inked gumboots [prompt hour 11]

he leaned forward, vape in hand, onto his storefront railing

eyeing me as suspect

thin, bubbly, too goofy and far too old

still, he ushered me inside and spread out his samples.

periwinkle florals and fluffy clouds were shown to me.

I raised an eyebrow, this is not what we discussed.

his fingers beat a tune on the countertop, and he slowly pulled out his sketch.

I planned on shrinking it, so it’s not all skyscraper size,

he really did not know me yet.

my eyes alight, it is everything I wanted.

I jiggle in delight.

in that case, I’ll go set up my needles.

birthday fib [prompt hour 10]

hey

so yeah 

my birthday 

in winter kinda 

technically late autumn 

and for a long time I really dreaded the day

aging wasn’t so bad, but the performative bullshit was far too heavy

 

no rhyme or reason [prompt hour 9]

(after George Condo’s “The Age of Reason”)

fragments of architecture 

a person.

fragments of people

a building.

macabre tinny music blares 

from big top tent pools

pendulums of trapeze artists

in a vermillion tinged sky.

disassembled

distorted

torturing and tortured 

soup of eyes, breasts, clenched hands and smiles.

frenzied chaos.

fragments of color

the age of reason.

fragments of reason

a work of art.

 

this place up north [prompt hour 8]

(after Octavia Butler’s “Earthseed”)

there’s this place where I am special

I can feel others feels

famine, war, tyranny, this all complicates things

so I travel

on foot

picking up other travelers I hope are safe

victims

children

healers

and others afflicted with being special like me

as we all search 

search for water

search for safety

search for lost ones

search for ourselves 

sand to discover (Prompt hour 6)

foot falls repeat

foot tap sand

sand gives way

sand records images

images of sea

images in mist

mist and matter

mist that wanders

wander toward cliff

wander with love

love slows down

love watches laughter

laughter at spray

laughter hurts cheeks

cheeks flush pink

cheeks chafed in wind

wind smells of ocean

wind a guarantee 

guarantee of comfort

guarantee for life

life escape

life the point

point there’s gulls

point to destination 

destination none

destination realized

realize heart pound

realize breath out

out of my way

out to play

play in waves

play for keeps

keep going

keep my hand

hand me over

hand of welcome

welcome warmth

welcome to hold

hold the line

hold back

back to the beach

back to horizon 

horizon deep blue

horizon feels heavy

heavy thighs ache

heavy pants cone

come to discover 

come to rejuvenate 

discover

rejuvenate

complete and safe Hour 5

promise to care

promise complete 

complete control 

complete the puzzle

puzzle not broken

puzzle to solve

solve a riddle

solve for x

x too harsh

x to avoid

avoid the camera

avoid the lights

lights blind me

lights to condemn

condemn this kindness

condemn assigned gender

gender all pink

gender dirty snake

snake hiss hiss

snake settled around

around my wrist

around my neck

neck very vulnerable 

neck all exposed

exposed and tense

exposed to bite

bite now sharp

bite catches breath

breath of fingers

breath born

born from pain

born of submit

submit as play

submit to implement 

implement the hoax

implement an escape

escape to freedom

escape the pain

pain in chest

pain to agree

agree to diminish

agree to hide

hide from him

hide away heart

heart in cage

heart safe

safe cracking

safe in ice

ice

cracking

the first nudist pool party after covid (Prompt 4)

hats and pants off to you all

safety found in white vaccination records

salacious smile from our hostess who provided

sex machine demonstrations in the living room

sun soaked breasts

scrutinize them, that’s why I’m here

sounds of pleasure

silly flirty coquettish glances

secure a room 

settle on a large bed

seize the day or something like that

hats and pants off to you all

 

(First and last line accredited to “Bonk” by Mary Roach)

worthless (prompt 3)

I didn’t say I’m worthless

I didn’t say I’m worthless (he did)

I didn’t say I’m worthless (I thought it)

I didn’t say I’m worthless (but the insinuation was there)

I didn’t say