The 3 A.M. Epiphany is an ongoing series. Over time I’m tackling Brian Kiteley’s book The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction. Check out my other pieces in this series.
This exercise read, “Create a brief fragment of an epiphany, a moment beyond words, beyond explaining, in which a character sees the necessity of change. 300 words”
Depending on who I’m talking to, I either want the Fifth Commandment revered or obliterated from Moses’ tablet.
See, I want my daughter, Isabel to honor me, but I don’t want to have to do the same with my own parents. That’s all. I’m not being selfish, though. I wasn’t raised right – they don’t deserve it.
But, a conversation she and I had earlier has shaken me.
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There is no justice!
They wail as ambling boys are blown away.
We are justice.
They insist while slinging fire and steel.
Where is justice?
I wonder while bloating on the couch.
Readers, a caution: this poem may or may not be based on real events.
I had my first virtual reality experience
I was a baby in the womb
The dark red world was swirling around me
The muffled flow of life droned in my ears
I felt warm and safe, I think,
As if I was being held for the first time and had been forever,
As if nothing could ever go wrong
Every sustaining thing was insulating my body
But the guys at Verizon didn’t appreciate my moaning and screaming
So I was thrown out into the harsh, unforgiving cold
I wonder will thunder sound its blasts o’er and under
The red molten core of that faraway hill?
Or whether it’ll sever the last scrawny tether
Holding earth and her Heaven with their balance so still?
I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know what’ll happen
When the skies come unfastened and the dark waters spill
Forever. Forever. Is it possible they’ll ever
Fall and drown the red crown of that faraway hill?
I’m often haunted
By the look on my daughter’s face
After I’ve exploded
The salt from her tears tracks her cheeks
Her apology dribbles out of her lips
She shakes with the fear
Saved for a girl afraid of losing
Her father’s love
She slinks towards me, arms outheld
Wishing only that her Dad would comfort her
How strong is my desire
To break the curse?
In that promise
I found Amy
Mine a distant heart caught in a jar
And she, tenderly poked holes in the lid
Kept it safe and showed her cousins
“Isn’t it lovely – just look!”
Because of that promise
I met my captors
Dirty fingers caressing in the night
Turning my heart hard and my body used
Amy held me, cleaned under my nails
“You and I are forgiven.”
Anyone who badgers his friends
With too many Candy Crush requests
Will be burned at the stake Salem-style
And it will air on national TV
For the sick enjoyment of the masses
Good night, and God Bless America.
Pumpkin spice frenzy
A collection of Ugg boots
This lasts for two weeks
Though not quite Summer
You can tell that it’s trying
Year-round and unfair
If we aren’t very careful
We’ll burst into flames
It lives to taunt us
A brief reprieve from hellfire
Let’s wear our hoodies!
On a wire
What a beautiful sight
But wait…what is this?
Some smoke rising from its claws
Oh no! It’s shorting out! What the-
And just like that – like fireworks – explosion
A beautiful? sight in the sky. Poor bird.