Caveat Emptor – Poem

flickr.com- by Marsmettin Tallahassee

flickr.com- by Marsmettin Tallahassee

Remember when I began cleaning out and donating books? Well, that’s when I found a 2008 journal, lumpy from two 8 x 11 sized papers folded in fourths. I had written my first poem on those papers at a workshop.

Denise Chavez, author of Face of An Angel, Loving Pedro Infante, Last of the Menu Girls, and two others, was the instructor of the first writing workshop I attended. Her instruction, her demeanor, and her passion were poetry in motion.

The first day was about getting in touch with our senses. We sketched, found our own talismans, went outside for a walk, and wrote.

On the second day, Ms. Chavez directed us to a small dictionary which sat in the middle of the desk. The task was to open the book at whim, and with closed eyes blindly select a word.

My word was in Latin. Thankfully, “Caveat Emptor*” was defined in English. This word was to serve as a prompt for a poem. I wrote it down, put it into my journal and forgot about it for six years. With a little revising, here it is:

Caveat Emptor

 

He was the lie from hello to goodbye.

The master of mask, the emperor of illusion,

carrying a pedestal,

a singular prop.

 

Musical words floated from his mouth

under her feet, skirt, arms

gently lifting her up

resting her body atop a velvet chaise

sounds lulling her into the 

magic of romance.

 

Eyelids heavy with love dust,

obscuring the red checkered flags

the blinking yellow caution lights,

deep potholes covered in webs

until she sank, deep into the

fantasy of love. 

 

Two years later,

the lies, the facts tore

away the veils,

revealed the reality, spun

her into agony

 

until the door slammed behind him,

stirred her awake from the

illusion of love, where she

could plainly see

 

the words “Caveat Emptor”

written on the back

of his shirt. ©

 

 

*ca·ve·at emp·tor
ˌkavēˌät ˈempˌtôr/
noun
  1. the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.

    In other words, “Buyer Beware.”



Categories: Denise Chavez, Love, poetry

Tags: , , , ,

5 replies

  1. I remember it well as I was with you and Lori in Mesilla, New Mexico. That was a great workshop from a great teacher who is “poetry in motion.” My word was “amenable” and I think about that often. I even use it from time to time. Your poem is creative and quite clever.

    Like

  2. I really enjoy looking at my old works and revising them. Good job!

    Like

  3. That was a difficult prompt. You did a great job 🙂

    Like

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