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:
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. ©
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.”