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Have you ever written poetry about the combination of cheap booze, social norms and oxytocin we know as love?  How did you get on?  Any tips for avoiding the thoroughly sick-making?

Thing is, right, I'm getting married soon and I want to write a poem for my intended for the wedding.  I was originally planning on commissioning one but I figured my insider knowledge was probably hard-to-beat for the job.  My take on love poetry has heretofore tended to the cynical, humourous or NSFW, and I want something sincere that both our parents can sit and listen to without offence.  I think a degree of cliche is probably to be expected for this scenario, and I'm OK with that.  This little poem has a lot of work to do, though, because of the mixed audience.

Thoughts?
My parents always knew I’d be a salesman.  I can sell ice to the Eskimos and do them a pretty good deal on four years’ interest-free credit for a low low deposit.  Oil to the Arabs, I could do that too.  

I’m doing alright in here.  It was more of an adjustment in scale than attitude.  Some could see it as a comedown, going from brokering multi-million deals to haggling over the price of an ounce of snout.  The stakes are, if anything, higher.  When it’s you, personally, that’s on the line, there’s more excitement.  It’s all about risk.

I am not a fundamentally dishonest person, contrary to popular belief.  I sell stories.  I believe wholeheartedly in my version of events and, if that version of events diverges somewhat from accepted wisdom, well, I’m sure I can swing accepted wisdom around to my way of thinking eventually.

I started selling land; tiny worthless parcels of greenbelt land that would never get planning permission in a million years.  I made my fortune, but lost the lot when my company folded.  So then I sold solar panels, home security aids, legal services...  I sold advertising space, sold companies to other companies.

I can sell anything to anyone.

I can prove this statement.

This is me, selling myself.

I should be grateful, sir, if you would consider my application for a probationary sales position in your business upon my release in line with your commitment to the rehabilitation of offenders.

Full CV available on request.
Blue sky thinking
FFM Day 3.

Challenge:  unreliable narrator.

I dislike this piece immensely.  Waste no time on it.
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There are nights like this – with the drops of rain hammering the windshield like there’s a tiny kamikaze pilot controlling each one – when I hate my job.  My headlights pick out two arcs of wet asphalt surrounded by wet trees and wet, cold darkness.  There are no other cars, no other people and no other lights.  I haven’t been able to get a signal on the car radio in a half hour.  The car is bouncing into ruts and potholes I don’t see before it’s too late.  I’ve got the heating off to conserve gas and even in thick gloves I can barely feel my fingers on the wheel. All this for one fifty an hour.

I’m a reporter for the Northchester Echo.  I get the contentious planning disputes, the school fetes and, if I’m lucky, the odd interview with a local “character” for the back section of the paper just before the funnies.  

My boss got a letter Wednesday and called me into his office.  Might be nothing, he said (which is why he’s sending me I guess), but this guy looks a bit of a fruitcake so it might make a story.  Says he’s got the greatest collection ever amassed.

“Collection of what?”

“Celebrity memorabilia of some sort.  Doesn’t say exactly,” my boss says unconcerned, waving a letter which has been hand-written on the back of a mailshot advertising a car washing firm.  “It’s not strictly speaking in our district...” I groan “...but it’s only just across the county line.  It’ll be a nice trip out for you.”

I grab the letter my boss holds out and turn to leave.

“Oh yeah,” my boss says, grinning slightly, “the man hasn’t got a phone, so he says you can visit Sunday evening between 8 and 10pm.  This Sunday.”  My boss obviously still hasn’t forgotten the complaints he got after my livened-up coverage of the homeowners’ association meeting last fall.

So I tell the guys I won’t be able to make the pool tournament and I borrow my uncle’s car for the weekend.  It’s an old jalopy with a can of oil in the trunk.  I have to stop every ten miles or so and tip some more into the engine.  

It’s about a two hour drive through the loneliest roads I ever saw before I get to Mr Wiezniewski’s house.  It’s your usual backwoods affair with an outhouse standing a few yards away just visible in the gaslight from the windows.  

The mud out front is all rutted into puddles, so they must get vehicles up here although there’s nothing in sight.  I slide from the car into one of the larger ruts and get wet to the shins.

The porch roof is rotted through and water is forming a river down my neck.  I knock on the door with both fists and holler.

Mr Wiesniewski answers the door looking mildly reproachful for my urgency.  Still, he invites me in and offers me a coffee and a threadbare seat next to a small but still glowing fire.  The floor all around is stacked with twenty-year old newspapers.

I drink my hot drink and I start to steam slightly, adding wet dog smell to the already pungent mix in the shack.  When he judges I’m thawed enough, he drags me out of the chair and up to his back room, piled high with junk.

“So, my collection,” Mr Wiesniewski begins, picking his way towards a wardrobe the far side of the junk mountain. “Why aren’t you writing this down?”

I pull out my notebook and peel two pages apart, although they’re so wet the pen just tears them.  “I’ve got an excellent memory,” I tell the old guy.

“Very well.  So, here is my collection.”  He lifts a small wooden box out of the wardrobe and carries it back towards me.

Inside the box, there is fluff, matted hair, mud, dried grass, insects and a few buttons and rusted nails.  It looks like the contents of a blocked u-bend.

I’ve got all sorts here, he says.  But I’ll show you some of the ones likely to be of interest. This, said Mr Wiesniewski holding up a desiccated object, is a mosquito that bit Bert Schneizack; holding up an unidentifiable clod: this is mud found on the shoe of Colin Hoag before he died.  This – he holds up a bent pin – was one of the pins used by Elsie Carter to mend the dinner jacket of Charlie Wenderman before he gave a speech at the local Conservative Society.

“Oh, great.” I say.  “Bert...?”

“Bert Schneizack, you know.”

“You got me.”

“He won the Higher Stapleford best kept lawn three years running, 1964-67.”

“Where’s Higher Stapleford?”

“I...  Somewhere out West, I think.”

“And don’t tell me,” I say, “Charlie Wenderman, his claim to fame?  What, he once sneezed at a concert?  He grew big marrows?”

“Have you really never heard of Charlie Wenderman?”

“Can’t say I have.”

“He ran for mayor of Northchester in 1949 and came fourth.  I thought it would interest you, at the Northchester Echo.”

“Oh, yeah, local interest.  What about the other one.  Uh, Colin Hoag?”

“He was a cub reporter on one of the local rags.  Died mysteriously two years ago.  He’s buried quite near here, actually.”

“Yeah?  I think I recall reading he’d gone missing at the time.  I didn’t realize they’d found a body.  Where, exactly, is he buried?”

“Oh, quite close.”
Collection
FFM Day 2

I'm... really not catching up at all.

Way to keep it short.
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The pilgrimage has been long and fraught with many hazards.  The seekers of wisdom have travelled many days to get to this place.  

The journey has been made yet more arduous because the Satnav has acquired a kind of occult glitch and the only roads it locates are high, winding fairy roads which are only accessible on a Wednesday, or narrow rutted cart tracks which have been unused since the fourteenth century.  There is a map, of course, but none of the roads are on it and so the seekers of wisdom must have faith that the Satnav will, after many tests, deliver them safe unto their destination.

After many days; many lunches in deserted service stations and washes in petrol station toilets at the edge of ghost towns, the faithful are rewarded.

“Turn right,” the Satnav proclaims, “and after fifty yards, you will reach your destination.”

The seekers of wisdom are filled with silent anticipation.

In the appointed place there is a portal emblazoned with ancient runes and mystic sigils.   It is a grey, slightly clammy day.  There ought to be swirling mists, but there aren’t, although it looks like it might rain later.

There is a small letterbox one-third of the way up.

The sign outside the door says “please wipe your feet”.  A huddling queue of the seekers of wisdom pile out of the people carrier and shuffle into order.  Somehow suddenly nobody wants to be first.  After a great deal of “after you,” and “no, really, after you” the feet are all wiped.  The doorbell is pressed.

There is silence.

It is pressed again.

Nothing.

The nominated first seeker of wisdom shrugs undaunted; he has come this far and he will see it through.  He knocks twice, then a third time, on the mystic portal.

From somewhere in the distance, the seekers of wisdom hear a faint voice.  The voice shouts something.  It sounds like, “hang on a minute, love, I’ll be right down.”  There is a sound as of flushing, then a running of water.

The portal is opened.

The Sybil answers the door.  She speaks.  “Hiya, are you here for the full mystic prophecy package?  Oh, god there are six of you are there?  We do ask you to book for groups of more than four because then I can get a girl in extra.  Saves you waiting around while I’m doing the others.  We’ll manage.”

Cups – although, in truth they are more like mugs – of tea are dispensed.  Milk, two sugars.  Bags, not leaves.  The seekers of truth are feeling discomfited.  Is that Corrie they can hear in the background?

One of the Seekers, braver than the others, clears her throat.  “Are you a real prophetess?” she asks pointedly.

“Oh, aye love.  Tall dark strangers and all that balls.  The whole bit.  Cross my palm with silver – I can take debit cards but not cheque and no American Express – and I’ll reveal to you what the future has in store.”

The seekers are disappointed now.  This is not what they have come for.  Two of them stand to leave, their gore-tex clinging clammily in the central heating.

“Go, then,” the Sibyl proclaims.  “But if you’re relying on that Satnav you’ll come a cropper, you mark my words.  You need to take the A34 and join the M3 at junction 13, although there’s always traffic at this time of day.  It looks like rain later, too.”

Suspiciously, silently but prepared to be convinced, the seekers of wisdom sit, remove their Gore-tex outerwear, and await their fortunes.
Seeking the future
FFM day 1: Challenge.

Inspired by the username of British-Prophetess
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I disappear for a month, and come back a senior!  Awesomesauce!

I also come back with a subscribery thing!  Thanks, LiliWrites!

So, what news?

Well, I sold my flat, bought a house, unbought a house, my job moved 40 miles away, I moved in with my girlfriend and my girlfriend became my fiancee.  

I think that covers it.  So yeah, fairly quiet here.  How are things with y'all?
  • Mood: Excited

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Should futilitarian...? 

33%
22 deviants said Continue her inexorable slide into alcoholism and have another glass of wine because Friday and because the wine left in the bottle looks lonely.
32%
21 deviants said Troll the forum.
17%
11 deviants said Write some shitty story or something.
8%
5 deviants said Other. Please expand.
6%
4 deviants said Write some shitty poem or something.
5%
3 deviants said Watch some shitty TV or something.

Comments


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:icontheskaboss:
TheSkaBoss Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Why are you never about when I am? :(
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:iconrohmah1:
RohMah1 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014   Digital Artist
Okay,  I don't usually read Lit works on deviantArt, but your works are simply amazing! Instant watch. :D
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:iconladybrookecelebwen:
LadyBrookeCelebwen Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday! I hope you had a wonderful day. :) 
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:icondormant-levi-lullaby:
Happy B-Day!~ :meow:
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:iconspiralingspontaneity:
SpiralingSpontaneity Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday! <333
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:iconohineedtea:
OHiNeedTea Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014   Writer
Happy happy birthday, this is your special day HEY
Happy happy birthday, that's all we have to say
Happy happy birthday, may all your dreams come ttrrruuueee
Happy happy birthday, from iNeedTea to you!
Reply
:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014   General Artist
happy happy birthday, beautiful minded being. :la:
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:iconvespera:
vespera Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
HUZZAH! :)
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:iconfutilitarian:
futilitarian Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014   Writer
huzzah indeed. :boogie:
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:iconbrain-tree:
brain-tree Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014   General Artist
And I thought I had come up with futilitarianism.  Silly me.
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