Maydays: Book Spines Poem – Free Verse – “A Prince and A Cook” 


Thanks to K.L. Caley from new2writing for hosting #MayDay prompts. Today’s prompt is about books.


A Passion for Narrative, to tell a tale, 

One taking place during Ragtime, to no avail —

A Tale of Two Cities, who didn’t get a long well, 

The Prince ruled both with Machiavellin swell, 

He didn’t see how easily Things Fall Apart, 

Neither was he there in the America When the Eagle Screamed depart,

He thought of Sons and Lovers, a life snuffed out,

Measure for Measure time left in the dust despite his shouts,

He’d never been a good man, taking care of Midnight’s Children,

He believed all people were Dog Soldiers, cannon fodder broken, 

He didn’t know the baggage, The Things They [people] Carried,

The Prince cared only for war and power, sometimes Faking It, days varied.

Difficulties being commander when you’re too fat to be master, 

Bought his cook a book Cook Yourself Thin Faster.

She had A Scarlet Letter and was surprised by the book, to have the dictator eat better.

The cook dreamt of tales told, of The Aeneid, Virgil’s words enticed her,

She swore this would be The Last Summer, she cooked The Prince his meals,

Inside her a voice screamed, Have A Little Faith; she believed that voice real, 

Reading in her spare time a biography of Steve Jobs, unsure if he was a modern prince or a genius, or both.

The cook hadn’t decided yet, but she didn’t like Job’s attitude, it made her him loath, 

She preferred stories about wonderful creatures imagined such as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,

Where good conquered all with a Lion’s roar, and reading away she silently strode.

Can You Keep A Secret? She’s leaving tonight, leaving The Prince to fend,

In this modern world, searching for a place where her broken heart stitched with a letter ‘A’ mends.

The Prince sits alone in his castle, soldiers having deserted the pen, 

In the modern age, a war fought with words, reminds him of his life’s Renaissance,

So he penned The Thirteenth Tale, the papacy rejected,

The number thirteen being evil, and so The Prince remained lost and dejected.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.


Things Fall Apart

“Things Fall Apart,” not only a famous book but an undoubted truth – such is life that when everything seems to be going good, everything crumbles and we spiral downwards into despair. In the book “Things Fall Apart” the story is centered around a warrior from the tribal world Okonkwo from an Ibo village in Nigeria. Okonkwo’s fall from grace is paralleled by the fall of his tribe by the “proselytizing” European missionaries. In life there, are many times that things just do not work out just like they began to not work out for Okonkwo’s, maybe not such on a massive level. But I bet you, everyday somewhere, somebody’s life is falling a part. Yesterday, it was mine, or it seemed like it…

There was this big fight, and suddenly I was going from living in the comfortable house I live in, being able to deal with my illness, and provide for myself not only what I need but what I want – to $700.00 short of being able to live on my own. I could not believe that suddenly, at this almost Christmas time of year that I was having to put a budget together of what I would need to live on my own each month; I new from the beginning I did not make enough on disability. I started looking at condo and apartment listings in the downtown area, places close to transit and where I needed to be. I realized I would not be able to finish my Residential Interior’s Certificate, that I would have to take on massive student loans to be do a Master’s – everything, all these realities of life hit me. Worst, of all I saw no choice but to live alone, knowing all my friends and family have good places to live right now, knowing people would not understand how it is to have depression all the time – that tiredness that only depressed people know about. If you would have looked at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and said where I was deficient I could have told you first and foremost saftey; I did not feel safe anymore. Suddenly, too my basic needs were not provided for and that leads to panic. Okonkwo must have panicked as his world fell apart but I could not tell you, it has been years since I read the book and I pulled it out for a ‘Reading Group’ again.

Today I am not panicking though. The ground has returned beneath my feet and I think I’ll be staying where I am for awhile. Still sooner, rather than later I think more and more I need to be out on my own. I want to be out on my own, but my health does not allow me much for that. And the person I was fighting with, he did not get this – no matter how many times he said ” I understand your needs.” He did not. I think things have blown over and he still does not understand and this worries me. That because I am home, the work I do for my courses, the articles I write is not considered important, and I am expected even though I often do not have the energy to always pick up, clean up the tiniest little details – that are not important; they are just little things – inconsequential – when I am working towards much bigger goals of independence, and trying to go out to work on my own half time. While, at the same time I have a brother who works and goes out does what he wants, and hardly does anything as well; this is okay just because he pays rent and works? I bear my brother no ill will – but I said I would pay rent to – and he tells me he would still expect the same from me, it is a double standard. I do not understand. So sometime in the years maybe months I will have to find the money to live on my own – I think it must be that way that you just get to a point and say – I am done leave me in peace and let me live how I live; it is not hurting you or affecting you in any large way so let me be. So things fell a part and they still do not feel back together.

My life feels wedged together, rough hewn stones mashed together made to fit, because we must all put on a smile and never really deal with the issues. I did not see it coming, and neither did Okonkwo. I do not want to be this person he blows up at because he has issues. Those he needs to take care of, if he is holding them inside, he needs to run, go do something, go talk to my uncles or something, write. . . I cannot deal with his issues and mine when I become the target of his anger. And it just pulls me a part; ruins my days. Makes me not sleep – something that is already a big issue for me.  And maybe I should not be writing about them on here. But I use no names, I share with no one but strangers, and I know how to deal when things fall a part. You write about them, share them, because that is how you  stay whole, learn how to deal – and I know better than him how things fall a part. If you leave them, if you left them you can go crashing down into a void that will take you years to extract yourself from – such is depression.

And I am trying to be forgiving but this time I cannot forget. Forgive seventy times seven Jesus says. Once would do it I think, if I could do that I would be grateful. Do not let yourself be caught in issues, in anger, in things like this – just talk about it calmly. Hear both sides of the issues, and listen to someone when they tell you, you are missing something big. It is easy to wear blinders. Do not make other people responsible for your actions, allow them their space, especially when they have no other choice in where they maybe. Forgive as much as you can, until even though at first you just say it, it becomes true. And try to remember that although people may not love you the way you want them to, maybe it is the best they can do.

For now, I do what my boyfriend says, and do nothing. Let it be and do a little cleaning and just let things be. As Paul McCartney sings ” …there will be an answer, let it be.”