8 thoughts on ““When Night Creeps” Tanka 2187

    • That’s what started me to find a way to make the next two – and then two more – lines justify the first…when night creeps…so many permutations. I hate me sometimes for those lines which force me to remain awake and grab a pen and a light…yup, the notebook lies awaiting right where it laughed last at me as I crawled beneath the covers full-well knowing that at some point in this night’s repost I would awaken in need of pen and paper – and light! Why not just plug in the bedstand light, fool? What” And spoil the fun? I had versions aplenty, Shehanne. Nightcreeps? Night Creeps? Everything scares me. Especially night. And especially even more creeps. I joined The Marines – you don’t join, fool: you become – goes the advert, which I had a hand in crafting…but that’s another story or seven involving beer, beef stew, a couple ossifers and shopping for celery along Pliladelphia’s South Street Saturday Market with a First Lieutenant, And Chief Warrant Officer-Four (CWO-4) called Marine Gunner, or more familarly “Gunner” and my trusty – hah! – handy dandy photographer John Gentry of which both of us maintained celebrity status as “Bottom Of The Barrel” Sergeants of The Entire U.S. Marine Crotch! So we both averred. ‘Twas a blustry day and John and J were invited out to Westchester to make beef stew with Joe Masciantonia and Gunner Bill Omdahl the night before we four had to go pick up a batch of hospitalized Marine Corps veterans currently interred in the bowels of U. S. Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, for a Christmas Party. We only lost one communicant: he walked down the 150-yard-long two-tracked road from the rambling three-story house which hovelled for the lieutenant and the warrant officer to the county paved road leading to the highway leading to Philly. The week before’s 40-inch snowfall had be “ploughed” to either side of the roads and highways and even Joe and Bill’s charming jolting pathway had been pushed aside by numerous autos – theirs and mine – so the would-be Marine suicide was able to slip out of the party, walk down the pathway and find a suitable big truck coming down the county road by which he managed to leave this coil. I noticed we were one patient short – the all still were in their hospital institutional blue PJs and Robes and inconsistently wore either military issue dress shoes or Vietnam-style combat boots. So I wandered out the side door and saw the footprints in the light dusting of snowfall leading from the house to the road. I followed. Halfway to the road I heard the splat, the screech of brakes and then the truck’s driver’s side door wrench open when the vehicle finally halted about hundred-and-one-half feet up the road. The driver and I reached the body at the same time. Yep. Dead. I told the driver: wait here: I’m going to make a few phone calls and will be back with coffee and a sandwich for you. This is not your fault. Guy just used you and your truck to solve what the though of as a problem. The rest of the night progressively got worse.


    • We both have to come up with a better – more descriptive (less pejorative?) name for un-asleeping. I long ago learned to surrender: grab a windup one-diode cellphone charger (sidewinder) light, pen and notebook and scribble…the dark-side writing leaves me too often unable to decipher. The worst ones are the editors who insist I go back and properly…oops…insert properly the modifier from splitting an infinitive, etc.. Like, I was writing in dialect, okay? But, no: the &^%$#*^&$%# knows that’s a facile and feeble attempt to deflect. It’s the lines – whole verses or even paragraphs – which sometimes I promise myself to recall which call not at my stage door the next minute, hour, day, etc., which I want to strangle, having had my bout of courage years ago and now constantly reconfirm my stance with wowards (almost typed cowards!) everywhere. Resist, Shehanne, resist. Find an unfavored pillow to punch or throttle. Better if not best yet: get the pen and paper and write the offending line…sure in the knowledge that a ‘nother line lurks just offstage. Be well and best to you and all yours. J

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  1. Oh, that’s rich. That’s why a benevolent and used-to-it (from us!) Lord led us to take the Arabs’ invention of distilling perfumes and such into the fine art making single malt. I know dearly what it’s like to the third party to a five-way argument as I walk down the street or set about chores at home, much less during sleep. “They” mostly leave me alone if I get up and write what they said at night…it’s the constant conversations – bickering often – while I’m awake. And, they know all my lies, especially the impolite ones I tell myself not to mention “no, dear: the dress doesn’t make you look fat. You are fat,” ones sometimes I blurt, especially when I suspect an expected comforting answer only will bring more of the same. Even on me that dress doesn’t make my beer – anti-famine protection device I carry just above my hips – belly go away. But since this is an Anniversary Date (of sorts) I shall sign off this screed in favor of less pressing and perhaps – hell! not a perhaps about it! – more deranged issues.


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