Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Writing Prompt: Use These Three Words: Mint, Spare Change, and Confetti

     Please resist pointing out that "spare change" is two words. I already know this, and I didn't make up the prompt. I did; however, create something incredibly ridiculous out of it:

     “Hey do you have any spare change?” I turned to see an earnest young androgynous face peering out from under an overlarge hood. I muttered something about not carrying cash and began to walk away. “How about a mint?” I stopped in the midst of my escape. “A mint?” I asked.
“Yeah, see, I’m going to this interview downtown and I was told to bring a mint, some spare change, and some confetti.”
     I raised a brow. “I don’t believe you,” I said peering deep into the hood. “Why would your future employer ask you to bring confetti to an interview?”
     The face in the hood looked down at the sidewalk for a while, “I’m trying to be a magician,” he muttered. I must have continued looking skeptical because he came a little closer and whispered, “I feel like I’m David Copperfield reincarnated.” I didn’t object by saying David Copperfield was still very much alive. I frankly thought this young person was a little out of his mind. I decided to strike what I felt was a good balance and handed the young man some confetti in a little baggie. I was on my way to clown class and happened to have an extra bag in my pocket.
     His face lit up. “Hey thanks!” he said, “No one ever has confetti these days.”
“It’s hard to come by,” I said, “use it well.”
     He stared at me for a long time, too long I felt. “Why do you have this?” he said in a tone that conveyed that he trusted me about as far as he could throw me. “Listen, kid,” I said, “in times like these it is best to count your blessings and not look a gift horse in the mouth.” As soon as I used the old fashioned catch phrases I knew that if the kid was working as a free lance sniffer, he’d be onto me. There was a tense moment where we both sized each other up, but eventually the kid pocketed the bag of confetti and nodded slowly. I nodded back and he turned and walked down the street, hunched up against the cold protected by that ludicrously big coat.
     As he walked away I felt a little nervous. What if I’d given my confetti to a complete stranger who was just going to squander it? Lately the Anti-Entertainment industry had been cracking down pretty hard on confetti users. It wasn’t illegal yet, but you could still face severe ostracizing if you used it in front of the wrong people. Clowning wasn’t easy. I had already lost one apartment lease over it. My landlady tried to say it was because she saw me smoking inside, but I knew better. Plus, the kid could have been an agent, and I wouldn’t even know until I was suddenly struck from behind and arrested for some trumped up charge. I could not handle that in front of my co-workers. Especially Peanuts. That guy was such a jerk.
     I kicked at a puddle and immediately regretted it as the cold water seeped through my mesh tennis shoe. It was going to be a long day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How To Write of Love

It is easier to write the sadness
The dark you cannot understand
The heartbreak and mourning
It is easier to become cynical
And let your poems flow like tears
Down your page
But what can a poet in love tell you
What words can she say
That do not hint of mawkishness
That will tender the hearts
Of even the deepest cynics
I still write
But lately it has been slow thoughts of love
Not the pain of brokenness
That the broken world knows too well
But the giddiness and the skip-to-my-lou
For you, dear reader
I attempt to not shove
The candy coated cupcakes cast up as words of love
But I want to whisper the name of my beloved
Into every ear that hears me
And understands me not
Please do not think I’ve stopped my writing
Because I’m dizzy with joy
I’m just trying to relate
The pure unadulterated joy of late
Love rising like the sun in an exultation of birdsong
But there, I’ve dipped into silliness
And how can I tell my fellow mortals
Of a glimpse inside of heaven
Unless they see it with their own eyes
My eyes unclose his love
And I still cannot believe I’m attempting to tell you
What transport is mine
What all the hardship of my short and coddled life
Has fashioned me into
Something he wants for forever
And forever, dear reader, is long
And long will I write
Trying to understand how to be so happy and beautiful
In a sad and sinful world
God lets in crepuscular heaven glances
And sometimes they shine on our heads.