Trial by Fire

October 15, 2017

Someone got me writing again. Someone got me writing Scurvytown again, which is even better.

I wrote more words for personal interest than I have written in far too long. Everything in between a tangled mess, between ruin and pain management. I wrote my way out of that paper bag, lay it all out on the line to dry, and set it ablaze in effigy.

The push I needed was a new event in town for writers to showcase their work. They set up theme nights, and the second night was themed “Lemons.” I was like, well, hell, I have an entire lemon grove just wasting away in Scurvytown. I was all in for that event, but it got rescheduled, which was all for the best, due to some unfortunate happenstance.

My laptop died, most appropriately, because my last Macbook was a lemon. In the space between acquiring a new one and the rescheduled event, I wrote entirely new content. My plan was to start with a new Scurvytown piece and it ended up that that was the hardest thing to write, something that I finished the morning of the reading. It was something I should have finished the night before, but sometimes personal relationships take time away from writing, and sometimes, it’s time well spent. In this case, time well spent indeed, not the least of which was that I got excellent feedback on one of the pieces and was able to make some needed revisions on the fly.

I think the reading went well, considering I was rusty. Considering the words were a bit raw and not entirely polished/revised. Someone at the reading had a series of poems written by an AI, which is really close to this idea I have about a poetry chapbook seemingly written by an AI. I thought that was really cool. And honestly, I enjoyed getting to hear other people read way more than I enjoyed reading my stuff. I think people liked what I shared, though, so that was a relief.

By way of a weak conclusion, here is one of the poems from the reading:

Tea Leavings and What They Mean

I cut a swath across Ohio, ventricle to aorta, across the heartland and back again. In the breadth of a day. I slept most of the way, fevered dreams hoping for glimpses of a future told in three parts. There, back again, home. For good.

From sunrise to sunset, a warm grapefruit glow of morning glory, a cotton candy assault on the return, a Cheshire Cat moon appeared as a beacon, lighting a sideways smile to indicate a safe journey for whatever lay ahead in the darkness.

I saw my future in lemon groves, in sour slices of candy-coated segments, sparkling in the sun.
A deck of tarot spread out before me. The backs of the cards were all lemon trees, branches heavy with the fruit they bore. Heads up and upside down. Lights on and lights off. The queen of cones. The three of bees. What sort of fortune is this, in lemon soaked tea leaves?

When you reach the bottom of the cup, it means the cup is empty, and full of tea leaves.

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