OLWG · writing

OLWG# 262- The poet’s daughters

Written for OLWG# 262



Long ago, but not too far away from here, in the town of Galway, on the west coast there lived an unskilled poet known as Tadhg MacCadáin who had three daughters. In addition to his writing, Tadhg was a defender with a local Hurling club and proudly wore his togs of purple and gold.

 

I’m not here to talk about him, though, I want to praise his daughters: Calliope, and her sisters Thalia, and Erato. Each of them, grew up to be poets in their own right.

 

Let’s begin with Calliope the eldest sister. Don’t cross her, that girl has a temper. Calliope was a singer and a writer of verse. She wrote epic poetry and had an angelic voice. As a teenager, she entered a singing contest, not exactly like, but kinda like, The Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. I hope you all remember that show. It aired in the US during the late ’40s and early ’50s. It was the one that catapulted Pat Boone and his famous white bucks to stardom. Anyway, she won by defeating the nine Pierides Sisters who she went ‘toe to toe with’ in the finals. It was no easy feat to win the Amateur Hour against the Pierides. They were accomplished, in their own right, and rumour is that they were a bit slutty, too. That always helped them glean votes in the competitions they entered, and they had gotten their start entertaining the troops on the battlefields of Troy they were pretty battle-hardened but not as good as Calliope MacCadáin, who won the competition fair and square. The other girls were not gracious losers and complained to Ted about how they had been robbed of the title that should have been theirs.

 

Calliope got tired of listening to their whining and complaining. Without warning, she turned them into a parliament of magpies. I told you she had a temper.

 

But, I also told you that she was a poet. She specialized in epics. She collaborated with Homer to produce Iliad and the Odyssey. In fact, Homer was quoted in the Athens Gazette shortly after publication that he would never have attempted such tasks without Calliope as a co-writer, and he would not have been able to complete them on his own. Calliope also contributed as a ghostwriter in the works of both Virgil and Dante. She received no credit for those works and, of course, no compensation for her tribulations. Those guys were misogynistic bastards.

 

Calliope had a younger sister, the middle sister named Thalia who wrote comedy and poems of rural, tranquil scenes. She is rumoured to have worked, in her later years, as a writer on the now legendary Rowan and Martin show, Laugh-In. She wrote memorable jokes and skits for the likes of Ruth Buzzi, Arti Johnson, Henry Gibson, Lily Tomlin and Alan Sues. Although she put in countless hours, she received no credit for her toils and products at that time of her career. In her memoirs, Thalia proffers the theory that this was because of her advanced age, grey hair, age spots, and crepe-paper skin. Actors and actresses were vain and self-centred in those days. Thalia faded into the shadows when standing in the presence of women like Goldie Hawn. She didn’t hold a grudge, though, the work paid up all her bills.

 

Like her sister, she contributed to the works of better known earlier authors as well. Her influence features in Hesiod’s Theogony, and all the works of Apollodorus and Diodorus Siculus, (it is most conspicuous in Bibliothēkē historica on which she collaborated in her early years). She and Diodorus lived together in a “walk-up” flat in downtown Agyrium. It was one of those cold-water flats and did not meet the comfort requirements of Thalia so she and Siculus broke up after only a short time.

 

After leaving Diodorus Siculus, Thalia took up with a guy named Apollo who treated her better and with whom she conceived an entire erotic dance troupe of brothers. Known as “The Korybantes.” The assumed personas of seven demigods, and performed, danced, directed and choreographed what was to become known as The Dance of the Mysteries of Samothrake. A salacious and vulgar dance performed by the nude brothers armed with spears and shields, accompanied by tambourines, drums and the cries of their mystic groupies.

 

One of her better-known solo works is the semi-autobiographical 76th Orphic Hymn which was dedicated to her sisters.

 

She was spared the temper of her older sister and never turned any of her rivals into alternate species, but neither did she realize the fame of Calliope.

 

The third and youngest of the sisters went by the name of Erato. A hottie who likes to flash her body for people on the roads and in the subways of Galway. She wrote romance poems about love and sex.

 

Her best-known work is a tragedy that tells the story of a young man, Seamus, and his girlfriend, Rhadine, who were star-crossed lovers from Lydacan Townland, east of Galway just beyond the airport. Rhadine was a young girl who was supposed to marry a rich man from the ancient city of Blackrock Heath, but instead, she chose to have a secret love affair with a dairyman called Seamus.

 

The man Rhadine was about to marry was a dangerous Irishman, with a sexy accent. When he learned of the affair, he killed both his future wife and her lover, Seamus.

 

Erato wrote the tale over the course of almost a month. She wrote in poetic form while sitting naked in the front window of her flat on William Street. William Street is famous for buskers who perform there and the people who film them. There is a lot of footage of Erato sitting naked in the window of her flat. Postcards can be bought for 20p at any number of barrows lining the street. Videographers would wait for days, hoping to capture her moving more than her right hand as she scratched her quill across her parchment. Did I mention that she’s a hottie; lithe and lean, petite, with tanned skin, kept flawless by frequent visits to Allure Beauty. A salon tucked into a corner of Corbett Court Shopping Centre not far from her flat. Women want to be her. Men want to be with her.

She is one of “The poet’s daughters.”


This week’s prompts were:

  1. inside my dream
  2. picture postcards
  3. it’s the plural of plankton

writing

Hamburgers

Amusing myself with cops, hamburgers and clowns



When Officer Stephanie Patterson pulled into the lot where the hamburger joint had burned down, she was not expecting to find a clown sitting on the curb. But, there he was, all six-foot, seven inches of him. The yellow shirt he wore was, emblazoned with the logo of the burger chain and smudged black with smoke and soot. The toes of his oversized red shoes pointed at the sky, and tears streamed down his cheeks. She nosed her prowl car into the curb nearby and rolled down the window.

“ ’Sup Ronnie?” she asked.

“Fuck me, Steph, the place burned down… a goddamn grease fire in the French fry machine. What am I going to do now? I’m a hamburger clown. That’s all I am, and now there is no hamburger joint. How am I supposed to live? I like being a hamburger clown. This is my career.” He reached into the pocket of his ballooned trousers and came out with a crumpled pack of Lucky Strikes. He shook one out, straightened it up, then placed it between his lips before offering her one.

She shook her head, no. As if by magic, Ronald produced a blue disposable lighter and inhaled; as he lit the cigarette.

“You think I can get a job on the force, Steph?” He asked. Do you think I’d make a good cop? Shit, Stephanie. I never thought something like this would happen! Not in my worst nightmare.”

Officer Patterson got out of her car and leaned her butt against the bonnet. “I don’t think you could get a job with the PD, Ronnie,” she said with a wry grin, “We already have our quota of buffos.”

“You watch,” the clown intoned, “I’ll have to go back to work with the forest service. I’m telling you that I am way too old to be slinging a chainsaw around anymore.”

“I should not be saying this, Ron, but the word is that the school system might be hiring a custodian to work at the high school. My brother’s going to go for that job, though, so you didn’t hear it from me.”

“I didn’t hear a thing. If I get the job, though, do you think they’d let me wear my rubber nose?”


 

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 261- The A to Z Guide of Families and Family Life

Written for OLWG# 261



Peter’s family moved from Live OakTerrace to HighPoint Heights at the end of his first year Jonathan Doerr High School. As one might expect, this necessitated his transfer to Stephen F. Austin School of the Arts.

He met Ellen Grisham at Austin.

It was love at first sight.

Peter was so in love with Ellen and so excited about being in love that he went home and told his father. “Dad, I’ve met a girl at school, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. We want to get married and raise a family together.”

He expected his father to be supportive but was shocked when his dad pulled him out to the garage, “Ellen Grisham, you say?” Peter’s dad almost whispered. He seemed nervous.

“That’s right, Dad, she’s beautiful. She and I love one another.”

“Peter, you can’t date Ellen Grisham. Please don’t say anything to your mother, but as a young man, I sinned. My flesh was weak; and I slept with women outside of my marriage. Ellen Grisham’s mother was one of them. Ellen is your sister. You can’t do it son. It would be unnatural.”

Peter was heartbroken, but he took his fathers words to heart, and he cut ties with the young Ms Grisham. Although heartbroken, Peter was young enough to bounce back. After several months he met Angela Bishop. Peter again went to his father and, guess what? He told Peter that Angela Bishop was also his sister.

Devastated, Peter had no choice but to betray his father’s confidence, and he went to seek advice from his mother.

He told his mom everything. He told her about Ellen and Angela. He cried as he told her how her husband, his father, had betrayed her all those years ago.

Mom smiled sadly and pulled Peter into an embrace.

“Don’t you fret about that shit, boy I knew about his philandering ways.” She pressed his head into her shoulder.” If you want to date any of those girls, you feel free to go ahead and do it. Hell, date them both. I’m going to tell you the truth now. He’s not really your father.”


This week’s prompts were:

  1. bellyful of gin
  2. remember what it feels like to fall
  3. death comes like dawn

writing

ZOZO- 23.May.22 The Stars

Written in 10 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers


Melissa leaned back on the grass next to Paul and studied the carpet of stars that filled the night sky.

“Have you ever looked at clouds to find the shapes, the pictures in them?”

“I have,” he answered. “When I was very young, my brother and I once spotted a dragon in the clouds. He didn’t last long though the wind reshaped him into a sailboat. We should try it with the stars.”

Melissa mused, “I think that is what those old Greek dudes did, and they came up with the constellations. Do you think we could find some new ones?”

“We should try.” they agreed.

“Look over there,” Paul pointed to the eastern sky, “That one looks like a centipede. And there he pointed a few degrees to the west. That might be a paperboy on his bicycle.”

“I just don’t see them,” Melissa said, puzzled, “I see a girl who doesn’t think she’s pretty enough, and there’s a girl with an eating disorder. Probably anorexia; she thinks she’s too fat.”

“I get it,” said Paul, “I see a wimpy boy. He’s not strong at all. He constantly disappoints his parents.”

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts:

  1. the starlit evening
  2. embraced her insecurities
  3. the dragon needs rescuing

writing

Random Word Poetry

Jane Dougherty, one of my favourite WordPress Poets has posted a list of random words, here. She wants to see inspired poems and note the similarities, if any. I could not resist writing a quick Haibun, of sorts.



The lonely shores of the loch promised a long-needed rest. I pitched my tent and settled back in a camp chair with:
my journal,
a smoke,
and a whisky.
I hoped to spend time and enjoy the company of my incitation. As the sun set and my thoughts jumbled in the liquor, I feared that she had chosen the loch, not the shore.

My muse rose
from the murky depths.
The moon watched

writing

ZOZO- 17.May.22 Burma Shave

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers


I glance at the gauges on the dash

110 miles per hour

temperature is good

Oil pressure – right where it should be

Getting a little low on fuel

 

Rain glistens on the windscreen

Charlie Rich croons on the radio

 

I need to start looking for that Texaco

the one with the diner, the one recommended by the sign just back

Texaco bacon sounds good about now

or eggs, over easy, perched atop a slice of sourdough.

                                                                          

or

 

Maybe a Sinclair 

The green dinosaur

They used to be called Brontosaurus. Brontosauri?

But that’s changed now.

Why would a dinosaur change his name?

Was a judge involved in that business?

 

Rest Stop 15 miles

Does anybody need to pee?

 

Next services 90 miles

That must be Flagstaff

It seems about right

Can I make it?

I have an extra two-and-a-half gallon can

in the boot.

 

I can make it

will make it

I am the master of my fate

Flagstaff is just a bump in the road.

Just a bump in the road

A bump in the road

A bump

The road

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts:

  1. 90 miles to Flagstaff
  2. to be or not to be
  3. I am the master of my fate

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 260- A Formidable Doubt

Written for OLWG# 260



Sam and Evelyn were sipping coffee and sitting in the sunshine that streamed through the kitchen window.

“Jimmy never came home last night,” Sam said to Evvie, “He didn’t call either. He better be in the hospital, or I’ll put him there.”

Evvie shook her head, “He probably just got drunk and spent the night at one of his buddies places,” she said.

The girls heard a key in the front lock, and the door pushed open, but the chain was on. It didn’t open very far.

“Sam? Sam, open the door.” they heard Jimmy calling through the narrow opening. “Samantha, let me explain.”

She got up from the table, walked over and slammed the door in his face. She quickly turned the deadbolt and went back to the table.

“Up yours, Jimmy, I don’t want to hear it,” she hollered over her shoulder. She got almost halfway back to the table, stopped and turned around. Back at the closed front door, she said softly, “I dropped your stupid dog off at your mother’s house, Jimmy. I told her that you were out sleeping around. I told her that you’d probably be moving back in with her soon.

“I’ll pack your shit up and get it to your mom’s someday, Don’t come looking for any of your shit here. I’m keeping your black Sonic Youth tee-shirt, though.”

“No, Sam. Samantha, you can’t do this,” he said softly from the other side of the door.

“What’s her name, Jimmy?”

“Sam?” he pleaded.

“Do you even know her name, Jimmy? Huh?”

“Sam…”

“Her name’s not Sam. That’s my name. I’ll find out, though, and I’ll tell everyone. Go away now. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”

When Samantha got back to the table, Evie gave her a thumbs up, “Damn girl,” Evvie said, “it’s getting cold in here. You have a jacket I can borrow?”


This week’s prompts were:

  1. don’t want to hear about it
  2. sweet revenge
  3. getting cold in here

writing

Missing State Writers- May 2022

Written in five minutes time, with some friends in Capitan



I carried the bag filled with cheap plonk from my car, through the door that joined the garage with the kitchen and set it on the table where the Formica was faded from wear and sunlight. Sunlight that had streamed onto the surface through the window ever since my mother had put the table in the position where it still sat today. I retrieved a tumbler from the cupboard, filled it with cheap Spanish wine and began to drink. I had set the goal of drinking until the darkness descended and enveloped me in a cocoon of silk – no pain.


  1. it is what you allow it to be
  2. the darkness
  3. the cheapest wine
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 259- Mr Field’s One Night Stand

Written for OLWG# 259



It was about an hour before midnight, and the rain was rolling in when he pulled off the freeway and stopped at the signal near the Belden Village Mall. His destination was the Residence Inn on Broadmoor Circle. It was around the backside of the mall, off the beaten path enough that you had to be going there to go by there. He had never been there before, so it was unlikely that he’d be recognized or remembered.

Parking in a dark section of the lot, he grabbed his soft leather valise, pulled his hat down low, turned up the collar of his raincoat and made his way inside. A petite woman with mousy brown hair and acne scars  sat behind the check-in counter. She turned her attention from the magazine she held, to him, as he drew near.

“Help you?” she asked.

“Hi, Tiffany,” he squinted at the copper coloured name badge she wore on her lapel, “I have a reservation,” he said, “My name is Fields, Tyson Fields.”

She typed the name into the system and studied the screen, “Yes, sir, I see your name, but unfortunately, your credit card’s been denied. I’ll need to collect payment, how would you like to do that?”

He sighed and rolled his eyes, “This is the last time I use this Marshall BankCorp card. They have been nothing but trouble. How about if I give you cash for tonight?”

“Of course Mr Fields,” she smiled at him, “Cash works. You still want the single king for $68.00?”

“That’s great, can you put me on the ground floor?”

She typed a bit more and smiled at him as he placed three twenties and a ten on the counter. She scooped up the bills; pressed some keys on her keyboard, they both heard the ding sound of the cash drawer opening. She dug out a couple of singles and handed them to him. They both smiled.

Handing over his key-card, she informed him that room 145 was down to the end of the hall, on the right-hand side.”

He took the card and turned toward the corridor she had indicated. He turned back and asked, almost as an afterthought, “Tiffany, where would be a good place for a guy to find a drink. And, maybe some …companionship around here?”

She held up one finger, picked up the phone and dialed a three-digit extension, “Hey, Denise,” she said into the handset, “Can you come and take over the desk? I gotta go,” she paused, “yeah, right now.”

Pushing up her breasts and throwing her shoulders back, she said, “The Thirsty Dog Tavern is just up the road in Morningside heights. When Denise gets up here, I’ll be happy to show you.”


This week’s prompts were:

  1. like what you see?
  2. the rain rolls in
  3. grew up tough in Morningside Heights

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 258- A Strong Woman, One of a Kind

Written for OLWG# 258



My Great Grandma was a strong woman. She, her husband, and their four daughters had a gold mine in New Mexico that they worked together until the late 1800’s when he was killed in a poker game. She took the girls south, where they homesteaded a ranch in the Permian Basin. She was tight, she was stern, and I never saw her smile. Life was hard for her, raising daughters on her own and sending them all to college. College educated women were rare in those days, but all four of her girls were college graduates.

She would wear her shoes on the wrong feet every other day, in order for them to wear out evenly and last longer. She wore long black dresses, devoid of ornamentation, and kept her hair pulled back into a knot at the base of her neck. She died in the 1950’s, at the ripe old age of 100. My sister and I used to visit and sit with her when my Grandma and my mother would go ‘tend to things on the ranch. We’d sit in silence on rocking chairs in the shade of the porch, sipping lemonade garnished with a sprig of fresh mint pinched from the garden. Occasionally she would make a comment about the weather.

“Hot today,” she would say. Or, “I reckon, it might rain.”

We were not expected to react. We might nod in agreement, but nothing more; we were children, after all.

When my sister suggested I write something about my great-grandmother, I resisted. “I write fiction,” I’d say.

“Try it,” my sister would argue with me. “You might enjoy it.” She explained that she had done all the research and could spoon feed me all the information I needed.

“I don’t like writing true stories,” I’d argue back. “Fiction is more forgiving.”

We been going back and forth on this for years. This piece is the compromise, and you, the reader, have to decide how much is fiction and how much is truth. Sorry to lay this burden on you. Let me know what you decide.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. the world took her smile
  2. fiction is more forgiving
  3. brushed your cheek