Tuesday April 7th, 2009

The exercise:

We had a potluck lunch today at work and there was plenty of yum to go around. So today's starter, ever so shockingly, is: potluck.


I set out on a wander one Summer day,
Not long after the rain had gone away;
When a rainbow these brown eyes did behold,
Which I followed with dreams of pots of gold.

I climbed over hills, I strolled through valleys,
I searched on rooftops, I combed back alleys;
When in a field of mud I did get stuck,
I had to admit I was out of luck.


Greg said...

Nice interpretation of potluck, Marc. And better luck chasing rainbows next time ;-)


"I think Jim will like these sausages," she said.
"He's a vegetarian," I replied.
"Who are you?"
She blushed and hung her head,
But I waited her out.
"I used to work with his wife," she said.
"I'm his wife," I replied.
"No, the pretty one..."
The words died in her throat
As tears welled up in my eyes.
She dropped her dish of sausages,
Toughened glass shattering,
Bright shards flung to the far corners of the room
Like the pieces of my marriage
Broken at a potluck.

PersicaPit said...

Great prompt, Marc, and great poetry! Here's my contribution:

Potluck Girl

She's a potluck girl, a stew of odds-and-ends deposited by the men she loved but never loved her in return. She watches Monday Night Football and still roots for the Steelers, just for Mike, who she hasn't seen in six years. Her iPod is a mishmash of genres: Richard's bluegrass, Danny's indie bands, Alex's gangster rap. She still wears kitten heels for Bobby, who always hated that she was taller than him and eventually left her for her more petite best friend.

"Get over them," her friends tell her. "Find yourself. You need to be you."

They make it sound so easy, but it's not, because they're all still inside her, churning and bubbling, their memories hot to the touch. It's too late to get rid of them; they've all melted together and are stuck to her bones.

And maybe her friends are wrong. Maybe these men make her who she is.She's Tommy's chambray work shirts, Beau's chai tea, Andrew's skinny jeans. What if all these men have made her who she is? What if that's the way it's supposed to be?

But deep down in the black, hot kettle of her heart, she knows better. She knows. Nobody should ever be just an amalgam of other people's leftovers, because when you take those chunks away, all that's left is a thin, weak broth that tastes of nothing, nothing at all -- and that thought terrifies her to the core.

So she keeps them all inside her: Jack's cheesy science fiction novels, Eric's appetite for Korean cuisine, Bart's dark fetish for handcuffs and stilettos. She lets the pot keep boiling because she can't ever forget them, even if they've already forgotten her -- and she's wise enough to know they have.

After all, who could possibly remember someone who can't even remember her own self?

Marc said...

Greg - ooh, how dreary. Poor sausages though :(

PersicaPit - I read yours at work today and my reaction when I reached the end was, and I quote, 'Ah! That was awesome.'

I liked the way you brought it back to the theme, with lines like 'But deep down in the black, hot kettle of her heart, she knows better', but were willing to stray away from it as well.

Thanks so much for sharing :)

PersicaPit said...

Marc, thank you so much for the response. It's been a long time since I've shared a piece of writing with anyone, and your feedback has given me a sense of confidence I'd lost along the way. Sometimes, one piece of encouragement is all it takes to keep a writer going.

Again -- thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

Marc said...

My pleasure :)

It's always nice to read good writing and encouraging more to be written is the least I can do, I figure.