Saturday, November 10, 2012

Post election, or why I didn't vote.

Ok, so I'm bound to get a lot of crap from many people for admitting that I didn't vote. I understand where people think that the concept of voting is something that is important, something that will actually affect some kind of change...but it really doesn't. As it is, we get inundated with television and print ads. The trees destroyed to send me these flyers in the mail must number in high amounts. I get sick of hearing smear campaigns. I get sick of hearing how much money is spent on said campaigns. Then, there's the two party system of this so-called "democracy". It's a joke and everyone knows it. We vote the same type of people in every year. You have your conservative Republicans, who hate women's rights, gays, minorities, the arts...support the NRA, etc. Of course, there's the liberal Democrats who are polar opposites. I'm tired of it all. Liberals are wrong...and so are conservatives. Everything should run right down the middle, but we're all too busy shouting over one another to listen, and at this point, no one is really listening anyway. So...what do we do? We grease a broken machine in the hopes that we'll get a few more uses out of it. It gets us nowhere. We vote and cheer when our choices win and sulk and complain when they lose. We point fingers and do nothing to improve anything. Don't you all realize by now that none of these politicians care about any of you? They don't give two shits about anyone who can't line their pockets with money or take care of some agenda. They wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire. This system is broken. This is a capitalist democracy, at best. The dollar rules this nation and most people are too blind to see that. I've decided that my vote not only would not matter, but will not be for anyone who will affect the kind of change needed to make things in this country better...so none of these worthless pieces of shit will be getting it anymore. One person CANNOT make a difference anymore. Not in 2012 and not in the future, either. It will take an uprising of the people to set it all straight...but we're all too apathetic, too lazy, too scared to do a damned thing. All of that "Occupy" bullshit did absolutely nothing. Why? The people running these so-called things lost their focus. They accomplished NOTHING and yet some people actually consider these waste-oids heroes! It's laughable. You know...one person on a soapbox is considered a nutcase, a mentally unstable person to be committed. They're considered "conspiracy theorists", and while there are actual conspiracy theorists out there who ARE a bit out of their gourds, there are also many, many sane people out there who know exactly what I know. If there's millions of people who wake up one day and say, "Hey Washington, this is NOT your country, it's OURS and we want it BACK!" and decide to physically remove these people from their pedestals THAT is what's called action. THAT is doing something. We all deserve basic rights. We all deserve to have a place to live, food to eat, a job that suits us, that renders us a useful part of society. No one in this country, which is frequently (and arrogantly, mind you) considered "the best country in the world", should have to struggle simply to exist, to pay their bills. No one should suffer without proper health care. So why does all of this happen? Why do we all struggle so much, yet work so hard? (Well, except for the scumbags who get handouts and do nothing to better their situations.) Well...I don't know. Perhaps we should ask the assholes we all continue to elect into various offices around this not-so-great country of ours. Good ol' 'Murrica. Stars and stripes forever and all of that fucking nonsense. We're all screwed...you do know that, right? So yeah, 2012 marked the first time in my life that I didn't vote...and I don't plan to do so again, not until this broken machine gets fixed...but it won't.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

So...the final result is...

I managed a total of 64 poems, besting last year's total by two. On the last day, I wrote four poems. I think that a good chunk of these are worthy poems. It actually felt pretty weird to NOT write today, but in a way, it was relieving. I put a lot of effort into it and can be a little mentally distant during April. I feel like I need to make up for that in May. Anyway, I think I pushed myself in some areas and even ended up with another concept for a chapbook. In fact, 12 of the 64 poems will be part of that...the whole ghost thing. I don't know how it's going to end yet, as I'm letting it sort itself out as it goes and trying not to force anything. I'm hoping for the best there, but it's a little different for me and I'm trying not to fall into cliches, which can be easy when dealing with something like this. Now, it's all about revision...lots of revision.

Monday, April 30, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 30

So, today's Poetic Asides prompt, the last of the month, is to write a "fade away" poem. Here's my take on that idea. Tomorrow, I will reveal my total number of poems for the month and a few other random thoughts...and of course, the empty promise that I plan on posting more throughout the year. Maybe this year I'll follow through on that one.





Drop away


We scan internet message boards
and read about people who walked
by us down busy high school hallways.
We see the words cancer, heart attack,
stroke – these people who faded from
importance in our lives many years ago,
dropping like planes from the sky.
They are now all simply names in a small
column in a back section of a newspaper,
a small flicker that reminds us how briefly
we walk the earth. Their images randomly,
quickly flash in my brain, then they all drop
away, a fading, a sobering reminder of fragility.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 29

Today's Poetic Asides prompt is to take a line or image from a previously written poem from the month and work it into a new poem. Here's another in the series of ghost poems...





We are lost and wandering


Over the damp grass stretching along
the river, across miles of asphalt that
stretches like a maze through this tiny town.
I have convinced myself that I can rip you 
from the world that holds you captive, that 
a kiss could send you tumbling into the present, 
that I could hold your pale hand through the
evening's cold and our side by side footsteps
would embed down the dirt trails, proof that
you exist outside of my head. Your words flow
through my veins and are pouring out into verses
before my eyes, but tonight, I will wait for you
in the dimly lit basement. When the rest of the
street is hushed and sleeping, my blood will race
and you will know the depth of my affections.
I will possess the whole of you. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 28

The Poetic Asides prompt today is to write a problem poem. The first thing off the top of my head was the battle I was fighting this morning out in the yard...





Two weed wackers


And neither one is cooperating
after I've cut the lawn and started
to trim the shaggy edges of our yard
in preparation for a barbecue that
my wife is stressing over.


The first one won't feed the string
through and I have to take it apart
each time I need more line fed.


The second one has now started to do
the same thing, but I keep using it
anyway, until it begins to slow down
for some unknown reason. When I look
down, I see smoke pouring out of it.


I go back to using the other one and
fight with it some more, desperate to
finish with enough time to sweep,
bring the six foot table up from the
basement and write two poems before
I get yelled at.


That will bring a new set of problems.




Friday, April 27, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 27

The prompt from Poetic Asides was to take the phrase "The Trouble Is" and follow it with something, then write the poem. I wasn't entirely sure where to go with it, but my friend Yinka gave me an idea at work today after I explained the prompt and I went with it...





The trouble is that these girls


I work with are having babies.
Girls that are barely out of their
teen years. Girls who, before their
bellies began to bloat, walked around
with exposed midriffs and too much
eye makeup. Girls who came to work
hung over. Girls who had glazed eyes
and brazenly told me that if I ever
needed pot to let them know. Girls who
were pulled over, arrested and ended
up in the news blotter of the Burlington
County Times. Girls who are going to be
someone’s mom now. That’s what scares
me the most.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 26

Today's Poetic Asides prompt was to write a poem about an animal. Here's mine...


Ben

A chinese pug,
he had tan, short fur and his tail
was curled in an impossible twist.

I was told that he was abused,
and that was the reason his left eye
was deformed and without vision.

I was eight.
I don’t remember how old he was,
but I do remember my parents giving
him away, telling me I didn’t take care
of him and that they didn’t want to.

He went to live on a farm and I wouldn’t
know the companionship of a dog again
until I was an adult.

I hope that farm was more forgiving than my parents.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 25

Today's Poetic Asides prompt was to write a poem about a sport. This was quite easy for me...





Luck?


It was a case of serendipity that led the
Colts to a ninth round draft pick by the
name of John. The guy that couldn't crack
the Pittsburgh roster would only become a three
time MVP and a legend of the game.


It took a transitional year for the next savior
to arrive. No longer in Baltimore, they plucked
a Louisiana gunslinger with the first pick and 
ended up with a four time MVP who made eleven
Pro Bowls and helped to name a lot of babies
in the state of Indiana "Peyton". 


It was an injury to a usually durable Manning
that felled the Colts season last year, saw a 
revolving door of quarterbacks fail to win games
and left the team once again with a first overall
pick. Some say it was luck, but it won't be when
Andrew leads the team to greatness all over again.


For this team, quarterbacks like these come thrice
in a lifetime.




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 24

The prompt from Poetic Asides was a two-for Tuesday...write a love poem or write an anti love poem. I went the opposite of what I usually do...





A wreck cannot take everything


When they pulled her from the wreckage,
her body as battered and crushed as the
vehicle, one of her limbs was swallowed
by the scene of the accident and left behind.


When she woke in the hospital bed, she 
cried, asked me how she will be able to write
her name on an anniversary card without her
right hand, how I could love three quarters of a girl.


When doctors said they could not save the mangled
meat that remained of her left arm, she asked me
how she will be able to touch my face, to brush her
teeth, to hold a daughter, or me.


When her bruised, weary legs carried her through
our front door, I became her limbs, became her hands.
I skywrote forever hearts while she told me I loved
half a girl, told her that we are a circle, a constant
and neverending love.


At night, I wrap her with my warmth, press my cheek to
hers, whisper in her ear, "You are stuck with 100% of me."



Monday, April 23, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 23

Today's Poetic Asides prompt was to write a morning poem. I thought it'd be a good opportunity for Blair to finally manifest. 





A rainy morning turns bright


After lumbering through the bedroom doorway
at 6am, I notice a faint glow coming from 
the office that is not the pale blue of the
laptop in sleep mode, or the cellphone's 
steady glare over a missed text message or a
call. It is brighter, yet contained to one
area. The manifestation of a body, a face -
long, dusky hair cascading around the outline. 
There is no wind, no harps or angelic choirs.
I inhale deeply and continue towards her,
stay focused on her face and the sincerity of
her gaze before I whisper, "Blair." She gives
a warm grin and clearly replies, "Good morning.
I do hope that this gray morning finds you well."
I am fixated on the shape of her mouth and the
way her eyes seem so alive, so impassioned.
The rain continues its steady, insistent pace
on an unusually blustery April morning. She tilts
her head to my stare. "Much better now," I say.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 22

Today's Poetic Asides prompt was to write a judging poem, whether the poem judges someone or is being judged...or whatever. So, I'm not exactly sure how it went from one point to the other, but there is much to be left to the imagination, I suppose. So, here’s my take on the prompt, as I did not want to go entirely cookie cutter on this one.

Just desserts

She walks slowly towards the table,
arms behind her back, a slight sway
in her step as she approaches. Her
hair twisted up, held with a clip,
make up perfect. She will notice the
crumbs on my shoulders, the floured
streak across my shirt. She stops.
Her hands now on her hips, she stares
through me, piercing me with her bullet
eyes. Her finger extends, takes a swipe
and very deliberately licks her finger,
she moans lightly, nods. She stabs her
fork into the sweet structure and slowly,
lustfully moves it into her mouth. Her
eyes briefly close, her mouth turns up.
“He will do,” she says, extends her hand,
escorts me out, leaves the plate behind.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 21

Today's prompt from Poetic Asides was to write an "under the microscope" poem. Here's my attempt, of sorts.





What is left behind


You remove the adjectives first,
tell me how useless it is to have
them in a poem, extract the gerunds
and whittle them down to two, maybe
three. Next, you become the cliche
police and tell me my metaphors are
droll and overused. You slice my
stanzas with your sharp, red lines
and what is left is a hollowed out
fruit, a petri dish with a crumb.


Friday, April 20, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 20

The Poetic Asides prompt today is to take the phrase "Let's (blank)" and replace the blank with...whatever...and then write the poem. Entirely open ended. I took this as an opportunity to write another poem in the "Blair" series and flesh her out just a little more. 





Let's quit playing games


Is what I tell Blair, while I sit and look out
at a boat passing by on the river. She tells me
that she had to get me out of the house and away
from the distractions, that she wanted my undivided
attention and that her voice carries better when
she's unfettered. I hear the distant trains whining,
some strange bird calls I'd never heard before and
a few low flying planes before she continues.


She told me that she's been watching me for some time,
that she felt like she could trust me with her history,
with her secrets. That my face was kind and that we 
shared a common bond, a love.


She said that she's been here, trapped in this mid-plain 
for months and wasn't sure why. She was just twenty five
when she died, and she lived half of her life in South. 
Everything she knew she read in books, that she wished
she could have traveled anywhere, just to see different
people, to taste a life she'd only imagined. 


She told me that she had written pages and pages of 
poetry and hid them, that she wanted me to help her find
them. I said wasn't sure how I'd be able to do that after 
so many years had passed. She had no idea that it was 2012, 
that so-called progress had changed more than just
the landscape of the place she called home.

She asked if I could rewrite her words, give her life again.
I asked if I could see her face, if she could come to me
one night while the dog slept, while the house sounds quieted.
She told me to go back to the house, that the sun was going
to burn my pale skin and to wait for her tonight. 



Thursday, April 19, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 19

Today's prompt from Poetic Asides was to write an life event poem. I wasn't entirely motivated by this one, but I came up with something lighthearted. 





An event to remember


You tell me that you're working late on a
random Thursday in a typical, non-descript
week, and I'm supposed to have immediate recall.


You tell me to write on the calendar the
days that I'm working late, and I've barely
memorized my schedule for the next work week.


You tell me I need to make lists so that I can
actually accomplish things throughout the week.
Things like:
Let the dog out.
Don't leave the laundry in the washing machine.
Bring milk home. Don't forget the bananas.


Yet, every time someone asks when our anniversary
is, your eyes glaze and your head turns to me,
and I always respond, "April 26th".



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 18

Today’s prompt from Poetic Asides, think of a favorite regional cuisine, make that the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. For instance, you may title your poem something like “Brunswick Stew,” “Deep Dish Pizza,” or “Jambalaya,” though the poem doesn’t exactly have to be about food. Here's my attempt...





Philly cheesesteak


It was last year that I finally found
a place on South Street to finally try
an actual Philly cheesesteak. Of course,
South Jersey has many places that try to
emulate that benchmark of cuisine from
the city of brotherly love, but many have
told me that nothing can compare to a steak
at Geno's, at Pat's or Jim's. With a coupon
in hand, we went to Steaks On South, and it
wouldn't be my last time, either. I probably
didn't order it with the correct terminology,
my editor brain refusing to say "a cheesesteak
wit", but my mouth won't soon forget the melding
of cubes of chicken melding with fried onions and
bacon on a soft, but not too soft roll, the grease
lightly coating my hands. Still, as much as I enjoyed
that fried masterpiece, the best cheesesteak I've ever
had was from a town in my own county in South Jersey, 
on the largest roll I've ever seen a cheesesteak on. I
somehow managed to eat one of those oversized monstrosities
once, and it is now something of legend, though I don't think
my stomach has ever really forgiven me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 17

The prompt from Poetic Asides today was a two for Tuesday deal to either write a fantasy poem or a sci-fi poem. I gave the latter a shot.





Paranoid android


We don't refer to ourselves as perfect.
We are just the image of what each
human wants, needs and desires.
For years, the human brain has longed
to perfect the imperfect, and so we exist,
but something must have gone wrong.
We feel. We feel deeply. We were able to 
live with our humans, like pets, like slaves
to desire, yet we desire, too. 


We knew nothing of loss until the humans
started aging and dying, and we all looked
the same. Not a wrinkle, not an age spot
in sight. We were left with ourselves after
a while, as the humans failed to interact
with each other, failed to repopulate the
Earth. There is no one left to desire us 
and we don't have the understanding of
humanity, as it never flowed through our
wiring. We are becoming restless and sad
without the affection of our humans.
We are lost and wandering.



Monday, April 16, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 16

Today’s Poetic Asides prompt: write a mixed up poem. I guess there are a few ways to come at this poem. Your narrator could have mixed feelings about something. Or a character could get “mixed up” in something. Or the poem could be about mixing up a drink. Or a mixtape. Or however you wish to mix this prompt/poem up.





Snowing marshmallows


I found my shoes in the fridge,
chilled and stiff, as it turns out
it will be 90 degrees today.
My dog had my keys in her
teeth, motioned for me to go
in the cage this time.
Something is not quite right.
The lunch I made the night before
was spotted in the clutches of the
rabbit that sits in the grass on the
side of my house. I think he’s
laughing at me, left me the carrots
I toss to him each day.
My hair looks purple, for some reason.
Is this someone’s idea of a joke?
My wife is running at me with a bat.
What the hell?! I run for the door.
Outside, it’s snowing marshmallows.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 15

Today’s prompt at Poetic Asides, use the following five words in your poem: slash, button, mask, strap, and balloon. Use them in any order. Here's mine...





Sunday at the farmer's market and after


The day took off its mask by noon and
soon a slash of light beat down,
covered us in the warmth that its
name conveyed. We walked through rows
of people's used wares, typewriters
with taped up cords, a pair of pants
without a button, watched children 
walking with custard cones and balloons,
ate a cheesesteak pretzel and apple 
cider donuts. Both of us, unprepared for
the gray's lift. Later, your shirt strap
moved and revealed white around the pink
on your shoulder. We rubbed aloe into our
skin, felt the cool relief and collapsed
into the comfort of the sofa for the evening.



Saturday, April 14, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 14

Today's Poetic Asides prompt was to write a doomsday poem. Mine is sort of an anti-doomsday poem. 





Hurricane disaster 2011


The night before, the fire department came by, 
handed out fliers asking everyone to evacute,
offered shelter at a church, but told us that
our dog would have to stay behind. 
We stayed. 


We sat in our house and watched weather updates
flash across our television screen, peeked 
through the curtains to see a barrage of rain
soaking the streets. The wind blew some things
around, pushed another beat up, already weather
damaged shingle off the roof of our flimsy shed.


The power flickered once, went out for a flash
and then returned. It didn't even interrupt our
internet connection, which was notoriously quirky.


The next day, we walked down towards the creek to
see if anything was damaged or displaced. Nothing.
There was some water that spilled over into the 
street that remained. Some branches that had been
knocked off sturdy trees along the riverbank.


We were glad we didn't leave the dog behind over
another media driven disaster that didn't happen.

Friday, April 13, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 13

The Poetic Asides prompt was to write an "unlucky" poem, since today is Friday the 13th, a notoriously lucky day for me. The second poem is a tanka, as Robert also put up a tanka challenge for today. Tanka, for those who don't know, is much like haiku, but with less restriction. It's five lines and the syllable count should be 5-7-5-7-7.





Unfortunate DNA


It is what keeps me saturated in
SPF 45 sunblock on warm days spent
walking the bustling, shore boardwalk,
the sun's power heating my pale, pale skin.


It is responsible for the moles that
dot the landscape of my face, that 
could connect, like destinations on a
map, if you were to draw a line from
the left, to the middle, to the right.


It is what makes me prone to mild eczema 
on my legs, covers my shoulders, 
arms and back with freckles.


It is what could make me susceptible to
prostate cancer, like my father had to 
endure in his sixties.


It is the reason why I can never find a
single pair of shoes at DSW, on the main
floor or the clearance section, that will
house these oddball, mammoth feet.








Absent daughter


A box downstairs holds
a framed picture, a sun and
moon with eyes closed, the
words "sleep precious baby, sleep",
it was to hang in your room.






Thursday, April 12, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 12

Today’s prompt from Poetic Asides: take the phrase “Something (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Here's mine...another dark one.





Something peaceful


In the way the light hits her face
as it pours through the windows
of the bedroom, how it highlights
the curve of her jaw, how it makes
her skin look less taut and filled
with worry. There is something 
almost relieving to touch the chill
on her arms, to see the blue darken
her pale legs, to see her mouth frozen
in a slightly upward path, to know
that she knew it was coming, yet
she would feel the sun's warmth one
last time before she left me. I can't
possibly be angry when I see how
brightly she shines, and will always.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 11

Today’s prompt from Poetic Asides: Pick a season (any season) and make it the title of your poem; then, write your poem. For instance, your poem might be titled “Winter” or “Spring” or “Rabbit Season” (if you have a sense of humor and like Looney Tunes cartoons).





Winterlong


I wait winterlong for you to wake
from a slumber that has kept your
long limbs immobile.


Your night stand has become a
mini mausoleum, nothing disturbed
from when you last touched it:
your alarm clock frozen at 11:14,
your hair brush with long, blonde
pieces of you half off the stained wood.


Every night I visit the sterile space
you encompass now, watch your fingers
and toes in hopes that they respond when
I sing your favorite song, fill the room
with tulips of every color.


When spring arrives, your garden blooms
and I swear I see you carrying a watercan,
hear the buzz of your name on the honeybees,
hold the hope that you will bloom again
among the machines that hold your breath.

NaPoWriMo, Day 10

Today’s “Two-for-Tuesday” prompts from Poetic Asides are:


Write a Forest poem.
Write a Tree poem.


And so, the ghost poems continue...BTW, I've only posted two of them here, but there are four in total so far.





Tuesday night, she was in my dreams


Telling me about how her house stood
where the water treatment plant is now,
and that everything around here was a
huge forest, that people hacked and 
hacked it all down and built these houses
far too close to the water. She told me
that her father wanted a son, built a 
treehouse before she was born and told
her it was a castle, so she made tiaras
out of vines, leaves and flowers, wrote
love letters and sent them down the river
in glass bottles, but no one answered.
She told me that the forest was hers,
all of this land left to her and no one
to share it with, that she can't bear to
leave what was left of her forest.
She left her voice on the breezes that 
blew through the park nearby, told me to
look for her in the morning. I haven't
had a solid night of sleep in weeks and
I can't get her voice out of my head.

Monday, April 9, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 9

From Poetic Asides: Write a shady poem. I’ll leave the interpretation of this prompt up to you. It could be a poem that includes shadows and/or shading. It could be about a shady part of town or a shady person. Or well, something else.


So here's my attempt...it more or less includes shadows.





Blair


You send your signal through the
dining room lights, a flicker
then the dim bulbs suddenly
blare, suspicious shadows cast
around corners, hide bookcases and
the various toys and bones left by
the dog on the floor. You wait for
me to turn off the television, then
move the drapes, send a flash from
porch lights across the street,
send a whistle through the vents,
try to seduce me into following you
to the basement to shroud me in a
dark cover, to keep me in your
otherworldly embrace.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

RIP John Bourne

John Bourne was a poet. Not a well known poet nationally, maybe locally. He was the second person to be a featured poet for the Quick and Dirty Poets, a poetry group I co-founded and have been the President of for the last four years or so. He was curmudgeonly. He was funny. He was the husband of Adele Bourne, another South Jersey poet, who also read for QND and has been quite supportive of me over the years. Adele is in my thoughts, as is John, who I've thought a lot about today. He might not have always been the most openly warm person early on, but he was a presence around here. He was, by all accounts, a good man who led a good life and battled a terrible disease. I will remember him for his sense of humor. We have lost one of our own, and it's sobering.

NaPoWriMo, Day 8

Write a rejection poem. Again, I tried to use the word and/or reference rejection in multiple parts of the piece. There is no target for this poem, it sort of came to me quickly, so...it probably sucks.





Spurn


You will not find yourself in this
poem, leaning against a railing by a 
rippling river while the sun drifts
slowly down. You will not find us
both staring at the same stars, in
some cluttered sky, littered with
cliche and sentiment. You will find
your advances jettisoned to some
distant time, where I was weaker.


Each line, each stanza
has been dismissed. 
Each emotion I once held, 
rebuffed by my better judgment.
Each time I felt the pressure to
display a fabrication to placate the
black hole in your empty union,
I discarded the words and lit them aflame.


This will be the last line I waste.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 7

Write a poem describing a scene in which two or more people interact without speaking. It's probably the best prompt Brewer has put up yet, and yet I feel like my poem falls short. Anyway, this is what I've got.



Dear life


Her sullen brown eyes stared at the
cold concrete, slivers of crystal 
glistened in the chilly April morning,
reflected her sorrow into the sky.
It was the last thing her mother touched,
the last thing she placed around her
neck. The fragile fibers, too frayed to
hold its weight. As her eyes watered,
his large, warm hand stroked away the
wet from her cheek. He spoke no words,
only knelt to be beside her small frame.
The last connection to her mother, 
returned to the earth. She hugged his
waist hard, buried her face into his
chest, held on for dear life to her
last life line.

Friday, April 6, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 6

Today's prompt was to write a hiding poem. Here's my attempt, which leans more towards emphasizing the word 'hide'.





Harbor


Those days when you walked meekly with
a tawny pony tail and a baseball hat,
kicking dirt and concealing your pain
in outbursts and hide and seek games 
where you never wished to be found,
seem a distant reality now that you
have surfaced across a screen, across
miles and miles of terrain that
keep our fingers from touching, that
keep me from lifting you off your feet
in a long embrace. The years between us
are worn into our faces, our hair both
blonde now, our affection rekindled 
through the most unlikely scenarios.
Your shroud has been tossed aside as
you announce your brazen nomadic ways
to the world, make literal red marker
lines across the country and stick
temporary pins in cities, smuggle your
unrelenting warmth to the coldest regions
while I wait here for you to uncloak
me from the fog of your absence.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 5

I wasn't crazy about the prompt today from Poetic Asides, but I went with it, anyway. It was to write about something from before your time, and mine sort of goes there. I'm not crazy about it, but it was all I came up with. Click the link above and you can see what others wrote about, including my friend Bruce Niedt, who came up with a FAR superior poem than mine and had his blog chosen as the featured blog on the NaPoWriMo website for today. 

When I was your age...

As the spring makes its way back,
the familiar sound of the Mr. Softee
truck returns, bringing back memories
of children on my old, dead end road
running, screaming and scattering back
to their houses to beg their parents
for money to buy something - anything,
as if the ice cream truck wouldn't be
back again for the entire summer.

Most of the time, the truck would come
during dinner time, and I'd still have
a heaping pile of something nasty on my
plate that I had no intention of finishing,
like carrots.

I would ask for a dollar from my father,
and he'd share the same story each time
about how, when he was a kid, a quarter
would buy an ice cream cone for him, 
his two brothers and two sisters.

I'd hear about the cold Minnesota winters
and a refresher about how he had to quit
school after his father died of tuberculosis
and join the Air Force. 

My mother would tell me that her mother
never gave her or her brothers and sisters
any special treats and mostly screamed and
cursed at her, occasionally getting violent
enough to throw knives at her.

All I wanted was a dollar.

Instead, I was given a history lesson about
a time I cared very little about, since I was
roughly eight years old and didn't really 
believe that they shared beds with their
siblings or were hit with window opening rods
by sinister nuns who beat insolent children.

All I wanted was that dollar before the truck
pulled away and I was stuck lamenting another missed
opportunity at having a Chip Candy Crunch bar.

It was met with my father's inevitable groan, a 
reach in the pocket and a quick grab from me 
as I sprinted out to that magical, musical truck
while he once again told my mother,
"He doesn't know how good he's got it."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 4

Here's today's Poetic Asides prompt. Click the link and check it out, write something from it, if you wish. My poem is a bit tangent-y, but I enjoyed writing it. (Ironically enough.) 


100% fun

Kurt said in his suicide note
that it would be the worst crime
to rip people off by faking it
and pretending as if he was having
100% fun, and I think it's a bit
of an exaggeration.

There is nothing fun about bleeding
the pen and putting every fiber
onto a sheet of bleached paper,
or onto a vast internet where 
all you reveal finds permanence,
or into a song where you've pained
over every verse of lyric, every 
chord you've played, with a 
obsessive perfection.

When I think of 100% fun,
I don't think of anything I can do
in my every day life.

I think of that Matthew Sweet album
and the song "Sick of Myself" and
how I saw him play at Roseland Ballroom
and how he played for nearly three hours
almost making me miss the ferry back
to New Jersey, and how I had to direct
the cabbie to the NY Waterway, which 
was both pathetic and sad. Luckily,
I managed to catch the next to last
ferry, at 12:50 am on a weekday.

That wasn't even 5% fun for me.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 3

I followed the prompt from Poetic Asides and wrote an unapologetic poem...I might still try an apology poem.


No apologies

The little presents you gave
the magic eight ball,
the framed movie poster of
Pulp Fiction, all have found
their way to a pile of
decomposing trash.

The cd's I pretended to like -
the ones you made for me,
will never spin and spin in
the mini stereo on my book shelf
ever again.

I've donated every shirt you've
given me to Goodwill.

I've purposely over-fed your fish.

I used your toothbrush to clean the
hair dye stains out of the tub.

I had your mail forwarded to a
random address I found in the phone book.

 

Monday, April 2, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 2

I took the prompt from Poetic Asides today and wrote the poem as an "unwanted visitor". Here's the prompt : For today’s prompt, write a visitor poem. The poem can be from the point of view of a visitor–or the people receiving the visitor. The visitor could be expected or unexpected. The visitor could be welcome or unwelcome. The visitor doesn’t even have to be human.



Intruder


It swims around in the acid of my gut,
punching holes and biting the lining.
It leaves me buckled and nauseated.


It travels the length of my shoulders,
sending its ache up my semi-arthritic neck
and leaves me dizzy when I wake.


It sends me into an afternoon fever,
my hands dry and chilled, my face warm
and flush with sickness.


It laughs while I wait out its blood games,
its dyskrasia firing into my brain,
blasting scenarios that all end badly,
contemplating an end I had not imagined.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

NaPoWriMo, Day 1

Well, I'm at it again. I'm not putting a limit on what I write this month, but I'm hoping for, at least, the bare minimum of 30 poems. Last year I did 62. If I do 60, 90, 120...great. I just need a swift kick in the ass. With that said, here's the first one. It's in honor of Adrienne Rich, who we lost this week.





A dissection 
(after Adrienne Rich)


I know you are reading this poem
in the late hours of a gray morning,
your legs twisted around an uncomfortable
chair, a mug of something hot trailing
small streams of steam off towards the ceiling.


I know you are reading this poem and thinking
it is about you, as you pick apart the nouns,
look for the slightest hint of your habits in
the verbs, and tap your pen feverishly on the
varnished wood of your dining room table.


I know you are reading this poem, eager to 
draw lines through stanzas, call something 
cliche and tell me that the title is crap.


I know you are reading this poem in bitter
disappointment, knowing that I am being evasive
on purpose, just to throw you off the scent,
to keep you from all that my fingers have held
back while writing it.


I know you are reading this poem and have already
buried its words into brain storage, to use against
me at a later date, when you are standing in the doorway,
screaming frustrations and pointed accusations.


I know you are reading this poem, as it is the only
thing I've left behind after the crisp, early April
air has taken my breathing.