For the record, this poem is not inspired by my current love. But it did come to me, so I’m honoring the impulse. Maybe it is about your relationship?
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The theme is, Catharine Bramkamp
Wander through the local book store
Observe how many shelves in the local book store
Notice the many books on the shelves Many books
Pick up the hard covers, the trade, the bargain
Hate john Irving because he published at 26 and you are 56
Resent the writers who are always short listed for a Pulitzer
Detect a trend in the prize lists
Notice you are not part of that trend
Decided to distrust any book described as luminous
Promise not to buy any book described as a brilliant first foyer into the literately field.
Wish you had a better marketing team
Realize you are the marketing team
Order a dirty martini
Be pleased the olives are served on the side –
So there’s more room for the gin
Either feel grateful there are so many wonderful stories to buy
Or depressed that you are merely part of the problem
Finish the drink
Eat the olives
Send the book to your publisher anyway.
Inspired by the afternoon after I finished the third round of edits for Future Sky, the fourth in the Future Girls series.
Sam found a tin full of gas, surrounded
by skeletons with long fingered hands
Mad Max meets O. Henry
he grinned. We need a worthy receptacle.
It took hours until they found a sports car
low to the ground, fast he promised.
It roared to life cutting off every other
possible sound, she clutched the seat, the window
screaming like the demons from hell
She never moved this fast.
Sam yelled straight from his soul
They careened through the flat desert
in a more or less straight line.
Sound trailed behind them – 100 miles an hour
Took care of the next seven days, he grinned like a maniac.
Her heart was forever damaged
by all that speed. She just knew it.
Can we do it again?
Ketchup bottles red as the setting sun
Absorbing all the light
the old waitress served them ketchup and road kill
specialty of the house
The Last Café on Earth
I was in the meat freezer
I hate it in there.
So of course I was trapped for like
All that cold meat
Her nametag read Fran
which was not her real name – just the name left
She fingered her tight neck
The pink scars growing up over her sharp chin.
Tell me again about the Mother God.
Careless children, the same children
Who cracked Pandora’s box
Unlocked blue beard’s last room
Inspired the flood
The angry god hunted and destroyed
But the Mother God patiently
gathered body parts flung across the Nile or
the whole universe
and reassembled those back into a better man
missing only an eye, back of a heel, sometimes a hand
she watches over us
The girl concluded.
The waitress sighed
Sam rolled his eyes
They grew bolder as the leaders lost
brothers, hands, teeth, brothers
no job was too awful, that was the legend right?
They quizzed the Drummer
Weren’t they the stuff of old legends?
Billy the Kid, Dillinger, the Okay Corral.
He didn’t have the heart or the balls
to describe the sacrifices legends require.
It was easier to find notebooks and pens
In the abandoned Union Station stores – than cans
Here, he tossed her a fruit pie
and Dr. Pepper because that was all that was left
eat this, you will live forever.
She clutched a new notebook to her chest.
Yes, she could live forever.
The wind turbine over the Last Stop Saloon
thrummed in the sky
Come, charge for free, called the owner
although there is little to say.
She offered a cupcake
Too fat, the girl automatically announced, recognizing the object
As a no in the magazines
Ah, the woman bit into the cupcake.
Just so you know,
here. Along the edges of the world
we all eat dessert first.