The Hopeful Wanderer on Halo E on Halo The Hopeful Wanderer on Halo thecheekyhousewife on The Puddle of Suck E on The Puddle of Suck
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A metallic taste taints my tastebuds,
lingering upon my lingual compass
with no ascertained reason.
Was there something I ate?
Something I drank?
It leaves me uneasy and out of sorts.
I can forget for a few moments
if I distract myself with puzzles
to solve and problems
to resolve, but the moment I pause
It is not painful.
It does not irritate,
but it mystifies.
I am left in a quandary
that cannot be resolved
like the siblings insisting
it was the other who
broke the lamp,
when the only witness
is the elderly, half-blind dog.
But I am a problem-solver and clever,
I rinse my mouth with listerine,
even in the office, spitting it out
into the used paper cup that
contains only the dregs of
early morning instant oatmeal.
But nature outclevers the best of us,
bringing global warming, earthquakes,
and inexplicable taste of metal.
I can’t figure it out! Is it silver?
Steel? It is not copper, I know. Iron?
But I didn’t take my supplement.
And I am left to resignation.
Tomorrow is another day.
It will surely herald its own
bizarre happenstances to make me
fret and question and turn a
sensible person into a neurotic
questioner. But at least
it might not happen in my mouth!
Meet my new friends,
Hustle and Bustle.
Hustle always wears mismatched socks.
She doesn’t know what time it is and
never wears a watch.
Her hair is flyaway tendrils
whipping in the wind,
brittle, uncontrollable locks.
When she speaks, it’s without breath
and when she moves it’s as jagged
as the point on a calligraphy pen,
broken and angled even as the artist
swoops a graceful circle.
Bustle is a different sort,
always properly dressed with
neatly tied hair and heels that
announce her with a clickity clack.
She always is carrying more bags
than her tiny form should manage
and tripling her slightly stodgy width.
With Hustle you feel adrenaline,
even a walk down the street
turns into an adventure,
a heading into an alley,
exciting and scattered and new.
With Bustle you feel accomplished,
it might be overwhelming, but
a goal or twelve is achieved.
But Hustle and Bustle do not
share nicely and you will find
when they both show up for the holiday
that you are tugged from one to the other
in a whirlwind. Hustle undoing Bustle’s
efforts while Bustle tuts and whispers
in your ear about that THING Hustle wears.
Between them both, you feel like an elastic band
stretched to snapping.
Some friends are best kept at a distance
and be careful your holiday list,
for both of them are prone to inviting themselves
into your home for the party and beyond
and each simply can’t abide the other.
At a job interview, they ask
“what is your five year plan?”
But I can’t plan my dinner,
how can I plan five years in the future?
But the past, I could tell you the past.
Five years ago,
I’d a lover and friend,
secret and soulful,
the dark eyed wonder.
Finishing each other’s sentences
and playing our games,
we’d a closeness and kinship
others could see but not touch.
It was something lost in recent death
as heartwrenching and solemn
as my conclusion of law school
five years ago and the revelation
that I was not enough
to meet the quota,
not when wracked with
paralysis from waist to toe.
Five years before,
I taught students, bright and brilliant,
but I couldn’t handle their parents
or my ex-husband.
But what led me there?
Back another five years,
I had the love of my life,
test-driving car after car
and taking me on wild rides
finding the perfect burger
and best of all beers
with the whole world before us
in my study of art and his
I chart my life through
romance and events,
that seem unreleated,
but always intertwined
and always true.
How could I guess
from each five years
what I might expect
and what will be next?
When you don’t like what you hear
you attack me,
not the idea.
But I know that I communicate just fine.
When you don’t understand
you blame me,
You claim to hear different stories
but the truth is
you trust nobody
and don’t listen to
the common truth behind opinions.
The four blind men and an elephant
would fail with you.
You cannot compile the parts
into a whole and instead
blame my former leading
since in your eyes
a leader should control
taken away impressions
of followers to force
an elephant down their throats.
Inability to hear
should not be a weapon-sharpening cause.
Yet your lack of understanding
results in pointed
slices and jabs
to bleed me with
Sticks and stones
are the weapons for bones
in a war on
The silence deafens
and dims my view,
but it does not feel strange.
A single button lies upon the floor
with nothing to remind the coat of what is lost,
unless you count the four holes in the fabric
and the dangling thread which ties to nothing.
Character comes from the scars of what is gone.
The gouges and ravages
left from heart-wrenching pain,
agony, and sorrow
at some point turn into remnants of battles,
memories of glory,
and bittersweet melancholy dreams
of what once was.
The coat that was intact.
The mind is not made
to wallow in anguish,
but to appreciate what could be,
you must know what was
and what now is.
Grating, rasping, sandpaper throat
means I would give anything for
cold liquid to soothe it.
But the moment juice or water or even
bits of ice touch my lips
they become superheated and scald
when I swallow.
I try to muddle through
as if unbothered, but the gauze
wadded up and stuffing my head
leaves everything muffled
and impossible to fathom.
It is a struggle to stay awake
let alone managing the complex
machinations to move delicate pieces
like lips and tongue.
Speech is laudable, a triumph of epic proportions.
To ask that it make sense
would be to ask the world.
But my disconnect is so entire
that I cannot muster a care.
Stick a fork in.
I have been steeped in your juices of
time-consuming busyness business,
How did we go from kick the can
to point the finger?
It tires me beyond reason to
shoulder the world of your disapproval
for I am no Atlas.
But I have to question
how tired must it make you
all alone in your tower from
poached elephant tusks
to rule every instant of every day
for every one
with a single venomous finger
to scatter and drip your
Perhaps you are done too.
From the horse's mouth ... the gift or no? the mouths of babes Parrotting jargon Redundancy Buzzwords Repetition w/out analysis comprehension sublimation Is this beuraucracy? Is this comprehensible? Is this the way forward? More work with less overtime worked Have total coverage 24/7 But make sure you use all your vacation While doing the impossible. This is achievement.
to sum up a lifetime
of love, frustration, and
the most complex emotions known to man.
The greatest source of responsibility,
even when you find their actions
reprehensible, wrong, or distressing.
You still have these chains hanging about your neck,
more binding than Jacob Marley’s,
clinking with deafening sound,
no matter how you try to escape.
But there remains a positive, too;
no matter what you do,
you have someone to bring you joy.
They bring measure of vicarious pleasure
to appear from nothing; an alchemical,
chemical miracle of endorphins from
thin air and transference.
And acceptance. They might not understand
or approve, but no matter the claim,
none can sever the invisible tie of
genetic similarities. With no control
over blood (or upbringing) an inarguable
acceptance of relation presides.
Half, whole, adopted;
family is complicated,
It’s normal for the weekend to attack.
Too many responsibilities cause the weekend to
lumber up from its sleeping morass,
open its gargantuan jaws and
swallow people whole.
Friends, family, work and even the ubiquitous
tasks of laundry and cleaning house
take your glorious free time and chip away,
damaging the unset gem and eroding it
Although this weekend, the term attack
took on new meaning.
It still ate away at the time with
but the weekend grew wicked, sharp teeth.
Senseless deaths, meaningless injury
and attacks of terrorism
broke borders and shook the ground.
Emotional earthquakes not unlike the one
that trembled Japan.
I might have imagined myself alone
in facing the beast,
but the blood dripping down exposes
the truth. Where is the vorpal sword?
Where is the balm of innocents?
This is a call to heros: Quell
the terror and return the weekend
to benign gulping of times.
It leaves less mess on my emotional, laminate floor.
There are times I wish I was stone.
Hard rock as skin and a core that is so
insulated, it can feel nothing.
But is that true?
When I place my hand upon such surfaces,
I can feel the chill,
slow to seep into my bones,
but persistent and undeniable,
until my soft flesh begins to prickle
Would that I were stone;
heavy and strong, unchangeable.
But even stone can be worn down:
through water, through wind, through time.
Just as it reflects the cold,
so must rock reflect the heat.
Ever subject, but never permitted
Perhaps it is pity I should hold,
for the stone that will never
A creature of habit, I start every day
at work, in my office, the very same way.
Before it is light, before people arrive,
to the coffee machine I go, rubbing bleary tired eyes.
The first I obtain is not what you might think,
for herbal tea, mint or pomegranate, is my early drink.
But lo, the treachery of industrial plug,
for it takes a cup and A HALF to fill my Tardis mug.
But take negative to positive, so goes corporate adage,
and with half cup of water and mug I will manage
a return to my seat, where waiting for me,
is my pack of instant oatmeal, so gloriously.
Before I make calls, or engage in my meetings,
I’ve warm belly fuel to enjoy slowly eating.
Consistency of glue, it will stick to my ribs
and prevent me from snacking all day like a pig.
It wakens me slowly, but fuels for some time
and will even permit my spontaneous rhyme.
As a child, so hated, was this hero of lumps
but who knew the comfort that’s found eating bumps?
My calming ritual, he has saved me strife,
granting me balance in a fast-paced life.
With sugar or fruit, there’s sweetness to behold
which fends of both hunger and bitter cold.
Oatmeal, to many, you’re the oft-unloved food,
but you solved my dilemma while improving my mood.
A day without tea is unsettling and dry,
but a day without oatmeal, I barely survive.
Oatmeal, I thank you for all that you give.
A world with no oatmeal, would be one half-lived.
There is a game that many children play. I think it has a hundred different names,but when I was a child, we called it telephone. I think it was introduced to us as “telephone operator” but I grew up in a time when, although there was no wireless and phones operated on rotary dials, we were modern, we had gotten rid of the operator. We, sensible children, truncated the game appropriately.
The game was played by all sitting in a row. I swear, we once had enough people playing for us to go from one end of the elementary playground, down the macadam hill that was the source of so many badly scraped knees, straight to the other end. The first person would whisper a sentence to the next, then that person to the next, until the last person would run to the other end of the line to say what they heard and the first person would announce what the sentence actually was. We’d all laugh and move down one and the last person would become the new first.
I think we only ever had time or focus to get through three sentences a game before recess was called or we abandoned it for foursquare or kickball. Elementary school was big on balls. You had a good day when you got one of the ever elusive, extra bouncy and firm good balls, but I digress.
Communication gets so easily muddled. I’ve come to realize as an adult how very often it happens. I have been labeled the subject matter expert, a go to source for the job I do. Not because I have long experience with the systems used, I’m just a really fast study. I have enough logic that systems don’t have to be old to be comprehensible. This is a source of value that I willingly capitalize upon.
But where’s the telephone and miscommunication, E? Well, I’ll tell you. It happens most frequently with a golden source; you want a report or the answer to your question, so you come to me. I produce a report. Yay! Everything’s great, right? Ah, but you are a crafty high muckety muck, so you want confirmation that I understood and did it correctly. So you go to your faithful bootlick.
“Faithful Bootlick, I need this information with x and y wackdoodles. And fetch my dry cleaning on your break.”
So then, because I am the golden source with systems singing “ahhh” in harmony, Faithful Bootlick comes to me.
“I have this client who needs y wackadoodles reported. Oh, and if you could get information, too, that’d be good.”
Wow, I feel popular. Forget my normal work, I’ll shoot that to you. Only then you call back and need x, too. And maybe z. Waaait… this is starting to sound familiar.
“Hi, Faithful. Did Crafty ask you to get this for her?”
“Why, yes. How did you ever know?”
“It was a wild guess. Let me send you something.”
I send the original report.
“Oh, wow, this is perfect!”
This happens repeatedly. Day after day. Sometimes with variations of three different high muckety mucks and numerous underlings: bootlickers, brown nosers, lickspittles, sweet contractors and surly, jaded old farts.
Who knew that a childhood game would be substance for a viable career?
I don’t just dream in color,
I dream in sensations and memories.
The smell of a house I visited
25 years ago, as a child,
can arrive without warning
in a dream where I run through a field.
I can hear rain swelling to fill
a room with a rushing river
on a hot night in the midst of drought.
I can feel the wings and fur
of the three-foot tall bumblebee
who emerges from the flowering azalea.
The world sometimes pales in comparison
to what I dream;
washed out, dingy and grey.
But then I see you, vibrant and bold.
The best dreams occur while awake.
I have angular cheilitis. It’s embarrassing, but not really all that noticeable or irritating, EXCEPT when I go to the dentist. I looked up the information and this particular (even mild) condition is often a result of low iron, or low B12 intake. It can also be the result of… yes, sleep drooling. See why it’s embarrassing?
From a homeopathic standpoint, I can go buy some iron and b12 and try to fix my saliva, but I can’t really stop that embarrassing condition. It reminds me of when I started playing the clarinet and it was so disgusting, all the spit that would puddle underneath. And my teacher would just cheerfully announce, “She’s a juicy one!” Gross, right?
Well, the dentist commiserated and she’s given me prescriptions, but it doesn’t seem to get better. It’s not disgusting; it’s not bad like herpes or cold sores or something really horrific, but it also is distressingly persistent. So she decided to give me a pair of prescriptions and off to my local Walgreen’s I went.
It was Saturday, so I figured it wouldn’t be a bad thing if I had to wait when I dropped the prescriptions off. I walked right up, without waiting to hand them over. “I’m sorry, it will be a half an hour.”
Hmm. A half an hour. That could be a show on television, I could maybe go grocery shopping. I’m not in a huge rush, it could be worse. And I have my phone. Thank the internets for smart phones! “I’ll wait,” I offer and run around to start looking for things I need.
Bubble bath, some kleenex, and some considered but rejected laundry detergent later, I returned to take a seat and wait.
“GAAAWD,” moaned the only other person, a woman looking sort of scruffy, but with an id card hanging from her neck. She squirmed from buttcheek to buttcheek, muttering under her breath. I couldn’t see a phone in her ear as she starts going on about how “this is ridiculous. She needs this medicine and how dare the doctors give her the runaround like this.”
She keept this up for a while and I tried to figure out if she’s crazy and talking about herself, or she’s really a caregiver for someone else. I pretend to ignore her by playing Candy Crush. Yay for smartphones! The pharmacist calls her over once the lines pause. Apparently there’s only one girl behind the counter and one pharmacist on duty, so that’s the reason for the extended wait time.
I check the time. 20 minutes so far. I switch from Candy Crush to Wordbrain. I find myself nearly stumped with the word rope for some reason. Maybe I’m not really focusing. I’m still listening to the woman who is talking far too loudly for the consultation area. She’s talking about the R.N. for this woman she helps out with. Finally, she has it all explained and very genial assistance and she’s quite nice to the pharmacist and said she apologizes and knows it’s not their fault. Craziness averted.
They double check with me if I want to use my insurance – which I don’t because my insurance company will actually reduce my prescription for migraine medicine. It’s the only medicine I normally purchase, so this one situation, I’ll suck up the extra cost. I shift on my seat, assuming that I might be next, but someone comes over to check if a prescription he’s submitted is ready.
I sit back down. Over the intercom, rings out, “Customer Service needed in the Skincare Department.”
The guy explained he’s not surprised they’re having a problem with it – it’s a new medication. The pharmacist adds that he isn’t even familiar with the specific, so he’ll have to talk to the doctor. “It’s a new form of testosterone,” the guy announces. Privacy areas be damned!
Wordbrain. Pretend I’m not listening!
“Customer Service needed in the Snacks Department.”
The man accepts the fact that the pharmacist will have to deal with the doctor and they’ll let him know when it’s ready in the next few days.
“Customer Service needed in the Deodorant Department.”
Finally my prescriptions are ready and 40 minutes after I sat down, I’ve enjoyed some time on my smartphone and realized how strange pharmacies really are.
My voice is heard from your assumptions.
When you tell me I’m negative,
I don’t feel it.
I don’t hear it.
You think I am childish, emotional,
unprofessional. And I’ve
discovered, around you, I am.
Somehow, my calm, my cool, and
all my arguments fall down,
convulsing, shuddering and
altering shape to turn into
what you expect.
How do you kill an assumption?
It is bred so hardy and strong,
with a skin like rock,
impervious to logic. Proof
just sloughs off, rolling down
like raindrops on plastic.
Some assumptions take years to
break down; color, religion, race,
or in your case,
impressions without cause to make me
something I’m not.
I imagine a pistol of assumption-slaying,
but guns are dangerous and it would
result in further proof that I am
childish. But I refuse not to dream.
And someday, my dreams will destroy
your prejudice and your assumptions.