Monday, October 16, 2006

Hemingway's Bride - Lana

Ed's Note: Round II of Storytellers stars off with something completely different. It's fictional poetry from Lana. Lana doesn't have a blog of her own or I would link to it, but she will be checking here so leave some love. There is even a follow up to this, or so I am told. if we behave, maaybe she'll let us have it.

On a side note, Lana is my very first unsolicited contributor - something I have been shooting for since I started this project. And THAT is why she gets to lead off Round II:

I met him that long-ago day in Alsace. Handsome
face, much to my taste, he swaggered up to me,
cigar in place, projecting an aura of masculine
grace, boasting a case of beer and a powder keg;

preparing for war, front lines, he said.
He was hit in the leg. But that was better than dead.
Beside the hospital bed, I patted his back
as he retched and he bled, incoherently begged,

that when he was all better, we would move on
together, together as one, and of course
I said yes, why I would feel truly blessed to be your wife,
your lover, dutiful mother of the children we’ll have.

And so it was done. We married in France, my heart
set on romance, he turned off the light, took off
his pants, I said, it’s okay Hem, you’re not fully well.
He said, go to hell, and left in a huff.

Next morning he cried, apologized for
the stuff he had said, last night in bed, it was just
words, words, just nerves, nerves, but enough was enough.
Never opened up again after that, said talking of feelings

was feminine crap. He preferred to chat about bullfights,
boxing and gore. What a bore. He went out to parties
discussing the war. Drinking martinis he damned Mussolini
with Sherwood and Pound, then he’d quiet down

and go to his favorite café in the square,
and write about war as if he was still there, heroic
and bloody all over again, drowning in gin,
and cognac and wine. He was out all the time,

with Gertrude Stein, imposing and stoic, I thought they were
brothers. Gerty taught Hem and the others to write,
but they couldn’t write like you, or fight like you,
F. Scott Fitzgerald had nothing on you. He made sure I knew

that Fitz was a sniveling, brown-nosing Jew. And a faggot,
too. Homophobic nut. When he heard that Gatsby was topping
the charts, he coughed up a gut, stayed in bed for a month.
I lived life as normal, he called me a slut,
so I went to Fitzgerald and took him to bed. I’ll never forget
the precise hue of red that Hem turned when I said
that Fitz did it better than he ever did. Priceless!
Livid, he came after me with his fists,

ticklish, I laughed. Breathing fire, incensed, he swung
and he missed. I collapsed into fits
at his stark impotence, and when he hauled me
out of the house by my hair, threw me on my ass,

I bounced and I laughed. Then I left France,
and never looked back. Till thirty years later came news
of his death, I had to return to see what was left
of the man who had hated that feminine crap,

who claimed he was brimming with life
and with vigor. I wasn’t surprised one bit when I heard,
that he was the one who pulled on the trigger
that blasted the bullet deep into his brain.


Blogger Scraps said...

I love the use of rhyming words within the stanzas, but not at the ends of the lines. It's very original, and it gives the poem a certain rhythm without making it trite.

Please write again. :)

1:32 PM  
Blogger Lana said...

thanks Scraps. nice to get some feedback

1:36 PM  
Blogger Elster said...


The post which, if nothing else, should generate the most feedback is generating some of the least. I blame myself. Elster's World is the conduit through which Storytellers traffic flows and I don't gte tons of traffic. A pity really.

By the by, I really enjoyed the work Lana.

7:02 AM  
Blogger smb said...

very visual. great writing.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Lana said...

in a forum where creative writers have the opportunitiy to express themselves and share their work, feedback is essential. and i'm not just talking about feedback like "good job," although that of course is always appreciated, but i'm talking about feedback like, "this worked, this didn't, this is what i found problematic, this is what i liked..." otherwise how are we supposed to learn and grow and improve ourselves as well as our work?

7:44 PM  
Blogger MC Aryeh said...

I think largely because of the internal rhyme this read like a rap song to me (in fact I found myself rapping it out as I was reading). I like the story-poem format, but there are times where the effort to force a rhyme (gore/bore/war)weakens the work. Very creative and evocative re-creation, though. Looking forward to part two...

8:29 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

To be honest, poetry is not something I'm comfortable enough to comment on because, as a genral rule, I hate poetry. However, I will say that, fictionally, this piece works very well as between the "author" and Hemingway.

6:26 AM  

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