Prompt 8 Cliche


This week’s prompt is “Cliche” amongst writers this word is taboo (personally I can think of no greater insult to my work) and yet the truth is many of us use cliches because they are so easily understood (if not in our writing, sometimes in our speech).  We all want to be original but for this prompt I am asking you to embrace the cliché! Chose a cliché(s) and either attempt to add depth/interest to the phrase or take the humorous approach. You could if you wanted even design your own Greeting Cards, whatever you like just have fun! For my own I took my usually partially serious/partially mocking approach. You can also submit pictures or artwork. To be honest I completely forgot it was Sunday and this was backup prompt encase such an event should ever take place.


Absinthe Meets the Stars


Absinthe knew only the deranged atmosphere of an insomniac city. She had never seen the stars , only the tawdry shades of neon occluding them. In this place where all manner of vice existed and all manner of vice was unapologetically indulged she felt the perimeters of expression disproportionately narrow. Here, she was eccentric, lost, damaged but she was not unique. Her diagnoses, were in a city of neurotics, more a rite of passage than a token of mental illness. No one cast their eyes in her direction unless it was to partake of her beauty. It was a city of polished surfaces, of fashionably starved angles, of ostentation, noise, and contemptuously applied veneers. It was a city of engines without destination, a city underneath a smog-choked canopy of concealed constellations.


Under the supervision of an army of starched but intrepidly manicured nurses Absinthe recovered, in so much as one can, from her addiction. A long period of withdrawal had worn her down to a skeletal frame, to an anemic-faced angel, half-fallen. She stumbled around incredulous, with wings so ragged they lacked the capacity for upward momentum. She crawled until her legs could carry but she remained earth-bound, dreamless in a city that could not sleep.


The day she was discharged from The Facility her mother drove without stopping, without explanation, without her usual consolations. On the wheel those hands, from which Absinthe only knew tenderness and encouragement, gripped with knucke-white ferocity. She was not driving, she was fleeing. Behind them there was only the metal monuments of man-made deities personifying excess. For hours they drove, the radio translating distress into prophecy. Absinthe sat in the passenger’s seat, head quizzically cocked, as artist after artist betrayed her confidence, exposed her innermost feelings into the language of “other”. She tugged anxiously at her hair and stared out the window at the curious eruptions of an unruly landscape, at the empyrean lens of a devious blue eye following their departure without impedance. She had never seen the sky so primitive, so breath-takingly vast, she had only seen the slouching geometric cut outs that hung like flimsy, one-dimensional photographs in front of sightless windows. The scenery was beauty beyond her comprehension and even though her heart was hysterical in the presence of prepossessing light she felt herself carefully unhooking the locks of a war-begotten armor. Here on this naked landscape of labyrinthine highway she felt oddly safe, lulled, perhaps by the hum of the motor.


At the edge of an untamed field they exited the car and in the golden haze of an advancing dusk they walked barefoot. To their unaccustomed feet, the touch of flowers and weeds was indistinguishable. When they were many paces removed from the highway her mother began to scream not at her but at a landscape razed and unseen. The sound was carried by an agrarian wind to birds propelled by the fanfare of an unexpected momentum. Touching her mother’s face Absinthe had never heard that voice raised above apology and she understood, perhaps, for the first time that her mother was not unattainable, that she too was raw from a lifetime of nerve-compressing pain.


An avaricious darkness, lit by the oil-drum radiance of homeless stars, canceled out the physical chill, thawed even those glaciers settled in the sunless margins of her depleted bones. Absinthe felt like she was being watched but not by conspiracy, paranoia or even the detached-retina of an undependable Creator but by a gender-unspecific universe, who was neither parent nor tormentor. A universe that was intrinsic to all no matter the state of their souls or its affiliations. Raising her hands, her fingers did not chase away the noise of exposed synapses but coiled awestruck around the ungraspable shafts of epiphany. There was no “other”.


(I am sure there are tons of typos its one of those dyslexic days where the hands and brain are on a completely different page.)

This submission is for

We Write Poems