For today’s prompt, take on one (or both) of the following prompts:
- Write a serious poem. Or…
- Write a silly poem.
I posted at 7:38am my time, and I was tired. Images were not concrete but a fast-speed slideshow of blurred shots. I initially wrote in fountain pen,
It’s a mask I wear. My students wear similar masks. A daily charade. An endless Halloween party.
I guess I had youth on my mind from yesterday and I continued down that path. The phrase Halloween party stopped me in my tracks. Halloween means many things to me. My mother passed away on Halloween. I had major eye surgery on Oct 26th and I told the surgeon to give me extra stitches for Halloween. I often run through the country alone, in a car, taking pictures. The featured image, the rusty gas pump with American Pickers’ patina was shot on Halloween in 2009. It’s a day of thinking for me, a day of reflection. In 1987, at a Halloween party, a guy wore a face of newly-elected Premier Frank McKenna, now a director of the evil Haliburton. He cut it out and pasted it to cardboard and strapped it to his face. From the other side of the room he was Premier Frank McKenna. That evil mask has stayed with me all these years. Brian Gallant is our new Premier, and I actually like him.
The writing of the word Halloween took me back to this party, to any Halloween party, to a fictional Halloween party where people, serious in their daily lives, hide their true identities and true natures by wearing costumes and masks. The serious become silly. So I ran with the party theme.
I could have made this poem much longer. I almost inserted lines about my mother who loved Halloween. She had an old Indian squaw costume she loved to wear. It just didn’t want to fit. The poem does not live entirely in a Halloween party. “My perpetual,” suggests a life of mask wearing; in which case the party becomes metaphor.
Personally, I am not a fan of Halloween. I don masks every day when I write. I have more than enough silly in my life to have to release myself from serious for a day. For me, Halloween is almost the opposite. Serious John, Halloween sore thumb. The last third is real life and suggests a façade, that day-to-day living is very much a mask. And the final line is just nonsense, perhaps a real life blending of serious and silly, a lawyer facing real, hard decisions makes light of the unfortunate choice of words. Don’t we all do this? Don’t we all live in artificial, overly serious or overly-silly worlds?
Bobbing For Apples
It’s a mask, I wear. My perpetual Halloween party
Bobbing for apples and shooting stiff ones through slits, on the face of it
The camo-girl jumps on a table with her AK-47 and Singapore Slings, the cheering
Prisoners gather and salute, a priest refills her ammunition
The sexy nurse in the corner rubs her dying beer’s hand, the politician
At the bar he waits to hit on her, for her to attend, his ailing body
Wears a a tuxedo and Premier Brian mask cut from an election poster, the cardboard façade
Adorns this province’s parking lots and water coolers
The yellow beer stain on his white shirt shifts our direction
Tomorrow he will try to get me to buy Japanese steel stocks
The nurse will sit and code
The soldier will lay dead in her bead
A new client today wanted to divorce his wife for screwing him, I assured
There are easier ways to resolve such conflicts