Unless otherwise attributed, all content, text or image, on this site is © TaunaLen 2005-2011.
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Monday, September 29, 2008

As the World Rolls?

Prompt:  I lost a world the other day.  (E. Dickinson)

I lost a world the other day. 

The last time I saw it, it was sitting on my desk --- just beside the big blue dictionary, on top of the bills I have to pay by Friday.  I wonder if it rolled beneath the easy chair, or if the cat batted it into her favorite hiding spot beneath the bookshelf.  It’s not like a clear glass globe was especially important; I’m sure I could find another one just like it at the dollar store.  But I feel like it’s as sign, an omen, a reminder of how very little I have ‘together’. 

Juggling laundry and friends, words and deadlines, money and the television shows that are filling up my DVR, I wonder whether I’ll ever catch up with myself.  I don’t really think I’d be surprised to come out of the kitchen carrying out the trash and meet myself stumbling in the door under a load of library books.  It’s not that hard, this world losing.  It’s all to easy, in fact.

I wonder if the problem is in the shape.  Spheres are slippery; they don’t really lend themselves well to being contained in a palm or on a cluttered desk.  I vote that a cube shaped world would suit my purposes so much better.  People would just have to avoid the edges and corners.  I wonder whom you’d petition to make that suggestion for change.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll spend some time sweeping the corners and searching under the furniture.  That globe paperweight has to be around here somewhere.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Disappearing Stair

PROMPT:  “Suddenly the stair disappeared into the darkness.”

The theater is dark, shadowy.  She wanders in off the street, looking for a quiet place to escape the cold, and the holiday crowd gathered in her home. Climbing the steps, she settles into the best seat in the house—the very center seat of the balcony, first row.  The place is dark, pitch black, and the lit screen of her cell phone doesn’t shed much light around her, but she wants to sit alone in the dark for a while.

She stares at the grey expanse of screen, surprised the thing is still intact and whole.  As she closes her eyes, she can see the images flicker in front of her.  The music swells, the story plays out on the backs of her eyelids, and she is transported back in time, into the screen, into the story of a woman who is loved by a man she cannot have.  The story of her life, acted out by the old Hollywood actors.  For two hours, she is the beautiful one, the heroine that everyone desires. 

Then, the tail end of the film makes a clattering noise as it slips through the projector.  She opens her eyes, and she is sitting in a musty, chilly, dark theater once more.  She realizes that the clattering noise she hears isn’t film…someone is there in the theater with her.

White discs of light flash across the wall to her left, and she slips quietly into the aisle, keeping low.  She had probably tripped some sort of alarm, trespassing they will say.  She takes the steps two at a time, pausing between each to hear the shuffling steps of what she assumes are police officers.  She is hoping to get to the emergency exit next to the screen while they climb the stairs to the opposite side of the balcony.

How embarrassed will she be if she is caught trespassing in an abandoned theater.  Who will understand that she just needed to get out of the house full of family and friends, to get away and find a quiet place?  She had gotten the strangest looks when she said she was going out for a walk in the frigid night air.  They will be appalled if she gets arrested on top of it all.

Suddenly she is bathed in a glaring pool of yellow light, and a baritone voice sounds from the opposite set of stairs, demanding that she halt.  A split second later, she hears him take a tumble, and the light goes out.  Counting herself lucky, she takes the last few steps at a run, intending to hit the exit door and beat a path for home. 

Of course, things never go according to plan.  Her cell phone suddenly rings, her foot slips on the third step, and suddenly the stairs disappear into darkness, as she pitches forward into empty space.  Behind her, a deep, authoritative voice calls out for her to stop.  Thanks to gravity, she does.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Faulty Clock

wet streets

slick and black

puddles that shimmer

as new droplets

add themselves

to the mix 


busy intersection lights

reflect in the dark

surface of the puddles

night presses its face

against the windows

of this corner cafĂ© 


across the street

a red brick arch

marks the entrance

to free public parking

a white faced clock

announces the time

to cafe patrons

and passersby 


the clock, however

is off by three

and one half hours 

I glance at it

every few minutes

sipping my coffee

my pen hesitating

in its journey

across the page


closing time is ten p.m. 

and in this moment

the clock says five-to-one 

my head calculates

does the simple math

of its own accord

I smile marking time

with a faulty clock

and the scratching

of my favorite ink pen

it is a very good night

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Unless otherwise attributed, all content, text or image, on this site is © TaunaLen 2005-2009.
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