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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Heritage Is A Four-Letter Word. Twice.


Sharp sunlight is reflected and bounced off the deeply mottled turquoise of the harbor at Marbella - Puerto Banus - where the jet-setting beautiful people yacht-surf. Even I look like a beautiful person squinting happily into the camera, my frizzy hair backlit into a rusty glow.
“You look Irish,” my Mediterranean daughter says, and needlessly adds. “It doesn’t look at all like you.” I smile and smooth down the plastic holding the ancient photos in place. I run through my Irish ancestors, the Fitzpatricks and the Fitzgeralds, until I bore even myself. No one has ever met any of them, any of their descendents. There’s just me now, and my Iberian daughters prefer the ounce of Italian blood I claim.
“The Irish are drunks,” says my daughter’s boyfriend. I shoot him a look that he doesn’t understand, so I say:
“Yah, an thass only ta putap wittallaya that aren’t,” I say in a brogue taken from movies about Boston. The boyfriend looks up then, his dark eyebrows raised in confusion. The girlfriend shakes her head, rolls her eyes.
“What were you doing in Puerto Banus, anyway?” asks my proletariat daughter.
“A friend lent us a place his parents left him,” I say. “They were movie stars back in the forties. The apartment was small and ugly, though, so we spent every day in Malaga. We drove back and forth by the harbor, and one day I noticed a wooden sailboat with blue sail covers. We rode in to have a look and stayed all afternoon.”
I smile at the memory of those beautiful, outrageously expensive ships - the yachts and schooners and transatlantic cruisers - and I smile at the dirt poor couple strutting expansively under the sharp October sun. They looked a lot like my Mediterranean daughter and her boyfriend.
 “I wonder why I never thought to go to Ireland,” I say.
The daughter and the boyfriend look at each other, then get up and leave.
“Fine,” I say. “Erin go bragh.”

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Happy National Flash-Fiction Day !!!

It's National Flash-Fiction Day in the UK, and there is a flood of flash fiction going on. Read some great stories, some from authors I 'met' over at 1000words http://1000words.org.uk/the-results-of-the-2013-1000words-nffd-comeptition/

The link is to my story (!!!) but click on the Flash Flood title to watch the flood, or scroll down and search on the right for stories/authors. Enjoy.

http://flashfloodjournal.blogspot.com.es/2013/06/garden-variety-religions-by-kymm-coveney.html

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Giving Misanthropy A Bad Name

Jenny can trace back to the Girl Scouts her troubles. The one great obstacle she faces in life undoubtedly had its start even earlier – preschool surely – but memory is comfortingly cooperative and offers no hard evidence. The Girl Scouts - Troop 451 in particular - furnished stark opportunities for Jenny to display what she likes to call her sore thumb gene.
Genetics provides an overarching reason for why she always feels so glaringly out of place, not only releasing her from any fault, but also handily speaking to the question of why she is such an unsociable being. Or is it asocial, or maybe antisocial? She hardly cares.
The problem is not limited to the Girl Scouts, to one lone traumatic event buried deep in her childhood psyche - a failure to sell her quota of cookies (Mom bought them up) or the embarrassingly unbroken hunter green of her sash, onto which myriad badges of achievement should have been crookedly sewn. No, her inability to ‘get along’, her disinclination to belong, is all-pervasive and, ironically, all-inclusive.
Like Groucho, she never cared to join any club that would have her. Church? She is so vehement an atheist that the Universalists are scandalized, the Buddhists shocked. Sewing circles? She draws blood far too often and, worse, is constantly asking who Catherine is and what her relationship to Mr Darcy is, anyway. No, wait. That was her problem with the East End Early Bird Book Club. But surely the East End Early Birds was that bunch of foodies who systematically eschewed dessert.
There Jenny sits, drumming her fingers before a snap-down shirt, yellow neckerchief and that awful sash across the Girl Scout’s Manual. Troop 832 has requisitioned a new leader and Jenny has, once again, failed to find admissible justification for gracefully bowing out. The summer and ensuing school year yawn before her as she looks on aghast. What’s even worse is her daughter. Her popular, easy-going, daughter is horrifyingly, damnably, absolutely over the hunter-green moon.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Summer Was

Summer was
the end of faxes and phone calls.
Was your face at the airport.
That night on the seawall.
Your liking Sam Adams.
Our perfectly blue day
and the gently rolling sea.

Again, and always, for Pep. 143
13/08/1966 - 16/06/2003

Summer, in 33 of my own words, for 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Illusion of Knowledge

For Pep, in memorium

How foolish to trust the moon,
– la luna, luna, luna –
which gypsies know for a liar
and a thief of small boys.

How fully I trusted the moon
– la luna, luna, luna –
to hold you in my gaze
and reflect you in my eyes.

Full moon over water dances
as in a foundry shimmering
with love, her light gathering
you and me
our separate yearnings.

Serene moon,
discreet guardian of all
that was tender and new.
Delicate us.

And, oh, how she,
tremendous,
lily white, rose
over the placid harbor.

In her magnificence the moon
– la luna, luna, luna –
called me to you and –
I imagined, implored, ordained –
called you to me.

‘Shoo, moon, moon, moon’
I should have said,
but I was not jealous and did not fear
treachery. She was
our depository, our safeguard.

Untrustworthy moon.
– la luna, luna, luna –
She could have held you,
kept you, let me gaze upon you still.

Lily white she rises.
– la luna, luna, luna –
temptress of little boys,
spinning tales like silver rings.

I gaze in vain, despairing
and yearning, unsay your name.




Wednesday, June 12, 2013

1000WORDS for #nffd 22 June 2013

      http://1000words.org.uk/

is putting up a story a day for June in celebration of UK National Flash Fiction Day, including mine:

Nobody’s Home

by Kymm Coveney

Claude tilted the rickety barstool to the side, one foot hooked over the rung, the other placed squarely on the cement floor. He reached for the warm beer – Shirley had a rule about putting glasses down on the slot machine – and let the last of it slide down his throat. He slipped one last coin in, listened to the carnivalesque opening notes of Ode to Joy, and watched the colored lights flicker and pop. Cherries. Bar. Seven.
...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Other Star-Crossed Lovers

Having undressed in hurried, solitary passion, he sat before her, his fingers splayed in expectation. She tried to disguise the look of disgust that ravished her face, so picked at a nebulous piece of lint, feeling overdressed.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, his naked plea a demand.       
  The challenge is to write a complete story in only three sentences.

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