NaPoWriMo #2

Monday, April 02, 2018

Prehistoric

She couldn’t decide whether to write her poem in the first person.  Often she would settle on the distance of the second person.  However, taking a step back, it would sometimes become clear to her that you hadn’t done these things.  You probably weren’t born in Kansas.  You don’t have a mole at the corner of your right jaw.  You weren’t sitting behind your brother’s house under a green umbrella listening to a saw outside a neighboring house.  “Take it to the curb, Orlando!” is not what you were reading on the side of a trash can next to the house.  But maybe you were reading it right now, since she’d written it down here.  So, who knows.

Good old prehistoric Florida, is what she thought, watching cranes crane across a partly cloudy sky, listening to overly insistent bird call, an eye out for prop planes.  All that weird shift in barometric pressure made her feel haunted.  Maybe it was haunted around here, what with all the displacements, all the death and sunshine.  Or maybe it was the haunted show she’d been watching with her friend.  “Wales,” the friend had said, “is fucking creepy.”  And she should know, having married into a Welsh last name.  Unsettled they both were, in more way than one.  Who would move where to help take care of whose kids?  These are the types of conversations they had.  If she wasn’t watching something creepy and Welsh, she was sitting around thinking, fuck.  That’s why the first person seemed like too much right now.  She would write her poems from a distance.    


Sebastian Venable was the phrase that came to mind, the name of the wealthy closeted gay man in Suddenly Last Summer who would write one slim volume of poetry per year on a vacation with his mother, a mother whose looks lured in young men for him to seduce.  When Mrs. Venable’s looks started to go, Sebastian took along his cousin Elizabeth Taylor.  It ended badly.  Like, really badly.  Just now she feels a bit like Sebastian Venable.  She understands his need for beauty, his slim volume.  She also feels like Elizabeth Taylor, who is not feeling well at all, who has in fact needed to be hospitalized, mostly for wanting to tell the truth.  But then, maybe she is Montgomery Clift, the dashing doctor who finally understands.  Surely not Mrs. Venable, Katharine Hepburn in a shawled gardening hat overseeing her terrifying prehistoric greenhouse, the only freak flag Mrs. Venable will let fly.  No, she doesn’t seem to be overseeing anything to speak of.  She’s definitely a Sebastian Venable-Liz Taylor-Montgomery Clift combo, dashing and doomed, finally giving up and telling it all, pushed into truth with her violet eyes and shift dress, putting the story together to save herself, all that horrible truth among the prehistoric plants.  You know the feeling. 

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