Whatever this is, it is

Dog & frog

Dog and frog. A friend’s Yorkie, not mine (sadly, as he’s a sweetie).

Here’s something not-so completely different. A proem (ranting + poem).  AU NOTE: Have fun, ghost of Dr. Freud!

Vestigial Child
(3-13-17)

What raw ravaged
seed defines me,
I cannot catalog,

but I can define
each wound
by its unwounding.

This sediment here,
youth; that, betrayal
of not telling.

This layer bounded
by leeched limestone laid
where each burial was swift

centuries chipped in
to what passes for
my soul these days.

Eggshell white
pieces, piecemeal.
Peaceful never.

Hurt rage ranging
as far as the tether
allows, sears, marks,

won’t give, won’t forgive.
Scars come unconditionally
coddling the cold warmth

of phenotypic oddity,
biological prop
vestigial child

mad witness to
your own match
immolating from within

an egg hurled
in that moment
coming full cervix

and splattering on
brutal bedrock:
stone of masculinity, madness

metamorphic as cell,
seed, shell. Birth, death
swaddled in light

bundle of bagged
flesh, fresh bulb
in welcome ground

stunted womb
rooming, roaming
from wing to web to ring.

Every decade
laying down silt
in slighted skin

peeled-back
curetted and curated
to show off. Look:

See that charred
oath dashed to hell?
Shelled-out hulls

fall easiest, prey
to gravity, strung
causing welts,

coiling Weltschmerz
around figments
of neck, rendered delicate

by one’s own
sublime grief, a
doppelgänger, which

won’t get out of
the way. Ghost
obscures the body

until all that remains
is the conversation
with the shadow.

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A Ballad about Boys: For My Daughter

The Muse of Immediacy convinced me to just let this one go, regardless that it seems to be of two minds.

So It Begins

And so it begins.

A Ballad about Boys: For My Daughter

Movement One: Genesis

Dear Michael and Henry

Dear Lee and Brandon and Scott

Hey, Andy and Barron, Tommy and Richard

And the fifth-grade boy whose name I’ve forgot.

Dear Chris and Joel, Donnie and Arnold

and Nathan, Josh, Ngugi, and Scott

Oh, Jud and Sean and Paul and Carl

and Jason, with the shipload of those who loved me not:

I am sorry

and, strangely,

relieved.

We inflicted our needs and fears upon each other

and survived.

To dislodge the tears again,

Elsewhere, elsewhen.

 

Second Movement: Tragedy*

But you, Larry, you were a jerk, it’s true.

I’ll bet you were handsy on the court, too.

And Buddy. Long-legged, proud-jean’d interloper,

hips thrusting desks at girl-shaped spaces. I’ll not forget you.

Then Kevin. Where to begin. Boy, do you have problems! (Of this, I’m sure.)

You must know by now—or someone’s law has taught you (if my kicks did not):

Women and girls don’t deserve to be thrown on the floor.

 

Third Movement: Triumph

Dear Daughter, now you—

Wonderful you!

An agnostic’s angel:

Please know: there are a few

good men, good people, left

on this heaving blue dot yet.

Someday I’ll remind you (when you need it)

how your father and I met.

It might take awhile,

far more sobs and fissures, perhaps,

than kisses and adamantine bonds,

but when you find someone

(not the only one, but your only one),

I will hope that, for you,

the path has been worth

the stumblestones.

The falls forging you.

Firm as diamond,

steadfast as stars.

As if you’d just been standing, shining

forward:

whole,

all along.

 

*Names deliberately not changed to protect arseholes. If you don’t want to be written about, don’t assault people! Simple enough, right?

 

Six-Word Stories on Fun and Terror

Misc Kids & Such_20141016_1217

Pumpkin farm, by Leigh Ward-Smith

At the risk of being dubbed at sixes and sevens, today I will be having some fun with Halloween themes. If you’d like to participate in the contest by SMITH magazine (no relation), you can do their SixContest #38, wherein you comment on their Website and share your six-word Halloween-related stories—funny, silly, melancholy, petrifying, stupefying, or elsewise—by Monday the 27th of October.

Here are a few of mine.

MEDITATIONS ON FUN AND FEAR (AND LOATHING) AT HALLOWEEN

Misc Kids & Such_20141016_1221

Pumpkin ball, by Leigh Ward-Smith

Dragon-souled moon looked through me.

Four: tiny tiger. Forty: colossal mouse.

Fear: Realizing they don’t come back.

Green skin still won’t scrape off.

Sadly, Mrs. B always gave apples.

It’s scary to be somebody else.

Hell is oneself. In saecula saeculorum.

Humanity: Spectral particles forced to coalesce.

“Haunted” houses much better than mine.

Neighborhood haunted house: “spaghetti is guts.”

Ugh, Uncle ate entire candy bag.

Halloween: The world’s dentists thank you.

 

 

 

 

And the Clocks Tick Maliciously

Bleeding Pen--Objects

Writing is bleeding. Photograph ©Leigh Ward-Smith, 2014.

I was adrift, but now I’m back on familiar sands. To celebrate, here are a couple of sifted fifties of flash fiction for your reading Schadenfreude (only kidding!), submitted for the Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge.

And the Clocks Tick Maliciously

While hiking, Ava rolls memories—arils of time—on her tongue. The blurred bridge from mother to daughter grows acrid, sways, begins to cinder. Cells synchronize, but strands draw taut. She forces violets to ease through mind grooves and presses any relics of familial contusions under sandals, into yielding clay.


Little Lives in Play

Your curly mop wheels with the wind. Dervish, sprite, or joy made bodied, you stack worlds skyward with your words. Shouts tumble out, raft down to me, Huck-like. Then, Icarean, on the highest rung, arms suddenly scissoring, and a sick smack of watermelon-splitting.

I wake in a skin of sweat.