Additionally,
6. Big Brother Goron is obviously in the lowest level of the Goron city during the kid phase of Ocarina of Time, not at the top where I pissed around trying to walk straight on a diagonal rope with a joystick for longer than I care to admit before I dropped the game for other pursuits. Thus, when I sat down to continue my in-order-of-release Zelda playthrough I rapidly made a bunch of progress. This playthrough represents a more vital piece of business than you might think, as I’ve really been going at a snail’s pace and want to be sure to get at least through Majorca’s Mask before my friend asks for his Wii U back, and I clearly cannot count on everything getting ported to the Switch. Eventually, I laid off the gaming once I was again free to walk through the winter streets at midnight, and almost immediately,
7. I poured the creative burst I felt into the novel I’m working on, and it felt good. As I write this, I’m up to 23,000 words in the seven months since I started by posting an excerpt of The Ghosts on the Glass for the Trident eternal challenge thingy. (Yeah, I know – I’m slow; there’s a reason why NaNoWriMo sounds like the worst idea ever for me.) I got 2500 decent words in three days, whereas I had not so much written as churned out 1700 in the entire preceding month, and they weren’t that good, BUT
8. Fresh eyes will let me go back to that lackluster chapter and make it not suck, and I have been gifted some insight about how to do that (name check: you rock, @TomJonas). Solid revision of a chapter is very exciting to me, but something I personally categorize as off-site writing, so I will likely not be posting any new pieces of length to Prose for a bit. I’ll try to get back to my stated goal of posting something at least one a week, even if brief. The exception will be if I do throw a longer entry into the monthly challenge. I will confess that
9. I have mixed feelings about the serial killer in the past challenge. And that’s not about the limitation to Prose Gold members, because I get that—site maintenance bills to pay and all that, and with participation in the monthly challenge having notably declined in the past 18 months even to my casual eyes, I understand the format change experiments. But for my own part, I tend only to do challenges when they really grab me. There’s an extent to which polishing another piece for submission represents me robbing Peter to pay Paul, as I do want to maintain forward movement on the aforementioned novel (you know, so that it can go noplace more quickly). The open-ended challenges tend to spark me more, e.g. “write a poem about America,” and at least to my taste, the present monthly challenge is a bit on the prescriptive side. That being said, I do have a fun idea that I’ve toyed with, and I told myself that if it got up to 7 or 8 entries, I’d put one in to help it reach the minimum, as it’s a little sad when a challenge falls short on technicalities. All of which amounts to a “maybe.” Regardless, I look forward to reading some of them. And if you’re reading this, probably reading a lot of your stuff. I am very, very behind on my Prosing. Sorry…
10. I lied again. Turns out I only had nine reasons. Currently listening to the newest album by The Pretty Reckless. Good stuff. Hey, did you know Prose’s very own @paintingskies has a chapbook coming out soon? I’ve ordered and I’m excited. There’s an order link here on her website: https://samanthafain.weebly.com/ Sam is talented and kind and generally awesome, and I will delete this bit of shilling if she asks me to, but I support supporting her work.
“Nature’s first green is gold”
A gold that scatters about
And hides beneath the brown
Or writhes around trees’ crowns
Mist drapes tentatively around emaciated tree branches
Citadels all around me—
Standing guard, guarding the
Door of Death until that day sweeps in
Fallen logs sleep on the ground
While squirrels seek to disturb their rest
Golden seashells ornament the feet of Neptune
And with each gentle motion, four more kiss his soles
A hidden trail greets my eyes and I
Choose to leave this golden dream
To seek my own reality
Even that one word triggers lost memories
Like your great-great-grandpapa’s name
Like the smell of salty sandwich pickles
Like that embarrassing outfit you wore to school
Is the mist that snakes around the mountain
Is Fido’s quiet lapping of water
Is the sticky lollipop left too long on the kitchen counter
Comes like spring rain
Riding on a speeding train
Ensnares the memories--bitter, sweet--like a fishing net
And drops them
Into black rivers
I wade into the water
Seeking for the pieces of me
Before I get too old
Before I forget what it’s like to remember
no echoes left
you are free
you will leave
Stairs Don’t Care
Stairs balk at talk -
they’ve seen too much -
life’s ups and downs,
Knocked out teeth
beneath the heath.
up the stairs
into their lairs,
they got their kicks
before parents caught
them in their tricks.
ground into stairs.
stairs don’t care
they don’t talk,
all that weight,
of sorrows, cares,
worn by jocks.
Stairs too slick
to talk at all.
But listen with care
you’ll hear the stair
whisper with flair
into cool night air
while broken teeth
lie battered there.
Life is not static.
I never was
I moved, melted,