Sunday, February 14, 2010

DWP - cupid

The quiver of bows came crashing down the floor
Pouting his lips, Cupid kicked closed the door
Venus looked back and had a pretty smile
At her little man she hasn’t seen in a while.

“Why, my son, what’s the matter now?”
“It’s Psyche, the bitch, we just had a row.”
“Oh, Mighty Jupiter! Is my prayer finally heard?”
“Please turn the little whore into an ugly bird!”

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

DWP - cliffhanger prompt

In my mind, I have killed my father a thousand times. In many ways - shot him with his service revolver; through his heart at close range; another time, dead center between his eyes; stabbed his face and mutilated his body with Mother's expensive chef knife; placed a snooze around his neck and pulled it so tight I could hear his bones snap; drowned him in our backyard pool as he finished his sixth bottle of beer; buried him on the beach, his head sticking from the sand and watched his eyes bulge as he desperately undug himself when the tide came in. Yelling, begging, swearing.

He sleeps on the sofa, head facing the wall, mouth slightly open. He makes low gurgling noise. A large fly lands on his forehead and his hand moves to swat it. The fly falls on the carpet, not dead but its wings are askewed from its body. He opens his eyes, looks at me then smiles and closes them again.


"Yes, pookie," he mumbles still with his eyes closed.

"Daddy, what happens when you die?"

Silence, then the gurgling noise again.

"Will I go to jail if I kill you, Daddy?"

"No, pookie, you won't kill daddy, would you?" He turns to face me and when he sees my hand, his eyes bulge.

"Rowena!" he screams.

Friday, February 5, 2010

DWP - continuation prompt

“So this is how it is to die,” I remembered thinking as I sank down the cold sea water.

It surprised me that I did not mind the cold that engulfed my body and the darkness that pulled me to the bottom. I actually felt like I was floating and that I have become one with the sea. I did not even feel the pain of the bullet that had pierced through my head.

Despite the darkness, I could still make out the shadows of bodies floating around me. Sometimes a ray of light filtered through the dark waters and I saw the body of a child, floating. I actually saw the faces of people floating around me and I realized that as I was going downward, these people were actually floating upwards! Calmness etched their faces, their eyes staring towards the water above and they had smiles in their lips. But below, in the darkest depths, I hear moans laced with fear as I saw other people on a fast descent. I knew I was not supposed to hear any sound but I did. I let my body sink down into the darkness even as I looked around for Daniel. I rued that I let him drown. But we're both dead now so what did it matter?

"Why are we going down and they're going up?" a woman’s voice startled me and I thought there was something wrong. We were already dead, how can this person talk.

I looked behind me and I saw a woman wearing a ruby red Jezebel cut gown, the large diamond pendant floating in its chain still hanging around her neck. Her blonde hair covered part of her face but I could see that she was beautiful.

"I don't know," I said confused at the fact that I could talk underneath the waters.

"That's because we are dead," came another voice.

"Nooooooooooooo!" the woman in the ruby red gown screamed. "I can't be dead. I don't want to die!"

Suddenly, we were no longer floating but standing on a large cave. A man, wearing blue silk pajamas and a matching silk robe, adjusted the pipe in his mouth, appeared before us.

"Welcome! I am your host," he leered as he gave us a once over.

"Are we in hell?" asked another soul whose face I couldn't make out in the dark behind me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

DWP - the getaway: two haikus

i have had enough
of hockey and horse racing
of basketball and football;

sports commentaries
news analysis and now
damn that super bowl.

Monday, February 1, 2010

In Memoriam

In your forty-first year of life, thirty-five years ago, you died. The last five years of your life were a struggle, having had a stroke, leaving the right side of your body paralyzed. To us, you died of a broken heart, when a daughter you loved so much chose a wayward life. You brought us up well, even though we were poor, but you cannot accept the fact that each one of us had been pre-ordained with the path we had to take in life.

Suddenly life had no meaning for you. You said, "What's the point of living if a person cannot do as he pleased, like the simple task of wiping one's nose, or walking five yards to pick up a cup, a glass, a pencil, whatever." And for five years, there were no weekly housecleaning, no daily clothes-washing, no long walks in the afternoon, no more spontaneous trips to the corner store. Once a free soul, you had become a prisoner. So when the opportunity for you to leave came, you just grabbed it. You had had a rough life, not that it was your choice, and dying was liberation from this prison.

Well, I still miss you, even now, especially now. You're supposed to have enjoyed a good life with me, with us, your family. You were supposed to have watched your children as they married and had their own family. Your grandchildren had been deprived the love of a lovely and caring grandmother, just like us when we were young.

But I now play the role you never got to play. I am now a grandmother to two beautiful boys. And you know what? I see you in one of them. The youngest, Darren. I noticed how one day, he was contemplating a toy and he was slowly pacing the living room with his hands behind his back, with that serious look in his face. It brought you back instantly in my mind because you have done that a number of times when you were still alive.

I still remember how you looked: your big brown eyes, your naturally red lips, the widow's peak that framed your face, the curls of your dark silky hair that I never inherited, the creamy touch of your skin, your cheeks with a spray of freckles that you tried for years to erase with Pond's cold cream.

I remember that day when I was still a toddler when you tried on your sister's red lipstick. You had never worn lipstick at all in your life. You examined yourself for a long time in the mirror. Then you had a small taste of the lipstick and you winced your face, you didn't like its taste and so you wiped your mouth with the towel until the lipstick was gone.

You made me a dress - the purple sack dress with white crocus prints, white puffed sleeves - which you sewed by hand, the one I wore to the dance with Benjamin, a long time ago. You loved Benjamin, but not enough to let me marry him because of his religion. And Benjamin loved you, too. He cried when he learned you had died.

When Benjamin and I parted ways, largely because he wanted to marry me but he belonged to another religion, you had told him that you would want us to marry Catholic and then he can take me to any religion he wanted. But Benjamin would not disobey, not his own parents, nor mine. You said I can do anything I want, you knew I would anyway. But I love you too much, I was willing to let go of anything just not to disobey your wishes.

And so Benjamin and I we broke up. You saw how hurt I was and yet brave enough to put on a strong face. I got that from you, you know. I cried when one day, on my birthday, you handed me a large box wrapped in birthday paper. You told me it was from Benjamin, he had come by and asked you to give me the gift. I sat on the steps willing myself not to cry. You nudged me to open the gift. I did. It was a knitted dress, in pink and green with dark green trimmings. I had just started at my first job, he wanted to make sure I had a good dress to wear to work. I kept the dress but never wore it. You always asked why. You knew why, of course.

It must be painful for a mother to watch your daughter's heart break. One day, I got ready early for my evening class. I wore my baby pink mini dress, the one I wore when Benjamin and I first dated. I felt your stare. I turned and asked you what the matter was - I was ready for the admonition that my skirt was too short. But instead you asked, smiling but with the same sadness in your eyes, "Are you thinking of him?" I shook my head. But you had thought correctly.

"Does he make your heart beat faster? Do you often think of him? If you do, then you are in love." Then you looked away, with the impending smile in your lips, but with the sadness in your eyes that seemed to long for someone long ago lost, but not forgotten.

You asked me one day, "If I die, will you marry him?" I said, Of course not. Did you believe me? I guess, you did when you said "You are strong. You know what you want. I admire you. I wish I was like you." That was one of the most memorable things you as my mother ever told me. You admired me. You wished you were like me. And all these times, I wanted to be like you, but I couldn't be. I did not inherit your patience, your capacity to bear hardship, your acquiescence to my father, your quiet enthusiasm. Only in my later years would I realize that you didn't want me to be like you. You liked me and loved me the way I was, am and had always been.

I still call your name whenever I get sick, or when something hurts, especially at night. I really would not have cared if you would show up, ghostly and all, as long as you come when I call, just like you did when I was young.

Oh, Mother, how I still miss you after all these years.