Monday, March 16, 2009

was not gonna, but now am

I didn't intend on posting this, but decided differently, after my weekend away from posting (I am sure no one noticed Anyway ...

This is something that has been rolling around in my head (a dangerous place to be) for a while. I recently read a brilliantly written piece along the same lines on Heather of the EO’s blog and was urged into action. I did email her and let her know that this is in no way a competition piece. Writing should never fall into the place where it takes a competitive sport mentality. That does happen sometimes on here. It is sad when it does. TJ (wife,) Chella (daughter,) and myself all write poetry from time to time and will sometimes take an opening line and see how it expands in our minds and what it becomes. It is never a competition. It is just a fun exercise. The last line we did this with was, “The pain is silent.” It yielded some interesting results. Perhaps at the end of this I might mention a line and see how other writers expand it.

Here is the piece I wrote earlier:


fourteen people
mostly strangers
save a couple huddled couples
aware of the rest
but still disconnected
bubble people
chance bringing them
to the same place
most enter with eyes down
connection neither needed
nor wanted
if there is speaking
it is small and strained
the thread that binds them
is precarious at best
it is of limited length
it is knotless
it holds for the moment
then releases
as it pulls through

“Will that be all today, Sir?”
“No, I’d like a pack of light smokes.”

behind, they notice
only to gauge the wait
who cares if he smokes
if it doesn’t make me late
he matters
only for the moment
his life interacts with theirs
he looks back
is he apologizing
because she can’t find his brand
is he just looking through

she sips her coffee
as she waits
her store card
her coffee club card
her debit card
ready to speed her stay
a scan, a punch, a swipe
and the thread pulls on through
her replacement enters
eyes down
buried in their own world

almost recently
we became strangers
to all those around
courteous greetings drifted away
any feigned concern
replacing genuine
floated on the same wave

fourteen strangers
in a gas convenience store
passing through the market
like they pass through life
people enter into peripheral vision
noticed but unnoticed
they begin to forget them
even before they could begin to remember

“Why are you late, Jones?”
“some guy at the store
couldn’t find his debit”
“some guy on the freeway
wouldn’t go on”
“some guy”

“oh, sorry, my turn
no, nothing else
how much?
I think I have the change
you too, have a nice day”

I can’t even feel the thread
As it pulls on through


Ron Simpson, Jr.
March 8, 2009

And the line to challenge my writing friends:

“False hope is just a bus ride between prisons”

Do I hear wheels turning?

No comments: