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Tag Archives: Writing

The Jerry Poems

 

road

Riding Up The Thruway

Riding up the thruway
in the fresh October morning
struck by the splendor
of sun and sky and mountains
we pretended we were driving
to Quebec. Beneath my sweater
my nipples pulsated
with yesterday’s rhythms.
I was a lute
a harpsichord
a joyous screaming horn
wailing for your fingers
and your tongue.

No Miles ever played as sweetly
no Coltrane as intenselysaxophone as you
my fine musician
celebrating passion
upon this throbbing drum.

***********************************

The Same Two Years

“Two years!”
I sob into your shoulder
(your rich round luscious
brown shoulder)
For two years
I cupped delicate dreams
in tentative palms:
an offering.
Take them now,
they are yours tonight
as much as my breasts
and my thighs
for I am afraid
that tomorrow will be
the dawn of anotherladybugheart2
two years.

Finally you speak:
Time flies.

*********************************

Non-Monogamy

Do you compare us?
Do your hands caress
her sculptured thighs
rejoicing in sensation
my padded flesh denies?

Do your lips delight
in tobacco-free kisses?
Does each layer she unfolds
reveal another of my flaws?

You say there’s no
comparison. You lie:
New lovers are always
antidotes to old.

You say we’re each unique
that you love the one you’re withdaisies
but still the question haunts me:
When you compare us, who wins?

****************************

Profile

Your framed profile sits beneath
a bunch of tightly shut anemones.
By the time they blossom
you will lie beside another.

Bloody purples, pinks and reds—
even virgin whites—
will trumpet your
betrayal.

All attempts to hold you
or to leave you have failed.

I watch the tender petals spreadanemones
raining seeds upon your photo.
They open to reveal their centers,
each one brilliantly distinct.

*****************************

I Wanted to Lie In Bed

I wanted to lie in bed and tickle his toes.
He wanted to go out for breakfast.
I wanted to listen to his childhood secrets.
He wanted to hear jazz in the local cafe.
I wanted to read him my poetry.
He wanted to take in a skin flick.
I would have fed him moussaka
had he sat still long enough
rubbed his muscles
with eucalyptus oil
lathered his hair
sculpted his face
with my hands.

Now his absence fills the room
with relief. The air expands.
The horizon of my mind
stretches in the silence like rubber.

He never raised a hand in anger
or even his voice
never asked for commitmentBridal Bouquet
or demanded choices.
He respected my art
fed my cat
was patient in bed
and picked up his socks.
He just never had time
to feel.

********************************

The Last Lap

Swimming towards another shore
I pause to gaze at those behind.
Letting go was never easy
and the pain disguised as pleasure
was seductive.
How I cradled it between my breasts
pretending my yearning sighs
were of contentment.
How I studied our strokes
as we moved through the muck
only to discover
I’d been swimming alone.

Surfacing
I find you bobbing
like a piece of dead woodocean b:w
surrounded by those
who fitfully grasp
your slippery edges.
It is not you I mourn
in crossing
but the loss of kinship
with the drowning.

*****************************

White Lies

He made me feel rooted
and strong as a tree
wrapped my parched bones
in ebony silk
as if we inhabited
some other planet

but it was America
on Earth 1980
and we had been taught
white lies.
Plotting revenge
we came to despise
what we’d loved.

I curse his virtues
celebrate his faults
read books and theories
on racism.
I’ve forgotten how it felt
to sleep in his skin
and the landscape we crossed
unafraid.

heartstitchesbroken

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Still Writing

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Okay, I haven’t posted anything lately–but that’s mostly because I’m still trying to get my new website off the ground. And maybe I’m becoming so overwhelmed by the sheer verbiage of this world, I find I have nothing to say, except maybe outrage over world events.

And okay, maybe my claim to the title “Still Writing” is tenuous these days, but I’m sure I’ll be back eventually. Meanwhile, please go visit my new website at:

http://marsheiner.wordpress.com/

You could even follow it!

book piles

Still Writing: New Blog

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Readers and other Dirty Laundry Followers! 

 

I’ve just begun a new blog, Still Writing, with a primary focus on writing, books, and most particularly, my books.While the site is still under construction, I’d be delighted to get some visitors, commentary, followers, and feedback. The construction is going slow, but there’s a hefty number of posts up that I transferred from another old blog, BookBuster, soon to be permanently shut down. In fact, I just put up a Dirty Laundry post from last year about the wide world of publishing, so come on over.

 

book piles

 

Five Sentence Fiction #3: Florida

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Five Sentence Fiction #3. This week’s prompt is Vacation.

Sun

Florida

For over 20 years I spent one week a year with my mother in Florida, and every day I took a long delicious walk along the Atlantic Ocean. In the evenings she took me out for expensive dinners. Even so, every  morning I’d awaken filled with a sick, sinking feeling inside, except on the day I was going back home. At my mother’s funeral I thought, I never have to come here again, and I haven’t.

Sometimes I miss the ocean.

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The Goldfinch: Book Review

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Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch (Photo credit: Images by John ‘K’)

 

The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt
Winner, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014

Spoilers ahead.

 

“To write a novel this large and dense…is equivalent to sailing from America to Ireland in a rowboat, a job both lonely and exhausting…—Stephen King, reviewing The Goldfinch in The Guardian

If reading fiction is an escape from reality, I’m having trouble with re-entry. It’s been over a week since I finished The Goldfinch, yet it’s still one of the first things I think of in the morning and return to several times during the day. Somewhere around page two or three hundred I took up residence in the world created by Donna Tartt, and I’ve yet to move out. (“…with very great paintings it’s possible to know them deeply, inhabit them almost…” —from The Goldfinch.)

The Goldfinch however, is no escape: it thrusts us into the awareness, always just beneath the surface, that the only way out of our troubled lives is death, a truth most of us tend to avoid. When forced to face it, our reactions can range from depression to terror to thoughts of suicide (as in might as well get it over with). I don’t know if this was Tartt’s intention, but it was, at least for me, the novel’s ultimate statement. Not that she doesn’t offer glimmers of joy and hope along the way, particularly in her long summary-like ending: but the dark side decidedly overpowers the light.

A plot-driven novel, The Goldfinch is full of twists and turns and moments of heightened suspense. Unlike most plot-driven books (see John Grisham, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, et al), in which the action is fueled by stereotypical cardboard characters, The Goldfinch is populated by multi-dimensional  human beings: Theo, the narrator around whom all others spin; Boris, his chief sidekick, dragged all over the world by his abusive businessman father; Pippa, the girl Theo falls in love with moments before a bomb goes off in the New York Metropolitan Museum, setting the plot in motion; and dozens more. I can still vividly picture every one of these characters, though Tartt, thankfully, allows readers to fill in most of our own visuals—which is odd, considering she’s so heavy on other kinds of description.

As both a reader and writer I’ve never been that interested in description, whether of city streets or country roads, lavish mansions or run-down hovels. Thus, Tartt’s long, elaborate word paintings of whatever’s going on while what’s really going on goes on annoyed the hell out of me—that is, for the first hundred pages or so, until I fully surrendered.The plot is so engaging that I’d impatiently scan the page (or rather Kindle screen), my nerves twitching with the feeling of Come on, get to the story already! For instance, just as Boris is about to tell Theo (and us) what’s become of the treasured painting at the center of the plot, Tartt leaves the conversation momentarily to let us know what’s showing on the TV set in the bar. She’s also big on that famous plot device, the flashback: after the explosion, when Theo crawls through a collapsed passageway seeking an exit, Tartt flashes back to a time when he was stuck in another tight space. Sometimes she even writes a flashback within a flashback.

At such moments I became distracted and annoyed, and read as quickly as possible to get past what I saw as “extra”s…but then a funny thing happened on my way back to “the story”: I began to notice that my impatience was similar to what happens during suspenseful passages; Tartt’s long flights of description left me literally suspended. I was desperate to know what would happen next: I had to turn the pages. Eureka! Are these literary devices—the descriptions, the flashbacks—purposeful techniques employed precisely to create suspense? Is her deftness with these methods partly what makes the book so compelling? Perhaps. No, more than perhaps: probably. It’s worth noting that The Goldfinch is only Donna Tartt’s third published novel, and that she spent eleven years writing it. At a time when would-be authors attend workshops on “How to Write A Bestseller in a Weekend” and toss off a book in six months’ time, Donna Tartt is holding down the fort of literary excellence.

 

 

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