Saturday, September 8, 2018

Fortnite Widow: A Fortnite Poem

Fortnite Widow

“Dinner’s ready, come to the table when you die,”
my refrain, arrived home from another two weeks

of caring for my mother. I’ve lost my sons, my
husband too. He’s nicknamed himself The Medic,

tiny voices of six-year-olds from Canada, New York, 
England asking, Are you a boy or a girl? a fair 

question, my husband’s character a buff female
who wears black and white camouflage, a pink 

backpack, her hair in a pony-tail. He stationed
our couches in rows like airplane seats and bought 

a second screen, his gold controllers at the ready.
He used to sit behind my sons and shout Navy SEAL

tactical advice. Which they tolerated, then shortly
met with sincere pleading: Shut up, Dad. Once they

confided they played worse when he watched,
I told my husband, You can’t give advice

unless you learn to play. Regrettably, he does
just that. Here he is again, doling out Band-Aids

to the wounded, swearing now that he’s visible
and knocked by snipers, outraged when pick-axed

to death, Why can’t they just leave me crawling?
most often taken out by the storm itself, lamenting

the treasure he’ll forfeit as the cone of light
descends to claim his Medic’s soul, his plate

of meatloaf and peas congealed under
dewed plastic-wrap on the kitchen counter.

This poem is dedicated to my mother, Mary (1947-2018). And every other mother listening to the sound of Fortnite day, night, dreamtime, and all the hours between. Seven months after my mother passed away (we lost her in January to cancer), I was finally able to write poems during the Write Like You’re Alive 31- day challenge hosted by Zoetic Press this July. And after dashing off thirty somber poems, I needed a little comic relief. 

Rest assured I passed the poem by my husband; he is no stranger to starring occasionally in blogposts, whether it was the time he brought home a puppy without warning (Hopeless Carnage: Sisu the Siberian Husky and the Song of Sednaor the time he fell in the ocean with a chainsaw and a cell phone (Feral Wife: Two Chainsaws, the Ocean and an Untended Husband) or the time someone called the cops on him when our child was having a tantrum (Car Tantrums, Non-parental Observers, and the Cops). I am not proud of the Fortnite mayhem under our roof, but we are in negotiations to stem the take-over, one day at a time, and isn't the first step just to admit the feral reality? How are you coping with Fortnite Fever? 

Fall Poetry Classes

I love teaching at San Diego Writers, Ink on the second Saturday of every month in the Inspirations Gallery. I am blessed to meet with a fabulous group of writers; we speak from the heart and give our best feedback to encourage the strongest incarnation of your writing self. Here’s a link to the class: Second Saturdays: Poetry Read and Critique. Walk-ins and all level of writer welcome; bring a poem of your own to share with us and you’ll come away with worksheets, submission targets, and example poems to keep you busy until we meet the following month. Our theme for next month is the wide wide world of sports and we meet next on Saturday, October 13.

Or if you prefer, join me online for Poetry Basics which starts *note amended start date: Wednesday, October 3. Whether you are a seasoned poet or just finding your way, come examine the building blocks of poetry. We use the question “What is poetry?” as our guiding inquiry and take a close look at how sound, imagery, comparisons, voice, revision, and titles work together to create your best poems.

Fall Readings

I’ll be reading from the anthology Unmasked: Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After 50 in New Mexico with Renate Golden, Barbara Rockman, Marcia Meier, and Lisa Rizzo at The Society of the Muse of Southwest on September 29, and Op.Cit on September 30. Visit my Events page for more information. Here's a blurb about the anthology by Gloria Steinem:

“Sex for women after fifty is invisible for the same reason that contraception, abortion, and sex between two women or two men has been forbidden: sexuality is supposed to be only about procreation. This lie was invented by patriarchy, monotheism, racism and other hierarchies. Sexuality is and always has been also about bonding, communicating and pleasure. Unmasked helps to restore a human right.”

         -- Gloria Steinem

And if you can't make it to the reading, here's a link to the original version of the story I first shared here on Feral Mom: From the Unsharable Files: Self-Care, Hammers and Sex in a House with Three Children. The rest of the anthology is full of such a fabulous range of experiences, forays, failed and consummated dates, the choice to abstain, and more from women aged fifty and on up. It's a beautiful read, full of perspective and wisdom, definitely something I wish I'd read when I was younger so I'd realize just how wide the spectrum of choices is that we have before us when it comes to love, self-love, risk, and joy.

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