Expiration

Love brings expiration

Like most drugs there is a small 
sequence of numbers only 
to be seen 
in a broken rear view mirror 
Be it written on the back of a lovers 
shoe, vivid as they walk away
Somewhere in the maze 
of a Doctor’s file
Or in the fog of pet’s dream

A date

Pack of Two

An excerpt from the book “Pack of Two” by Caroline Knapp ( June 1999) was the homework for discussion a few months ago at the weekly gathering of writer’s that I hangout with.  I didn’t care for it.  It is a story about humans and dogs, so that was a bit of a surprise.  After a few weeks I decided that I should read the book, give it an honest chance and if nothing else figure out why it didn’t appeal to me.  As I began reading it, I started liking it a little better and then later not so much.  At times this book feels like it was a project, get a dog and write about the experiences.  She constantly delves into why people love dogs by quoting many studies and other books, so plenty of research had be done.  Discussion’s with many other dog people and their experiences fill about another third.  Perhaps a book full of trying to understand the bond with people and dogs is too much, maybe it is as simple we trust the love of a dog because we know they won’t drop it and walk away.  Could it be that learning to write Memoir has (finally) made me want to see more scenes and less telling?  Am I too independent to be concerned with the opinions of other’s as to why I love my dog?  Despite not really liking the book – I read it anyway (a first).

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Will this experience make me a better writer – time will tell.

“Hey There”

“Hey there”, she said after our common friend introduced us. I went from sipping a beer and people watching at Doc’s Tavern (minding my normal – alone business) to shaking hands with Christa. A sparkle in her eyes showed me something unexpectedly bright in the otherwise dark familiar place. A couple of rounds and few slow songs later – things changed. The lies that I had told myself about destiny and being alone, walls that time built to lean against and pretend, the words “Not for me” said out loud as if to protect. Dissolved. She stole them all with one kiss.

Phone Ghosts

My phone has traces of acquaintances, pets, friends and family who are no longer living.
No longer living here with us.

Their birthday’s pop-up as if to remind and say “Don’t forget me.”
Photos in the memory mix float around and surface at times, blending in with new experiences.

It is hard enough to say “Goodbye” in this life,
making [Delete] impossible.

So, My Collection Grows…

Asking The Right Questions

I took another Writing Class at the Hugo House,

“Asking The Right Questions: Self-Inquiry in Memoir” by Suzanne Morrison.

 

She started by having us write answers to the following questions and then share our answers.

–       Write one sentence about the story we are or want to be writing. “My story is a reflection on learning about life, from living with a dog.”

–       A memoir we love.  “A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz”

–       A song we love.  “Into the Mystic by Van Morrison”

–       A word we love.  “Perhaps”

 

Then after some discussion about how to dig for questions and capturing feelings by writing about “Glimmers” (moments that cause recollection and reflection in sensory detail) we were given our first prompt.

 

1 – Write about a Glimmer that comes to mind that has occurred in 2014.

“Winter had many days shrouded in thick dense fog.  The mysterious cool wet precipitation now causes my hip to sing with searing pain, before I even go outside.  Walking in the fog makes me recall numbing pain from football hits, stinging burns from Kung Fu kicks and the flames from a car accident that I could not walk away from.

 

2 – Take one thing from your writing that links back in time, ten years or more.

“The slow motion of impacting into the side of a pickup came suddenly from the left.  Deafening explosions of glass and metal distracted enough to not anticipate running into a little house on the right.  Crunching wood replaced the sharp memory from a few seconds earlier, only to be erased by the fire where our windshield used to be.  Laying in the mud watching the burning car with my feet still in it seemed like a fitting end, at least it was quiet.”

 

3 – Write about something from the second Glimmer that embarrasses you.

“Being an only child makes it easy to be your Mother’s favorite.  A certain burden comes along with being the chosen one, one that does not allow for making bad choices.  Choices that put you in the hospital after a silent ride in an ambulance, after a noisy life-changing event.  Parents do not like life changing events in the early morning hours, on Mother’s Day.”

 

4 – Write about something that has happened to someone else that is tied to your last writing.

“My friend Dan decided not to wear his seatbelt, he never did.  Driving too fast in the foggy drizzle to get home a little sooner seemed to him like the thing to do.  The other older driver of the pickup shared that perspective and had a similar smelling breath.”

 

The next few were given as homework.

5 – Reminds you of a subject you’re interested in.

“I’ve always been drawn to cars, in particular muscle cars of the sixties.  I also have what my grandfather called “A heavy foot” after my mom asked him how I did when he taught me to drive his pickup, the summer after sixth grade, on the gravel roads near his farm in North Dakota.

 

6 – Something that you don’t understand.

“Despite several documented examples of getting into trouble and a few painful episode’s resulting from traveling fast, I still have a love affair with the nasty bitch we call Speed.  All forms of logic and punishment cannot seem to make me completely part with this mistress of blood rushing excitement and the tastes of adrenaline laced moments.

 

7 – Riff on one word or phrase that has potency.

“I still have a love affair with the nasty bitch we call Speed.  I’m not sure what to do with this one but Love is a drug and perhaps so is Speed.”