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One hundred words - The Rancho Commons
Note to self: no whining, no slacking
aspiring2live
aspiring2live
One hundred words
I posted awhile back about finding an interesting community. All posts are 100 words long. No more and no less. Any topic is acceptable. It is an interesting writing exercise, and I am enjoying posts in this format. There are two communities that I know of like this. The first one I found, onehundredwords seems much less active than the most recent one I've found 100_words. If you are interested check them out. I haven't been posting each of my entries to my journal, but I've placed them behind this cut so that I can keep them more easily.


First 100
One hundred words. Precisely. An interesting challenge to be sure. But, can you really state anything of consequence in so small a word count? It seems improbable, at best. Yet, I have already read some captivating little paragraphs here. (Thirty-nine) Glimpses that made me hungry for more than the peek they gave. Claptrap and general rubbish are to be expected in such a limited place so why would writers bother? (Sixty-nine) I’m intrigued, puzzled. I keep coming back and reading hundred word gems (Eighty-three) and I wonder, can I write something worth reading in only one hundred words? Can I?

12/17/2003 1926 onehundredwords
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"Hate Crime"
I’m the invisible man, mediocre
behind the scenes fodder
for the gears of society
they grind me through
I grease skids and carry burdens
for those who will not
I complain only quietly
I am white and middle class
A veritable blue-eyed demon
waiting to be mugged and cursed
or ignored, for I bore you
imploring you to toe some line
of personal responsibility
my thorns stab your selfish flesh
in the checkout line
buying beer with your money
and bread with mine
You know the rules,
ways around them
and you hate me
though I feed your bastard children

12/19/2003 0000 onehundredwords
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I usually love my job. Usually. I “save lives” as a nurse in the Trauma ICU. It might be a father of two who was hit head on by a drunk driver on the way home from work. Or, it might be the drunk. Maybe it’s a robbery victim, shot in the gut; more often, a gangbanger shot over a drug deal. All the families tell me, “You take good care of (crackhead burglar crashed, running from cops), he’s a good man.” Women fist fight in the hall over which one will take their baby’s daddy home. Sometimes, life sucks.

12/21/2003 0852 100_words and onehundred words on 12/30
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Seventy-three year old slides on ice, MI in the ER, rush to the Trauma ICU. CPR is initiated. Frail ribs crack (Snap!) and give way till the chest feels like a large bowl of silicone. We are successful enough for the resuscitation to be punctuated by visits from the daughter. “Daddy, you’ve got to fight!” (no, give up and rest) “You’re too strong to die!” (you’re too weak to live) Afterwards, exhilaration follows us into brittle dawn and, warming our cars, we vacillate between the bitter futility and the grand rush of achievement. He lived until his son said goodbye.

12/21/2003 1014 100_words
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Like a surgical unit near the front, they pour in, all fresh and bloody, flesh and body, “Do you know where you are? No family or too much family, “…have a Living Will or Power of Attorney?” Offering me offhand jokes, more off-color because you don’t know that you are probably already dead; that somewhere deep inside, a bleeder waits to spring, bear-clawing your gut. You’ve already stopped peeing, after all - in here you learn just how vital it is to excrete. Once held, it becomes all we are. Hundreds of beds, full of… humanity. It’s Saturday night… Showtime!

12/22/03 2300 100_words
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To live in the grey is an ability I lack. I see things black or white, right or wrong, worthy or unworthy. It could be a gift, perhaps, but it is my curse. I call it “All or Nothing Syndrome,” readily identifiable as an inability to moderate in any one thing. I cannot drink without drunkenness, so I do not. I write incessantly or not at all. I sleep too much or too little. I diet none, or obsessively, eyeing each bite of food as though it were cancerous. In all things, moderation eludes me. This is my foremost flaw.

12/23/03 0330 100_words
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There is a time I remember, when the trees seemed much larger.
I would climb, hoping I wouldn’t be caught, so high.
Only stopping when, reaching for higher limbs, they snapped,
alone too weak to raise me or bear my weight.
The view, even in memories, it humbles me.
Breezes, indecisive, blow past me. Swaying. Now back.
Clear air and sunshine, opening my eyes
farther than ever before.
Far enough to see, perhaps…
a father too busy to write, forgetting to send money home from some war.
Or a mother, alone too weak to raise me or bear my weight.

12/29/2003 0300 100_words
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