from the Braeburn tree,
that’s just how Gravity works
and carried away
who stopped to appreciate
within its center,
or if by some miracle
it catches the right roll
on the right day
during favorable weather,
and it continues onward
until reaching the very end
of a rugged and winding footpath.
It is only then
that the destiny
of it rotting
under the same branches
as it’s siblings
will be averted,
and only then
will it become more
than a moldering corpse
atop a grassy grave,
like the fermenting tree
that bore it,
for the raw sweetness
just under its skin.
My favorite love story (repost)
“Grandma,” little Laurie said, scrambling onto her grandmother’s lap in the rocking chair, "tell me how you and grandpa met. Please.”
“I’d love to, darling. Let’s see,” she closed her eyes, rocking gently and holding little Laurie.
“Well, I was working in an office back then, and one day one of my co-workers said that there was some gorgeous guy down in this place called Sweet Imports. You should see him, she said. Drop dead gorgeous, said another.”
“What did you do, Grandma?”
“Well, the next day, I went there. It was a kind of café.”
“What’s a café, Grandma?”
“It’s a place where you can buy foods like sandwiches and salads, muffins and cakes and things like that. And coffee, of course. Café means coffee in French.”
“Do you speak French, Grandma?”
“Yes, darling,” she laughed.
“What happened next, Grandma?”
“Well, as soon as I opened the door, it was as if no one else were there but Grandpa and me. He looked at me and we smiled at each other as if we’d been waiting for that moment all our lives.”
“Did you say hello?”
“No sweetheart; actually, I just bought a muffin.”
“Then what happened?”
“Well, I left and my heart was pounding.”
“Why, did you run from the coffee?”
“No, sweetheart, I didn’t run from the café.” She looked into little Laurie’s face. “Think about this: when you get really excited or happy about something, does your heart seem to beat a little faster?"
Little Laurie scrunched her face and thought. Then it lit up with understanding. “Yes, Grandma! I get it. It’s like when we’re going on a trip or coming to your house, or like when we got the new puppy!” Then she frowned. “But I jump up and down a lot too, Grandma.”
Grandma laughed as did you from the other room. “Well, I was jumping up and down on the inside, honey,” she smiled, hugging little Laurie close to her. She leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes, smiling at the memory she was sharing.
Although you were in the next room, the warm timbre of her voice caressed your skin, enveloping you in the memory, touching your heart. You closed your eyes, and remembered…
You had looked up and though you didn’t know, her knees quivered. You saw a familiar face though you had never seen her before and felt your heart leap. She looked into your eyes, big and brown, framed by long thick lashes, and smiled. You looked into her eyes and returned the smile, shy and sincere. Your face, open and innocent.
You didn’t speak. She walked to the back of the line and watched you work. Another took her order. She paid and left. You watched her from beneath those lovely, longed for lashes until only the echo of her heels remained.
Later that same day, she returned. The bell above the door tingled. You felt her before the door opened. Your skin felt like electricity ran through your veins, alive with her gaze upon it. You looked up, your eyes met; she smiled, not as innocent as you, a little nervous, a little wary, already in love. You smiled and your heart was in your eyes.
“May I help you?” you asked with a lovely accent she could not place.
“Um, a strawberry, yogurt shake, please.”
“Right away,” you replied.
She watched your every movement. You felt her gaze burning your skin. You flushed. Your hand trembled ever so slightly when you handed her the shake.
“Two-fifty. You can pay the cashier.”
You shared another smile. She left.
For a week, no day was complete unless she came in twice a day: muffin in the morning, shake at noon. Finally, you decided five minutes was not enough. You wanted to know this woman. The woman behind the smile.
“I would like to see you,” you said Thursday afternoon.
“I see you every day,” she replied, surprised, scared, excited. Scared.
“No, you misunderstand. I am working. I would like to sit. Talk. You know? Know you better.” You were nervous now. Had you misinterpreted her eyes, her smile? Your English wasn’t very good, but you had thought some things needed no translation.
“We’ll see,” she said, smiling and almost running from the store.
The next day, she came in and smiled but ran out without saying a word. The weekend was long. You played videogames with your brother and watched the clock, counting the minutes until you could go to work on Monday. You even cleaned the bathroom – shared by four men who didn’t like to clean - to make the time go more quickly. Sunday afternoon you went to a flea market and bought a pocketbook handmade in Turkey, your home.
Sunday night you drank an entire bottle of vodka and chain smoked two packs of cigarettes to calm your nerves. Your friends laughed at your drunken tears but also tried to boost your courage.
Monday morning finally arrived and when she came in you said, “Don’t go. I have something for you.” You came from behind the counter and handed her the pocketbook.
“Oh my! Thank you so much!” She hugged you and you almost fainted. Your knees quivered. “What time do you finish work?” she asked.
“Well, if you don’t mind waiting until 5:00, would you like to have dinner tonight?”
Silence. Did you understand correctly? Did she just invite you to dinner?
“Yes” you spluttered, afraid she’d take it back. Afraid.
She smiled. “Good. I’ll meet you by the fountain at 5:00 o’clock.”
“5:00 o’clock,” you repeated.
She took you to a health food restaurant. The food was horrible. No meat and you didn’t recognize anything on your plate. Then, you didn’t have enough money to pay so she had to pay. You gave her every penny in your pocket except what you needed for the subway. You thought, what an idiot, she’ll never go out with me again. Then, she took your hand as you walked to the train station and your heart soared at the same moment that you began to tremble and then worry about your sweaty hands.
That was Monday. Every day that week she came in, smiled, bought her muffin or shake and left. But the smiles were a little brighter. The eyes spoke a little more clearly. No translation necessary. All of a sudden it was Friday.
“Would you like to spend the day with me tomorrow?” you asked. “We could walk around the city and then I will take you to nice restaurant for dinner?”
“That would be lovely. What time would you like to meet?”
“Noon? By the fountain?”
It’s Saturday and you are banging your head on the subway door. You have been sitting in the middle of no where for an hour. No moving. They make announcements but you don’t understand. You just think, she will leave. She will think I’m not coming and she will leave. She will hate me. First, I couldn’t buy dinner, now this. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And you bang your head to the rhythm of your thoughts.
One-fifteen. You are running through the station. You take the steps two at a time. You are sweating, praying, panting. You can’t breathe, but you run. Hoping. You run through the lobby and push through the revolving doors and stop. You see her by the fountain, reading a book. She looks up, smiles and waves. In that moment you think, that is the woman I am going to marry. And you do.
“Grandma, where are you going?”
“To give Grandpa a kiss.”
Laurie giggled. “Why Grandma?
“Every time I tell that story, I remember how much I love him.”
“And I you,” you say coming through the doorway and pulling her into your arms.
“Ooooo! Grandpa, Grandma! Mommy! Grandma and Grandpa are smooching again!”
Love at First Sight? Only with Babies and Donuts
The idea that love at first sight can happen lacks perspective. What kind of love are we talking about? Some loves are absolutely instantaneous. Finding out you're going to be a parent creates an immediate love for that new little life. Being largely visual creatures, that love is further cemented the second we see our newborn child. I also feel that my love for donuts is instantaneous. Show me a chocolate donut with sprinkles, and I am head over heels besotted.
Now, if you're talking about romantic love, I think love at first sight is the excrement of Hallmark Movies. In fact, I think the notion of love at first sight often begets doomed relationships.
Hoping to experience love at first sight is problematic because having an attractive appearance is a poor barometer of character, personality, and compatibility with someone. For example, a guy may be hung like a blue whale, have the body of a god, but is gifted with the intelligence of a sea cucumber. Also, appearance alone will not reveal a person's emotional or psychological stability. For example, A nicely dressed, charming, and handsome gent may seem nice at first, but his appearance and mannerisms will not reveal that the guy has a chest freezer in his garage stuffed with severed heads.
The powerful biochemical reaction created when someone sees a person they perceive as attractive is also confused for love at first sight. For example, in the case of a lady, seeing an attractive person may result in her becoming a bit moist in the knickers. For gents, seeing an attractive person may trigger a physiological response that appears as if the fellow has spontaneously sprouted a package of Rolos in the front of his pants. These physiological responses to attraction shouldn't be translated as love. It is an evolutionary adaptation that insures the continuation of the species by instilling both male and female with a need for sex and the desire to copulate with an aesthetically pleasing partner. In layman's terms, they're horny.
The belief in romantic love at first sight can also doom a relationship that likely wouldn't have happened if the couple got to truly know each other.
Please consider the following example of Sara and Tony and their fall into the love at first sight delusion.
Sara meets Tony at the grocery store while shopping for organic, ethically sourced, vegan, grown in worm abuse free soil, carrots that are harvested with biodegradable tools by the last hippie commune.. Sara sees Tony groping the honeydew in the produce section and immediately finds herself in need of fresh panties. Glancing up, Tony notices how Sara's yoga pants accentuate all of his favorite parts and little Tony salutes its approval. So, after a brief introduction by the celery they agree to meet for coffee.
The coffee date goes well. Tony and Sara have "Sooooo much in common!" He likes air. She likes air too. He likes YouTube videos of puppies. Guess what! She likes puppy videos too! It's like fate led them both to that grocery store's produce section. It wasn't the fact that as human beings Tony and Sara need to eat to survive and the grocery store where they met just happens to sell food. It also wasn't the fact that the grocery store happens to be the nearest store to where both Tony and Sara live. Nope. If you asked Tony and Sara they'd tell you it is fate and love at first sight that brought them together.
At the end of the second date, Tony subtly lets it be known that wants to take Sara to his place, peel off her yoga pants with his teeth, and fuck her until their bed rocking shows up as a small seismic event on a nearby Richter Scale. Guess what? She wants this too! I know, right! So the relationship is off to a great start.
After few more dates and small seismic events, Sara takes Tony to meet her family. Well, things go well until Sara notices that Tony is looking at her sister, Ashley with the same look he had right before they ruined his sheets. Glancing down, Sara notices that little Tony is at attention as big Tony sits raptly listening to her sister talk about how she found out which "Friends" character she is by taking an online survey and she's happy to be Rachel and all, but she doesn't like Ross because he puts off a creepy, cartoon giraffe vibe. Surprisingly, Sara manages to keep her cool until after dinner and the car ride home.
During the drive home, Sara confronts Tony about him eye fucking her sister, Ashley. To Tony's credit, he admits he found Sara's sister attractive. To his discredit, he asks Sara if she and Ashley ever thought about a threesome because he'd like to be the salami in that sister sandwich. And with that Sara's berates herself mumbling, "I can't believe I fucked him." Meanwhile Tony, being a little more optimistic thinks, "I wonder if its too soon to ask Sara for Ashley's number?"
So, Sara and Tony fell into the love at first sight trap. A wiser Tony and Sara would have recognized their feelings. In truth, what Tony and Sara felt was the reciprocal desire to fuck the other person until they both walk funny. This is all well and good, but it may not be the best foundation to build a relationship on.
All joking aside, real love is hard. Taking two individuals with their own unique perspectives, flaws and quirks and throwing them together is the ultimate sink or swim scenario. The couple aren't going to agree all the time and there will be times they don't like each other much. You also throw each other's families (or in my case genetic train wreck) into the mix. Inevitably, the two people will have to decide the fate of the relationship. In fact, this is likely going to happen more than once.
A couple can quit, walk away, and take care of the flotsam and jetsam of the relationship through lawyers later. This can be the best case scenario especially if there is abuse, addiction, or infidelity involved. Sadly, some things can't be fixed.
The other option is one of the hardest things a human can do. To save a relationship, both parties must set aside the preconceived notions, old resentments, insecurities and mistakes the other person made. Then standing there unencumbered of all the relationship bullshit we pile on ourselves, look at the other person. The questions that come to mind are going to be hard to answer. You will ask if you can imagine existing without the other person and how that feels. You will get honest and realize that a lot of what irritates you about the other person is really them being human and you being a jerk about it. You will question your role in the situation and realize that you are part of the problem. You will take an inventory of how you've changed each other and if those changes feel good and have the changes allowed you to be a better person not just for your partner. but also for yourself. Finally, you will ask yourself if this is the person you want at your bedside when your life's light flickers. The answers are intimate, individual, and sometimes not what you are hoping they'd be. However, that is love. It's not instantaneous, it isn't always candlelight and rose petal trails to the bedroom, and you will get angry sometimes. Real love is hard, frightening, heartbreaking, but always worthwhile work. Love at first sight is just lazy and things built with minimal effort are doomed to break.
Challenge Finalists and Winner, or Poems in Stereo While The Sun Beats Down the Moon.
Dear Brilliant and Beautiful Writers:
I wanted to read every one of these, but time chained me to only five, counting the winner. If it's too late for coffee, pour a cold one, or a double, and look upon the talent featured on the channel today.
Thank you for being here.
-The Prose. team
Marilyn Monroe Was The Second Shooter
She whispered with grace—
Her warm breath
teased the folds
of my anxious earlobe,
a cool pleasant air
to contrast my
grazed my neck,
then melted into
She traveled lower,
squeezing onto my thighs,
and eventually ending
at my knees.
She spread them wide
and began unwrapping
Our eyes locked
as she sang another line—
My belt gripped in her hand.
She let the leather snap playfully.
I was caught in a trance.
She was my everything—
Careful yet rough
when I needed it;
My Marilyn Monroe.
I was almost there
rounding the corner
down that final stretch
of no return
until she stopped
and waved off
my confused look
with a bite of her lip—
She called the shots.
I called off
Her sinful smile,
to where I throbbed.
over my hypnosis,
and only when I acknowledged
did she continue
my re-election campaign.
She was hired instantly.
I’d let her run
all my campaigns
from this point forward.
really blowing my mind.
with a tongue
hitting all the right spots
It happened quickly.
My body propelled
and I tensed up.
Then she hit me with
a second attempt,
with her face hidden in my
and it sent shockwaves
around the world.
My head tilted
back and to the left.
and I flatlined.
The rest became our
In exactly 26.6 seconds
I was dead to her rights,
and she had my heart.
My frosting hung
from the edge of her lip,
after she finished
blowing out my candle.
She leaned back
that sexy smile
while lighting a Cuban Cigar
and she blew her smoke
at my face with sedition.
I guess there won’t be a second term
for this President.
It could happen
It was one of the most fulfilling moments of my life: To be paid, and paid well, for a work of fiction to which my pen had given birth. My mind...my imagination. Finally, my creativity had given birth to something that would take on a life of its own outside of my mind. And I was getting paid!
It seemed like so much money at first. I mean, it was a lot of money. I had never been paid six figures all at once before. The taxes were significant. Not a surprise, but still depressing when you've already made a list of where the funds will go.
We had mold people come in and rip out the walls in the basement. They removed the mold I could smell but no one could see (a possible catalyst to my husband's Parkinson's) and waterproofed the walls before new floors, sheet rock, molding and waterproof paint. We also added a bath and shower so that my octogenarian in laws wouldn't have to trudge up two flights to use the full bath upstairs.
We hired an arborist to help the trees that look sick in our garden and remove the branches of the half dead tree that has been leaning on the roof for years. And then we replaced the roof (including adding insulation so we can stop losing all the heat in the winter). We used solar shingles -- for the environment, to lower our electric bills and to charge my husband's car [his favorite ever, by the way. The only one he ever named: kara ılan (black snake).]
We hired a contractor to paint my mom's house and a landscaper to take care of the bushes and weeds that drive her crazy, so that she can concentrate on planting the flowers she likes. We also paid for her annual trip to Vegas with a three week stay at the Bellagio, The Venetian and the Aria, and tickets to all her favorite shows.
We paid for my son's wedding so his fiancées family could concentrate on her baby brother's cancer treatment that insurance refused to cover; sadly, even with the specialized proton therapy, there was a concern that he could develop secondary cancers due to a genetic mutation.
We helped my step-brother pay for a home attendant since, after over a month in the hospital, a surgery, myriad tests, daily physical therapy and a severe case of diarrhea incurred while in the hospital, doctors could not figure out why he still couldn’t feel his feet (the original reason he was admitted to the hospital) and insurance was no longer willing to pay them to figure it out and certainly not for a home attendent.
At this point, not only had we spent every last penny of the check from my publisher, we had had to dip into our savings, something I avoid doing most of the time.
Clearly, I needed to write a sequel. Or two. Maybe I could get a movie deal...
Publication of First Novel
It is a dream to have a novel or short story of mine to be published. I am very proud of a few and would love for the world to read them. If I were to receive a large check for my first novel, I first would get my girlfriend and I off the streets. We're currently homeless and jobless but surviving at most. Our families have been helpful but to a point and of course now is the time for our car to completely break down and stop working isn't it? Well that's exactly what happened. We're doing our best to keep positive, but it is so hard.
So my first plan would to be get us a new car, used but new to us. Something that will either house us or get us to our next jobs. Second, I would take my girlfriend on a loooong, much needed and deserved, vacation to Hawaii or somewhere else tropical and warm. I'd plan to go to big events and fancy restaurants with her.
Once we were done with our vacation, we would start looking at options for RV's or campers. Our goal is to travel the states and find small seasonal jobs here and there. We also would like to get some furry babies at some point. Most likely cats, orange cats are the best, but I would love a pitbull or a great dane doggo too. We would use the money not only to get animals, but also donate a chunk of it to whichever shelter we adopt from. I have a friend who is very involved in PAWS and I would love to be a part of that too by adopting and donating.
Finally, once our little family has grown, I would get us a place to settle down and find permanent jobs. I would love to start out in an apartment, something small but manageable. We then would save up to get our dream home and grow old together.
If there is anything left over, I would donate to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. When I was 10 years old, I went to Chili's with my mom and that's when the kids menu would have a picture of a kiddo from the hospital and their story. Even at 10 it broke my heart to see them suffering due to something not one single human can control. I decided, instead of asking for presents for my birthday that year, I would ask for people to donate toys, hygiene items, gift cards, and many other items to help those in need. To this day, that has been one of my proudest moments and I would make sure they knew I was still in support.
I hope this happens one day. I would lose my mind and be ever so grateful. My dream is to be known artistically. So I hope one day my dream comes true.
Thank you for reading!