Even in my teal appeal I feel the need for more. I am a walking painting answering the phone. My chairs and my walls match my pot and my mom. The painting is a Maisel vase spilled over. A wine glass, turning purple the blue. I am a stealthy lawn care seller. The phone I hold is green. Only a little hill of pink shows through my skull cap. It’s a piece of me I’m trying to leave behind. The middle colors stuck under the skin are nothing. I’m just rusting away. I walk through the amusement park in search of my hurried family. If I had a tail I’d cut it off. Enough is enough, I tell the balloon vendor. How much must we end with when we finally decide to die? The blurry men mean nothing to me. I breathe greetings into a purse they hurry within. I am not a struggling comic. I am a mom with a knowledge of fur. 

10 Comments

  1. Francine Witte

    I love this and can really picture the screenshot. Such vivid color and you really capture the feel of Maisel. I also love the internal rhyme throughout. Beautiful

  2. Al Kratz

    That’s a great first line. Gordon Lish would love that one and the “eel” alliteration. And then the colors are the star. And the hints of some intriguing danger. The blurry men, the decide to die, the in search of hurried family. Was this one inspired by the AI prompt?

  3. David O'Connor

    Ben, that last line is a winner. Gold. This rocks. Had a thought: what would happen to the flow and rhythm if you took out the “I”s after it’s established? Took me a google image search to get the first line, but now that see who/what Mrs. Maisel is–so much better, a whole layer, adds levity. Good stuff.

  4. Len Kuntz

    Hey Ben,

    Each line does so much work. I love all of the alliteration in the first–teal, appeal, feel. Then all of the colors and what they may, or may not represent. And finally. the sense of where do I belong in my family. That last line nails it and I also loved this bit–“I’m just rusting away.” Really terrific.

  5. Robert Vaughan

    Hi Ben, what energy, whimsy, each phrase- a universe itself. So much life filtered into a tight, spare block of text. And the sonics, and poetics, use of color saturation, and turns of phrase. RAZZLE DAZZLED.

  6. Jonathan Cardew

    “…teal appeal I feel…”

    I just want to repeat this phrase, out loud, walking around my house: teal appeal i feel teal appeal i feel

    Love your paragraph pieces, and this one is incredibly pleasing. Love that the character in this is a lawn care seller with a green phone! And then that last line! Knowledge of fur! This is a wild exit.

    Send this one out!!!!

    –Jonathan

  7. Kristin Bonilla

    This is a fun read. I love the repeated “I am…” sentences as if they are affirmations or some sort of manifesting. Great voice here.

  8. Todd Clay Stuart

    Benjamin, I love this! It has movement. It has great phrasing. And that ending is killer. This works as a prose poem as well. I hope this gets sent out soon!

  9. Wilson Koewing

    Ben,

    These are all so very cool. I could almost see the screen. I really liked the line “If I had a tail I’d cut it off.” Made me laugh.

    Wilson

  10. Martha Jackson Kaplan

    Benjamin,
    From “Even in my teal appeal” to “I am a Mom with a knowledge of fur,” dynamite compression of color and texture. I love the sly reference to pink under the skull cap. Love the S-curve turn to this: I’m just rusting away. I walk through the amusement park in search of my hurried family. If I had a tail I’d cut it off. Enough is enough..” leading into “how much must we end with when we finally decide to die”–– and then gloriously conceived, “The blurry men mean nothing to me. I breathe greetings into a purse they hurry within.” This is serious commentary conceived, though not concealed, in humor. Wow!

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