Intro to Poetry, Day 2: Faces

Do you remember the last time we
Explored each other’s faces in the darkness–
Astounded by each eyelash, and by the soft, smooth lips as we
Reached for one another?

And do you also remember how you said that you
Never meant to hurt me but that there was another
Girl waiting for you in the darkness–
Expecting you to come home?
Laying your hand on my face you brushed
Away my tears for the last time.

Note: Today’s topic was ‘Face” which I found really difficult. I thought the challenge was to write an acrostic poem (which I did) but now that I’ve double checked, I realize that I was completely wrong and the actual challenge was to use alliteration, which isn’t as prevalent in my poem as it might have been had I been trying. The best examples of alliteration that I can see are in the first stanza: the final “s” sound repeated in “faces in the darkness” and also in the third line “each eyelash” and “soft, smooth” but it was all unintentional. I have this sinking feeling that tomorrow’s challenge will be to write an acrostic and I’m not sure if I should write another one or reverse the days and try for alliteration tomorrow? What would you do? I guess we’ll see what the theme is.

If you’d like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me: judyamy74(at)gmail.com or tweet me @JudyAmy74.

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Bad Date #12 or A Dream Deferred (with apologies to Langston Hughes)

Notes: In my last post I talked about this Daily Prompt thing I had discovered, and I decided to try it again. Today’s prompt reads: We’ve all had exchanges where we came up with the perfect reply — ten minutes too late. Write down one of those, but this time, make sure to sign off with your grand slam (unused) zinger. Again, I can’t quite seem to follow the rules, because I did in fact use the sign off words at the end of this story, but I still think overall it relates to the prompt. This is a story I wrote quite a number of years ago, and I think that aside from a few dated references, it still holds up. G. and I never had a real relationship, per se, but we did end up having better sex than our first encounter. And that’s probably enough, if not too much of an introduction. Enjoy.

“G—? G—C—? It’s me, J—-. J—-A—-”

I can’t believe it. Here I am, in a dark, smoke-filled bar gazing up at the man who has held a piece of my heart for almost six years now. I’m at the S—-, a bar known for promoting local indie bands, with a group of my friends from university, who have decided that tonight is the night to experience Ecstasy. Not me. No thanks. I’m not Anti-Drug girl or anything, but E isn’t really my scene. At any rate, they’re all having fun–the straight boys kissing the gay boys, the gay boys trying to kiss me, and the one or two girls who are with us trying to kiss just about anyone. I’m tired of it and ready to go home. I’ve decided I’ll have one more beer and then call a cab.

I walk up to the bar and that’s when I see him. G—. G— C—. I fell in love with him my final year of high school, made out with him at the prom, and never saw him again. Until now. Five years later. He’s still as handsome as he always was, those cool eyes taking in everyone and everything. I’ve got to talk to him, just to put my obsession with him at rest.

“G—? G—C—? It’s me, J—. J—A—.”

“Yeah, I know.” Always cool, always in control, always in charge. Just as I remember him. but I’m five years older now, with more confidence in my sexuality and beauty then I had when I was seventeen.

“Care to buy me a drink?” I toss off the words as casually as I can manage, as though I don’t really care one way or the other what his response will be.

“Sure. What are you drinking?”

“Fifty.”

“That’s quite the beer.”

“I’m quite the girl.” And so the flirtation begins. I am at the top of my game, and unlike the time I was seventeen, I know I’m going to win. After several more bottles and a little more PDA then I’m generally accustomed to, we decide to go back to his place. I say goodbye to my friends and jump into a cab with G— and his housemates.

Nude couple in bed. The woman wearing the eleg...

Nude couple in bed. The woman wearing the elegant hairstyle of the 70s of the 1st century is giving her partner a passionate kiss. Roman fresco from the Casa del ristorante (IX.5.14, room f, southern wall) in Pompeii. Ca. 62-79 AD. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We arrive at his house and the game continues. Stumbling up the stairs, clothes being torn off, kisses being shared until we reach his bedroom. Finally, I think. The moment I have been waiting for has arrived. My teenage fantasies fulfilled. Kissing and foreplay continue until suddenly, without warning, G— gets up and leaves the room. I wait patiently at first, but start to get worried. I thought he had just gone to the bathroom, but it’s been a super long time. Did I say something wrong? Touch him the wrong way? Or could it be he has just now realized that I’m J—, J— A— from high school and for that reason alone, undesirable?

What do I do? I’m in a bit of a funny predicament. I am lying naked on a mattress whilemy date has gone AWOL. I’d better go find him. I tiptoe to the bathroom. The door is almost all the way shut, but slightly ajar. “G—?” I query quietly, gently knocking at the door. No answer. I decide to push open the door and lo and behold, there he is, my high school fantasy, huddled, well, crumpled kind of, in between the sink and the toilet. “Are you alright?” A rather indistinguishable noise comes from the lump on the floor.

“Would you like me to get you a blanket?” I offer.

“That’d be nice.” he croaks. I come back with a blanket and return to the bedroom to fall asleep. Some night, I think. To think I wasted five years wondering, fantasizing over some guy who can’t hold his liquor. Oh well, at least now I know and can get on with my life.

Nude couple in bed. Roman fresco from the Casa...

Nude couple in bed. Roman fresco from the Casa del ristorante (IX.5.14, room f, western wall) in Pompeii. Ca. 62-79 AD. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At just after six o’clock, the bedroom door opens and in walks G—. He smiles, shrugs, and climbs into bed beside me. Freshly minted mouthwash wafts over me as he proceeds to carry on from where we left off hours earlier. Hey hold on a minute, buddy, I think. I was raring to go at 1:30 last night and you expect me to be just as hot to trot at 6:00 am? I don’t think so. Then again . . . I have waited five long years for this moment . . . and that is the deciding factor.

After some brief post-coital cuddling, I get up to go to the bathroom. It’s early on a Saturday morning and everyone was up late last night so I decide that there’s really no point in getting dressed, only to get undressed a minute later. After freshening up, I walk back down the hall to G—‘s room. Halfway down the hall, a door opens and standing there is a fully clothed guy in his early 20s. I am definitely at a disadvantage. So, what’s a naked girl to do?

I take a deep breath, hold out my hand and say, “Hi, I’m J—-, G—‘s friend” and calmly walk back to the bedroom.

(First draft: 2002)

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me at: judyamy74@gmail.com or tweet me @JudyAmy74

 *An earlier version of this story was first posted in May 2013 under the title, A Dream Deferred*

 

 

 

 

Sorrow Survival

In high school, I had an assignment that involved tracing back one side of the family. I chose my grandmother’s because (I thought) it was small and straightforward. They:

Left England for something to do
Moved here because (god knows why they moved here)—
But still, it was straightforward. And small. Two things I wanted in an assignment.

 Notebook in hand, I asked my dear grandmother to tell me her story. She looked at me directly and said:

What’s dead is dead.
What’s buried is buried.
Leave it alone.

Stunned, I left it alone and made up a family for my assignment.

This refrain repeats often in my head when I think of my grandmother (kind, patient, loving, dead)

What’s dead is dead.
What’s buried is buried.
Leave it alone.

I ask my great-aunt (90 years old, but still sharp as a whip, living in the North End) to tell me stories about my grandmother.

This I know:

  • My grandmother was 11 (Auntie Nellie 9) when they came home from school for lunch to discover that their mother had died trying to give herself an abortion.
  • There was once a younger brother Bill (“wild” Auntie Nellie said but wouldn’t elaborate) who had died in a house fire as a grown man.
  • My grandmother almost died giving birth to my mother, who was premature. (You’re going to lose your wife or your child, the doctor told my grandfather)
  • Four months after my mother’s birth, my grandfather went overseas, leaving my grandmother a single parent for the next 3 years.
  • My grandmother worked constantly to strengthen my mother’s muscles when she was diagnosed with polio at age seven, perhaps the reason my mother has no outward side effects of the disease.
  • My grandmother’s only son (and by all accounts favourite child) died in a tragic farming accident when he was 38. She was one of the first on the scene.
  • My grandmother’s only son-in-law (whom she loved like a son) died of cancer when he was 57.
  • My grandmother lost her husband (dearly beloved) when she had to make a choice no one would want to make: to operate (he was too weak to operate on and would die) or not to operate (he would die without the operation)
  • My grandmother went from strong, self-reliant woman to a shell of herself, living her life within and in the past, unable to communicate with those she loved.

This I know.

This I wonder:
Does sorrow run through a family like a genetic anomaly trickling through the blood line? My grandmother had enough sorrow for several generations and yet the sorrow continues to flow throughout and downward through her descendants.

This I wonder.

Perhaps in order to survive, my grandmother needed to keep things left alone—dead and buried—perhaps in order for me to survive, I need to unearth things—and begin my resurfacing.

Notes: I’ve been researching prose poems, and while this is nothing like the ones I’ve come across, it’s definitely a different type of writing for me–a blend of poetry and prose, somewhere in the middle.

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me at: judyamy74@gmail.com or tweet me @JudyAmy74

38 Special

Raised by WASPs, Judy wonders who would ever feel empathy for her struggles. After all, they are self-created, aren’t they? Her therapist tells her to just “buck up”—after all, she’s rapidly approaching 40. But how can Judy explain that she had never planned on living past 34 and these extra four years have added even more conflict to her seemingly overly complicated life. Isolated and alone, while surrounded by numerous family and friends, Judy meanders through issues of sexuality, self-identity, and the true meaning of love. A fantastic coming of age story . . . except that Judy’s almost 40.

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me at: judyamy74@gmail.com or tweet me @JudyAmy74

A Dream Deferred

This is a story I wrote quite a number of years ago, based on a true experience. I quite like it, and think that aside from a few dated references, it still holds up. G. and I never had a real relationship, per say, but we did end up having better sex than our first encounter. And that’s probably enough, if not too much of an introduction. Enjoy.

“G—? G—C—? It’s me, J—-. J—-A—-”

I can’t believe it. Here I am, in a dark, smoke-filled bar gazing up at the man who has held a piece of my heart for almost six years now. I’m at the S—-, a bar known for promoting local indie bands, with a group of my friends from university, who have decided that tonight is the night to experience Ecstasy. Not me. No thanks. I’m not anti-drug girl or anything, but E isn’t really my scene. At any rate, they’re all having fun–the straight boys kissing the gay boys, the gay boys trying to kiss me, and the one or two girls who are with us trying to kiss just about anyone. I’m tired of it and ready to go home. I’ve decided I’ll have one more beer and then call a cab.

Iwalk up to the bar and that’s when I see him. G—. G— C—. I fell in love with him my final year of high school, made out with him at the prom, and never saw him again. Until now. Six years later. He’s still as handsome as he always was, those cool eyes taking in everyone and everything. I’ve got to talk to him, just to put my obsession with him at rest.

“G—? G—C—? It’s me, J—. J—A—.”

“Yeah, I know.” Always cool, always in control, always in charge. Just as I remember him. but I’m six years older now, with more confidence in my sexuality and beauty then I had when I was seventeen.

“Care to buy me a drink?” I toss off the words as casually as I can manage, as though I don’t really care one way or the other what his response will be.

“Sure. What are you drinking?”

“Fifty.”

“That’s quite the beer.”

“I’m quite the girl.” And so the flirtation begins. I am at the top of my game, and unlike the time I was seventeen, I know I’m going to win. After several more bottles and a little more PDA then I’m generally accustomed to, we decide to go back to his place. I say goodbye to my friends and jump into a cab with G— and his housemates.

We arrive at his house and the game continues. Stumbling up the stairs, clothes being torn off, kisses being shared until we reach his bedroom. Finally, I think. The moment I have been waiting for has arrived. My teenage fantasies fulfilled. Kissing and foreplay continue until suddenly, without warning, G— gets up and leaves the room. I wait patiently at first, but start to get worried. I thought he had just gone to the bathroom, but it’s been a super long time. Did I say something wrong? Touch him the wrong way? Or could it be he has just now realized that I’m J—, J— A— from high school and for that reason alone, undesirable?

What do I do? I’m in a bit of a funny predicament. I am lying naked on a mattress whilemy date has gone AWOL. I’d better go find him. I tiptoe to the bathroom. The door is almost all the way shut, but slightly ajar. “G—?” I query quietly, gently knocking at the door. No answer. I decide to push open the door and lo and behold, there he is, my high school fantasy, huddled, well, crumpled kind of, in between the sink and the toilet. “Are you alright?” A rather indistinguishable noise comes from the lump on the floor.

“Would you like me to get you a blanket?” I offer.

“That’d be nice.” he croaks. I come back with a blanket and return to the bedroom to fall asleep. Some night, I think. To think I wasted six years wondering, fantasizing over some guy who can’t hold his liquor. Oh well, at least now I know and can get on with my life.

At just after six o’clock, the bedroom door opens and in walks G—. He smiles, shrugs, and climbs into bed beside me. Freshly minted mouthwash wafts over me as he proceeds to carry on from where we left off hours earlier. Hey hold on a minute, buddy, I think. I was raring to go at 1:30 last night and you expect me to be just as hot to trot at 6:00 am? I don’t think so. Then again . . . I have waited six long years for this moment . . . and that is the deciding factor.

After some brief post-coital cuddling, I get up to go to the bathroom. It’s early on a Saturday morning and everyone was up late last night so I decide that there’s really no point in getting dressed, only to get undressed a minute later. After freshening up, I walk back down the hall to G—‘s room. Halfway down the hall, a door opens and standing there is a fully clothed guy in his early 20s. I am definitely at a disadvantage. So, what’s a naked girl to do?

I take a deep breath, hold out my hand and say, “Hi, I’m J—-, G—‘s friend” and calmly walk back to the bedroom.

(First draft: 2002)