Tuesday, April 28, 2009

MySixWriMo Day 28


It’s Tuesday, which means two prompts from Robert Lee Brewer. Because his prompts today are poetry specific, I’ll throw in two to give us some extra choices.

Our duo from Robert Lee Brewer at Poetic Asides:

For today's prompt, I want you to write a sestina. (Click here to find out the rules for sestinas.) So start figuring out your 6 end words and get writing.

But wait! Today is Tuesday, so you have one other option. You can write a poem about the sestina (your love, hate, frustration with, etc.).

And here’s two gems from The Writer’s Book of Matches (Writer's Digest Books):

#1: You see your brother, a recovering alcoholic, buying beer at a local store.

#2: A man and his wife stop to investigate a disabled vehicle on the side of the road.

Lots to pick from. Am I wrong to expect greatness? See you in the comments later.


Greta said...

Rock Bottom

I see him standing in line, my cocky baby brother, the twelve pack cradled in his elbow like an infant. He’s watching the toe of his worn work boot scuff the floor. He looks up and sees me. That charming, boyish smile that always won me falls.

“Liz, wait!” he calls, but I’m already halfway down paper products, blind eyes stinging.

Part of me says wait, but I’ve seen and heard enough, enough I’ll quits, enough promises to pay me back, to go to meetings, to find a place in just one more months. He’s cost me everything, my marriage, my self-respect. That twelve pack says he’ll only cost me more.

Stephen said...

Beautiful job, Greta. I like it.

I took prompt #2:

What Herman Discovered

Herman knew he shouldn’t have stopped—knew it deep inside, just like he knew that heart attack was about to strike back a couple of years ago—but Vivvy insisted, said it was the “Christian” thing to do. Besides, how could they pass by a stranded motorist way out here in the middle of nowhere, the nearest town like forty miles away, and not lend a hand.

“Oh, Herman how can you?” she continued, after he passed by the rusted-out Chevy with its hood up. “How would you feel if you were broken down and needed help and people kept passing you by?”

He wanted to keep going, wanted to tell Vivvy to shut it and leave him alone, but the guilt she laid on top of him grew so heavy that a mile later he turned the car around and drove back. Kneeling down at the side of the road now, the barrel of the man’s pistol against his head and Vivvy crying like a woman who just lost her baby, Herman knew that life was nothing more than sum of his misfortunes, the first of which was marrying a woman who couldn’t tell the difference between real life and the life she’d made up in her mind.

Greta said...

Nice one, Stephen. You remain the master of the perfectly timed reveal.

JohnOBX said...

Why do these shorties tend to bring out the bleak in all of us? Good 6's, guys. I’m going to “do a Greta” and bust the cap on my 6 today:


I like to think of myself as a non-judgmental sort of fellow and to test that theory every once in awhile I do something crazy like stop to help people broken down on the side of the road, even when they are wearing a turban and have that box-cutter-hijacker look.

“Car trouble,” I asked, just in case he’d popped the hood on his Mercedes for the shade, I suppose.

“Very much,” he said, which were exactly two of the total of eleven English words he knew, though he seemed to understand a great deal more.

Engine tinkering seems to be one of those pan-national things guys from any background can do together despite enormous language differences, and we fiddled with a few moving parts before deciding the car was purposefully designed so only very tiny German engineers could get to the parts that needed fixing.

Rapport established he hopped in with me and I headed for the nearest service station.

There was a bottle in the brown bag on the seat between us, a gift of cabernet for the missus, and my new friend noticed it, waggled his eyebrows and made a sipping motion with his pinched thumb and index finger.

“Um…I got it for my wife,” I said. There was a small pause as he digested this and he nodded approvingly.

“Ah. Good trade.”


A bow to whoever it was that told me a very old joke that was the inspiration for this story.

Greta said...

John, I'm a stew of amused indignation :) What? I've cheated so badly, it's actually become a named phenomenon?

I've heard this joke before and always liked it. You told it well, embellishing it just enough to make it fresh. Embellish it more and you could likely submit it to EDF. I've seen them pub facelifted jokes in the recent past.

JohnOBX said...

Thanks Greta. I don't know why I can't seem to crack the EDF ceiling. I've submitted three stories; one was rejected (rightfully so, actually) and the other two have disappeared into limbo. I have to imagine they have a bazillion submissions to weed through, but a form "yeah" or "nay" would be welcome.


Greta said...


EDF's been in a state of transition the past few months. They've changed slush readers at least twice now. It's had an impact on their editorial preferences and on their turnaround times. I've had something in the hopper there awhile, too. If you don't mind sharing, let me know what you hear and when and I'll let you know the same.

Linda said...

What?! No six-sentence sestina? And you all yourself a writer?!

I've been following along, a bit envious at your ability to crank out a daily 6. I've been laboring with my wee poems. And they are pretty meager. Congrats on all the nice stuff I see on your side bar... Peace, Linda