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So here's the thing. For most of the spring, my writing buddy and first reader angeladegroot and I were doing weekly writing exercises. We started in March, after both of us accepted a February challenge by the ladies over at Merry Sisters of Fate and submitted pieces in response to a pictorial writing prompt posted there. (Some of you may remember my "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets", which came out of that exercise.) Back in November of 2008, Angela and I had attended a free writing seminar with Bonnie Neubauer, and we each bought a copy of her book, The Write-Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing. We took turns selecting the weekly topic.

And so it came to pass that one of us (I can't remember whom) selected Day 98: "Scarred Stiff". The instruction for that particular exercise was simple. "Finish the story. Start with: He had a scar . . . " Angela wrote a kick-ass short story. And I wrote the following poem, which went someplace I didn't expect it to go when I started out. M says it's creepy. I leave you to judge for yourself.

The Scar
by Kelly R. Fineman

He had a scar he never spoke about –
beneath his left eyebrow, a silvered slash.
One might assume it was a hockey stick
or a puck gone wild that left its mark;
the other hockey players had such scars,
so usually no one asked its origin.

But sometimes, someone – usually a girl –
inquired about its cause. He simply shrugged,
preferring silence to the ugly words
required to tell how one night, in his teens,
the screwdriver he'd used to stab his dad
deflected once, blood mixing, DNA
transferred a second time, father to son.
The fire he set erased all evidence,
but nothing could erase his father's scar.




Kiva - loans that change lives




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Comments

( 50 comments — Leave a comment )
boreal_owl
Jul. 24th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
Wow! It's dark but very good. I like the surprise at the end.
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Barb. Thanks also for that icon. You know how very much I adore that particular icon.
newport2newport
Jul. 24th, 2009 05:16 am (UTC)
Heck yeah, it's creepy. But it's good, very good. I hope it doesn't haunt my dreams...
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
Ooh - *icon love*

I hope it doesn't haunt your dreams. But I'm glad it's creepy enough for that to be a possibility.
(no subject) - newport2newport - Jul. 24th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kellyrfineman - Jul. 24th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Jul. 24th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
creepy-GOOD
Whoa. Dude. That is awesome.

~eisha
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
Re: creepy-GOOD
I'm glad you liked it!

Edited at 2009-07-24 02:30 pm (UTC)
slatts
Jul. 24th, 2009 10:45 am (UTC)
I heart KRF!
Great poem (or POEm)!

A page or two out of a graphic novel, I see, I do!
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
Re: I heart KRF!
Thanks, Slatts!
jongibbs
Jul. 24th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
Great twist ending :)
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
If only it were 25 words or less . . .
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 24th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kellyrfineman - Jul. 24th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
mlyearofreading
Jul. 24th, 2009 11:39 am (UTC)
I agree with M -- creepy. But I LOVE the surprise ending.
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure M thought there was something seriously wrong with me for writing it. It's just what turned up, though. Still don't know why. Thanks, Mary Lee!
lurban
Jul. 24th, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC)
Well, hello twist.
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
:)
(Anonymous)
Jul. 24th, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
from Laura @Author Amok
Definitely creepy! I love how you just mention those girls, but they come across as innocent contrasts to this boy.
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
Re: from Laura @Author Amok
Thank you!
jamarattigan
Jul. 24th, 2009 12:28 pm (UTC)
You're scaring (and scarring) me. Good shock at the end!
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
Scarring was not my intention. But I'm glad you liked it (in a scary kind of way).
docstymie
Jul. 24th, 2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
I like it!
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Doc!
lkmadigan
Jul. 24th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
M IS RIGHT.
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
I will let her know, Lisa. Love that icon, btw.
p_sunshine
Jul. 24th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
Woah! I love your twisted poem!
"transferred a second time" - brilliant!
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks - I admit to particular fondness for that line/image, so I'm glad you chose to single it out!
marthacalderaro.wordpress.com
Jul. 24th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
Dark -- and intriguing. Great reading. When I read a second time, the phrase in the first stanza "puck gone wild" gave me a chill.
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
Here in the icon is an image of Puck for you (from the Sandman graphic novels).
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
I wish I could say that I was called provocative more often . . . Thanks, Colleen!
(Anonymous)
Jul. 24th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
Wow! Such a powerful poem. An entire story in just 15 short lines! You're amazing! Linda
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
writerjenn
Jul. 24th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's creepy. In the best way.
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I acknowledge that.
jdwrites4kids
Jul. 24th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
I'll say it's creepy. (even more so because I read the poem before the explaination)
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I think.
jdwrites4kids
Jul. 24th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
(I meant creepy in a good way)
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
(I got that, but thanks anyway.)
jessica_shea
Jul. 24th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that is SUPER creepy. And also just plain super. Very evocative!
kellyrfineman
Jul. 24th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC)
I like "evocative". Thanks!
reginaclarejane
Jul. 24th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
Well done, Kelly- vivid and emotional. I don't think it's creepy at all!
:)
kellyrfineman
Jul. 25th, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC)
I didn't find it creepy either, even though it went someplace unexpected.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 24th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)
Creepy. Haunting.
Jules
7-Imp
kellyrfineman
Jul. 25th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Jules!
(Anonymous)
Jul. 25th, 2009 10:55 am (UTC)
Tanita Says :
Ooh, disturbing.
kellyrfineman
Jul. 25th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Tanita Says :
Thanks, Tanita.
cloudscome
Jul. 26th, 2009 10:49 am (UTC)
I am so impressed with how well you've drawn the character by including simple, essential details. He plays hockey, attracts tender girls, doesn't talk much, had some stuff with his dad, doesn't like to dwell on the ugly but sometimes the anger explodes... Great story here and a fine poem!
kellyrfineman
Jul. 26th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Andi, for your kind words! I'm glad the story came across.
( 50 comments — Leave a comment )

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