A Day Late…

via Daily Prompt: Wrinkle

When I was young, reckless, and unattached, I had a casual acquaintance, I’ll call her S, to whom I’d become quite attracted.  She was beautiful and intensely sexy, and she had been featured in a large department store’s clothing catalog.   We worked together for a time, but I considered her out of my league, so I allowed my natural shyness to prevent me from trying to speak to her apart from the occasional “Hello” or “How’s it going?” in passing.

One night after work, we both happened to be in the same bar, and magically, we began a tentative mutual flirtation.  My response to her opening move was to write the poem below. Yes, right then and there at the bar.  I’d hoped she would find it romantic.  I’m too much of a gentleman to tell the rest of the story, so I’ll let the poem speak for itself.

Better Whiskey

Gold in the glass,

dim bar lights glint

off crystalline cubes

and beveled edges;

my eyes drink first,


then my nose after

the clink and tinkle of

bouquet-releasing swirl,

slow flick of the wrist.


Proper enjoyment begins

with watching, wanting,

intense visualization:

cool glass on eager lips,

cold burning whiskey

over tongue and under

and down, like that.


I shudder down the initial

swallow of liquid smoke,

harsh as a teen’s first hit

off a cigarette and

twice as good.


But the best whiskey I ever drank

was not this good: you dip

a satin finger with artful nail

in and stir, slide it around

the rim to evoked a haunting ring

before raising it to my lips,

your splendid image inverted

in the depending drop, as if

all depends upon this moment.


Ahhh, the memories come rushing back.  Poems, like songs, are time machines, aren’t they?  Also long ago, I wrote another poem about barfly life, titled “Dirty Pool”.  But that’s a poem for another post, a tale for another time.

Yesterday, my friend Gypsy‘s post, a lovely & poignant poem titled “Whiskey“, awakened my memory of having written this poem about that heavenly beverage myself many years ago and provoked me to want to post it.  Alas, it was one of those really busy days in court, so I was unable to do so then.  And Gypsy, I promise that’s the original title and NOT an attempt to imply my poem is better than yours.  It’s not.

Some of you may’ve noticed a new wrinkle to my post today:  I didn’t include a word count or reading time.  Recently, a very talented writer, a blogger whose wisdom I trust, offered me a critique.  She said that starting my post with that information screams, “This isn’t worth reading but it won’t take you long.”  That had never occurred to me, and I’m grateful she pointed it out, so I’m going to try a few posts without that header and see how it works.  What do y’all think?


70 thoughts on “A Day Late…

  1. Fabulous post.
    Intense and beautiful poem.
    I, like the others, agree with the advice. If you hook us from the start, our attention will stay with you ….

    Might just treat myself to a second read of that poem. Can hear the dull ring of her wet finger around the circumference still ….. 👏🏼

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great piece and im now hankering a rather nice warming dram of something…

    Probably a good call on the word count I didn’t have a problem with it but let’s see how it goes there mate

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Take out this phrase (no one likes to be told what to do but we do LOVE to be allowed to do what we want 😉 ): “so feel free to give them their reins.

    Include this in your discussion AFTER the poem: “Yesterday, my friend Gypsy‘s post, a lovely & poignant poem titled “Whiskey“, awakened my memory of having written this poem about that heavenly beverage myself many years ago and provoked me to want to post it. Alas, it was one of those really busy days in court, so I was unable to do so then. And Gypsy, I promise that’s the original title and NOT an attempt to imply my poem is better than yours. It’s not.”

    People LOVE to be taken into a different world and, since you can do that, why not make it easy for them?

    Your poem is very evocative and deserves the best you have as a segue. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The thing about writing a story (or even a poem) is that at a certain point, you don’t own it. It owns you. You are its servant. And then you think about the reader and the effect your work could have on them (if you choose to allow that). That’s the magic. 🙂


      2. That’s my main problem, Martha. I have never thought of myself as having readers so have never considered my writing having any effect on them.

        Until about 6 months ago, I had always been too lazy to write much, too easily distracted to let work sit for a few weeks or months then go back and revise, and especially, except for a few poems back in my college days, too fearful to submit for publication.

        When I started this blog, it was to motivate myself to practice writing & get in the habit of it. I never intended to try to garner followers. Even after blogging became very gratifying and fulfilling for me, and I started more actively participating in the Daily Post, & Community Pool, I NEVER expected I would have people who actually WANTED to read what I had to say on a consistent basis. Especially when I observed that some Bloggers have thousands of followers but consistently only get a handful of ‘Likes’ & comments per day even when they make multiple daily posts. I just assumed that readers come and go, and no one ever unfollows anyone.

        This has all been such a surprise to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Readers do come and go and seldom “unfollow” anyone. That’s true. I don’t write for “likes” and “comments.” I write to write well and (as in the physical therapy post) to inform my friends both here and on Facebook.

        So, for me, there is more than one purpose for keeping this blog (which I’ve had for 5 years now, to my total surprise).

        Lots of the time I write to entertain myself and end up entertaining others (Lamont and Dude the two characters who remember their previous incarnations just crack me up and some of my readers like them, too — not many, but those who do REALLY do). Sometimes I write a short story and sometimes they come out good. I just try to do the best I can with the knowledge I have. I guess that’s my “lodestone.”

        I’ve gotten a few really good short stories out of the daily prompt, which, at first, I thought was stupid. Well, that taught me (that damned hubris…).

        Some of my favorite followers over the five years have gone their own way. One wrote one of the best books I’ve read in recent years and I wouldn’t have known about it without his blog. You just don’t know. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. An interesting post, Denny.

    In this poem is “whiskey” a metaphor for S?

    I wonder at times why you included word counts and reading times. However, I was not put off by it at all. You know I never actually timed how long it took to read any of your posts that you gave the reading time for. A reason for this is I often do more than one thing at a time, or rapidly switch between activities, so sometimes, even with short posts, I do not read the whole post at once.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed reading this post, you’ve made Whiskey sound good! It’s a toss-up for me if the word count and reading time is bothersome or not. I found it intriguing that you’d write a post, and then find additional time to tell your readers how many words and how long it should take to read. Necessary or intriguing? Not sure? Maybe try including it at the end instead of the beginning?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Putting it at the end negates my reason for including it at all, which has been revealed and confirmed, repeatedly, as having been flawed. Given the overwhelming response in support of not including it at all, I think that’s what I’m gonna do.

      Thank you for reading and for the nice comments. I hope you have a great St. Patrick’s Day!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My tuppence: I agree with the others that having a ‘reading time’ at the outset isn’t helpful. I’d also point out that your post starts with “via Daily Prompt: Wrinkle”, which isn’t what the post is really about. I’m sure Daily Post really doesn’t mind where the link appears.

    Great poem!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wibble! Given the infinitely varied ways I’ve observed in which Bloggers post about Daily Post links, some of which don’t even bother to include the prompting word, I don’t feel the eensiest, teensiest, slightest, wibbleist, quibbliest little bit of remorse, regret, or guilt about how I respond to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Too intoduce a bum note in this discussion, I like to be warned at the top before a long read. By which I mean exceptionally long, as in New Yorker features. That is a signpost that stops me feeling frustrated when I must stop in mid-read and save the rest for later. Thank you, and thanks to the other commenters.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. As you are aware I write fairly long posts (anywhere between 1,000 to over 4,000).

        I know one of your readers would appreciated it if the word count would be given for long posts. I was wondering what some of your other readers think about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The one you reference was the first to suggest that. Almost all commenters have said they oppose inclusion of word counts/reading times, but a few have expressed support for including just a reading time at the end of the post. One commenter expressed confusion about why anyone would want to include a word count at all. I’ve decided, at least for now, not to include either. Putting them at the end of the post defeats my whole purpose for including them, which was to let readers know approximately how much time they would have to spend on my post if they decided to read it.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I echo the sentiments already expressed. 5 minutes as I rush through, or 30 minutes as I savor each word, and maybe re-read…it’s up to me, not an approximate word time. 😉 We know you are worth it…that’s why we’re here.

    Liked by 1 person

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