It’s Not the Money

It’s Not the Money

Don’t worry about it I said but
he stormed off. So I sit down
with a couple of teabags and some hot water
and start bailing
I had opened a separate account because
I don’t think he’s capable of
handling the money any longer
some say it’s so some say it’s
not so. It’s never me to whom they say
it’s so nor do they ask for the details
which I can certainly give them. Instead
they stop short
agree with him. He says
You touch my money
and
we go through all of that again
and forty and slush funds and
why did he do things to that account
and something’s missing and
by the time I’m finished looking once again
money
flowing everywhere and the hole
it gushes through
is the one in his mind. Now
I need that single name account
for us to survive and
I can’t explain to him
why
anymore and that
is the part
that hurts
the most.

1/17/19

It Was All Wasted Effort

From the collection Rearrange, 2018.

It Was All Wasted Effort

Yes, I remember when they got married
all high-end, that was her plan
then there was that adorable little baby
but she expected too much
they owed so much on the house
money at a minimum
bills the opposite
Her sister was the same way
though she managed things a little better
up to her shoulders in it, maybe, rather than
underwater
It wasn’t our fault
We never spent a dime we didn’t have
all those years
Now she wants a check paying her bills
a check that will be
exhausted by its swim through that ocean of debt
having set out confident
from the safe shore of our bank account
I think not. Let her call on a professional
lifeguard.

11/30/17

Contentment

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

Contentment
Typical day: I listen to pleasant classical music broadcast from a high-end sound system, sit in an exceptionally comfortable office chair that had all but begged to be the chosen one to support my bottom, associate with intelligent and perceptive colleagues, and tap out numbers on a computer that does nothing all day long but accept my instructions, process them at high speed and spit out ground-breaking data – all for a lucrative paycheck.

Get real, I think as I make my gold Waterman pen do flips in the air, you know you were meant to work in an office with stained carpet, listen to staticky rock and roll blaring out from a radio with a blown speaker, and curse the accounting department while eating a soggy salami sandwich, and you’ll never be happy until you can get out of this living hell and into a broken office chair – and with that I opened my desk drawer, flung the Waterman into it, and pulled out my cherished and only remaining Bic to start revising my resume.

The pen writes.
It is not the pen
but the words
on the page
that matter. Or so you think.
You dislike the pen.

(Shadorma 89)
4/9/18

Confidence

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

Confidence

I sat at a table on the patio, straining to make out the daily specials blue-chalked on a tiny board, while small planes from the municipal airport across the highway tottered into the sky or flailed their way to the ground, none of them going opposite to their intentions, thank goodness.

I ordered a Jumbo Jet Burger platter to go, my thoughts turning to the reason I’d chosen this lunch spot: as a true-crime groupie, it was inevitable I’d get the idea to make use of my knowledge, get rid of my worst enemy, open an offshore bank account and fill it up, and leave behind a constricted boring existence – in print and under a pseudonym, sure, but certainly that was enough, and now with my book climbing the best seller lists and sales rolling in, it was time for me to catch that chartered flight now waiting for me across the street, because – well, as I said, I’m only interested in true crimes.

The finger-pointing
beginning tomorrow night
when I am long gone.

(Haiku 401)
4/5/18

Accounting

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

Accounting

Ava knew her family well, understood their foibles, envied them the consistency of their rhino-hide imperviousness to good taste, scruples, or intellectual pursuits, admired their solid self-confidence that kept them going even when they were utterly totally out of their depth.

As the family CPA, her job was to move fast and count backwards from ten any time she was consulted on one of their schemes; never to let them know that whatever they asked her to do, she promptly did the opposite; and most of all, keep from them the fact that she had been an Internal Revenue Service employee for the past ten years.

These ledger pages
depending on who you ask
reflect all profits
assets liabilities –
or not. Sure, you can be sure.

(Tanka 106)
3/30/18

Crossroads

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

 

Crossroads

“There is no sign of clear skies clouding up and bringing rain after the drought, if you want to put things in a poetic kind of way, and if you don’t, well, let’s just say my luck is bad and I’ve lost my patience with it,” Meggie said to the bank teller (name tag announcing Hi! I’m AMELIA), who at first looked confused and then comprehending.

“Oh, a robbery,” Amelia said, “right, I get that, and if you want I’ll just hand over the money, we’re insured, so it’s no skin off my back, though I’ll warn you that banking isn’t what it used to be and the amount of cash in my drawer is borderline useless…but…you know what, we’ve got an opening in this office and” – she leaned forward, lowering her voice – “the opportunities from the inside are much better, if you get what I mean, so listen, talk to that lady over there” – she flicked her eyes – “and I’ll say you’re a friend…” holding her foot over the silent alarm in the floor as Meggie’s head swiveled away from her.

Double double cross
Where will the money end up?
First rule: stay focused.
(Haiku 384)

2/15/18

If Only I Could Find the Money (2) small

 

 

Currency

From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.

 

Currency

Open that purse.
It’s a snap clasp and you click it open.
You like the look of the money
nestled down in there against
the brown and white striped lining.
Your fingers have the itch for spending the money
you avoid thinking about the fact that
what you need to do is
incarcerate the money.
Instead, you take it out for a spin.
Open that purse
say the opportunists
with an eye for the enticing
and the irresistible. They saw you coming
a long way off.
Give us. Give us.
It will only take a twist of your fingers. Open that purse
when what you ought to have done is
clap it shut
good and hard with something more than a click
Maybe hammer it shut
and what’s in it stays in it
and you have something
and you keep on having it. Instead
You stand on the street
Spendthrift and bankrupt
holding a nice purse
Empty
with a pine cone fallen to the sidewalk
your only companion and
evidence that even a tree
putting out seeds for the future
has an investment sense
and you
you resolve to buy a new purse.

9/17/15