Friday, December 19, 2008

'Twas the Night Before an Intrigue Christmas

OK, so it's actually several nights before Christmas, but since I'll be in Minnesota scarfing down my grandma's Christmas bread on the 24th, I'm subjecting you to my poetry today.

Yes, poetry.

Let me warn you all, I am, quite possibly, the world’s worst poet. It pains me greatly that one of my "poems" actually appeared in my college literary magazine in all it’s bitter, purple, deep-and-misunderstood glory. Copies of it are still Out There, and sometimes I imagine my old classmates digging copies of it out of dusty old boxes, then turning in my direction and pointing and laughing. Hard.

But even terrible poets have their moments sometimes. To help us get into the holiday spirit, I’m sharing a poem I wrote several years ago that isn't all bad, with major assistance from and major apologies to the late Clement Moore.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


’Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the house,
Not a page got written;
Didn’t even touch my mouse.

My journal was placed
By the table with care,
But I don’t care to open it,
So it’s just sitting there.

My opening is weak,
My love scene is sap,
So instead of revising,
I’m taking a nap.

When out by my mailbox
There arose such a clatter,
I turned off Oprah
And rose to see what was the matter.

Away to the doorway
I flew in a flash,
Jammed a cap on my bedhead and called,
"I’m sorry! I’ll give you cash!"

The mailman was sitting
In the new-fallen snow,
My dog Zelda chewing on his ankle,
While he shrieked, "Dear God, no!"

When what to my wondering
Eyes should appear,
But a letter from Harlequin
About my proposal so dear.

And the papers inside
Made it thin and not thick;
I knew in a moment
It would make me quite sick.

The rejection, more rapid than eagles it came,
And I screamed, and I stomped,
And called the editor a bad name.

"Darn opening lines! Darn characters!
Darn plots I keep fixin’!
Blast scene-and-sequel! Darn fonts!
Oh, that editor is a vixen!

"To the top of the stairs!
Throw my computer from the wall!
Shred my manuscript, toss my journal,
Kick my monitor down the hall!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the housetop in my bathrobe I flew,
With my hard drive, my printer, and my new scanner, too.

And then in a twinkling,
They all bounced off the roof,
And landed on the ground
In a sad little poof.

As I came down the stairs
And was turning around,
Down the sidewalk little Zelda
Came with a bound.

With snow in her fur,
From her head to her foot,
And my letter in her mouth
Covered with doggie drool and soot.

The mailman in haste
Had flung on his pack,
And was running in terror
Without looking back.

Zelda’s eyes, how they twinkled!
Her fangs grinning, how merry!
I took the envelope from her mouth,
And she went to chew on my neighbor Terry.

I unfolded the letter,
Read the contents below,
And my face must’ve looked
Just as white as the snow.

"Dear Tracy," I read as I gritted my teeth.
"How I loved your proposal!
The book to us you must bequeath!

"Your three chapters were perfect,
Your synopsis better than the telly.
I would rather read your book
Than eat chocolate, peanut butter, or jelly."

My novel was gone,
The disks thrown off the shelf.
And I laughed bitterly at my new junk pile,
In spite of myself.

I spoke not a word,
But went straight to my work,
And swept up the pieces
While calling myself a jerk.

And keeping keeping my eyes
Focused firmly on my toes,
I tried to keep from crying
And blowing my nose.

I trudged up the porch steps,
To Zelda gave a whistle,
And she ran to me,
With a disk in her mouth, like a missile.

I exclaimed and I clapped
When the label was in sight. ...

It was the last copy of my novel.
And the disk was all right.

2 comments:

Cathy in AK said...

Brava! I should have known you'd come up with a twist and turn that made things look all dark and dismal, but then alas! the good guys prevail and all is well.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Kim said...

Tracy, your poem is priceless!! LOVE IT.

How wonderful you were able to spend Christmas in Minnesota. Your mom, dad, grandma and rest of the family must have been so excited to have you, Jose and the girls.

Wishing you safe travels and a belated Merry Christmas!!!!

Kim

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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