“A potluck! Whatever you bring, bring fruit.”
The announcement came as no surprise:
His brother was on the planning committee.
Aiming for some humorous response,
He tried to say he’s a little bit crazy
“Can I just bring myself, because I’m a fruit?”
The room filled with the laughter
Of men, mostly twenty-somethings,
And the few women giving the announcement.
“That worked better than expected,” he thought.
Then, too late, he realized it was “fruitcake”
Not “fruit” he had intended to say.
Too much time had passed,
His explanation too feeble.
The label stuck.
Many moons passed;
A certain few still this label used
For far too long, until—
At long last, another opened his mouth—
The jaws of hell could open no wider—
And inserted his foot and leg, up to the knee.
Those who used the label still
Agreed this last faux-pas was far worse,
And bought the burial of the label.
I turn the corner
And spy in the dark,
In the shadows
Behind the seven eleven,
A man in pajamas
And a warm jacket
In the cool March night air.
He swings his foot forward;
Not a graceful motion,
But swift: he kicks
A rock on the ground
Or perhaps just the air.
It brings to my mind
The way I feigned
To kick the wall
After a lost point in racquetball.
Perhaps it was the maudlin song
Playing at the grocery store,
Or maybe echoes of my heart or yours,
But I feel the ache contained
In his silent outburst
In the shadow
In the dark
At eleven thirteen.
© 2014 H.K. Longmore
Emotional pain I truly disdain.
To feel it completely would crush my heart;
The resulting torrent would fill my lungs
With that saline solution from my eyes.
So I aim to transmogrify the pain:
Change its form, numb the ache, preserve my heart.
I run ten miles having not run for months,
Just my muscles and bones, sinews and fat:
There’s no water station for hydration,
And no supplemental source of glucose.
At eight-point-three my quadriceps seize up;
My pace is so slow I switch to a walk.
With every step my pain turns; legs now burn.
Sun gone down, the air grows chill, my hands numb.
But let this not raise a flag of concern:
The pain tastes better the second time down.
©2014 H.K. Longmore
I’ve been bit by the “I can’t focus on any personal projects long enough to complete them” bug again. My banjo was calling to me a few weeks ago, telling me of how I’d been neglecting it for far too long. So I got it out, and had to get my chord book so I could remember some chords I’d forgotten. In so doing, I rediscovered a song I wrote, and another that I wrote lyrics for but no music, both nine years old. So I decided it was time to give the lyrics some music. And that’s taken me away from writing poetry, or finishing my edits for my upcoming poetry book. In the meantime, here’s a quick ditty to let you, my dear followers, know I’m not dead yet.
I’ve offended my Muse
She’s not amused
My pen feels used
The paper, abused
So now I tiptoe past
Unlike days gone by
When my footwear
Announced to all
My imminent arrival.
©2014 H.K. Longmore