Wednesday, April 30, 2008

NaPoWriMo 30

My father and I tour the basement.
I hold my breath, forgetting I needn't
close my eyes for the bathroom -
they replaced the tortured toilet,
bashed-in sink six years ago. We talk
mildew on the windowledge, do not
worry about falling through the floor.
He says the sliding door is single pane
my mother yells down it's double.
I put my fingers either side, verify
his version. The day darkens here
in the dark corner. She wants me
to look at the broken German clock
and the broken blonde one behind
she's giving to my brother. Why?
I ask. Because he remembers it,
she says, and I say, I remember it,
but that doesn't mean I want it.
She points at 33's and 78's my sister
has told her she doesn't want.
She fusses about shipping them.
I say, She doesn't want the records.
My mother sits on the stuffy sofa
blossoming batting out its ugly arm.
"Such a lovely piece," she says, points
to the end table my sister does want.
The detritus of two lives jumbled
around us, ill cared for as we were,
even cases of his Mark Fable wine
mixed - empty, full, stacked together
like a mind perpetually elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sponging off the New Yorker

Folk-Song Collectors
text from "The Last Verse" by Burkhard Bilger
in April 28, 2008 New Yorker

Cecil Sharp suffered from gout and asthma
smoked heavily and ate no meat - a diet
so strange in parts of the South some took
him for a German spy. He toured southern
Appalacia three times, beginning in 1916,
never made recordings, though he could have.
"What I want more than anything else
is quiet, no children, no Victrolas, nor
strumming of rag-time and the singing
of sentimental songs. I am satisfied
with what I have done," he wrote.

John Lomax was sixty-five in 1933,
had already collected cowboy tunes
with a Harvard fellowship in 1907.
"Squeaky reproductions," he admitted,
made with a wax-cylinder machine.
He took his eighteen-year-old son,
Alan, with him, stuck to the back roads,
and looked for work farms, cotton
fields, lumber camps, and chain gangs --
wherever there was "the least likelihood
of the inclusion of jazz influences, as
he put it. They found Muddy Waters
on a Mississippi plantation, Woody
Guthrie at a benefit for migrant
farm workers, Leadbelly in a Louisiana
penitentiary. The prisoners had
"dynamite in their performances,"
Alan later told the Times. "There was
more emotional heat, more power,
more nobility in what they did than
all the Beethovens and Bachs could

The McCarthy hearings were on television,
duck-and-cover drills in the classroom,
and the frictionless pop of Perry Como
on the radio. And then, in 1952,
Harry Smith released his "Anthology
of American Folk Music." Smith
was an artist and record collector
from Seattle -- "a polymath and an
autodidact, a dope fiend and an alcoholic,
a legendary experimental filmmaker
and a more legendary sponger," as
Greil Marcus put it in his book.
Back then Seattle too was grittier.

NaPoWriMo 29

I Prefer Adversity to Uncertainty

Tip top, zenith, apex, acme, apogee --
It'd be nice to know you're there.
Trees mask views, tired from the haul,
so much easier to take it on the chin
than plant the flag. Moonmen knew
they were news, but you and me, we slog
and scuff, hem and huff, look more for ogre
than our own high noons, though
we too summit and will fall. Pinpoint
your pinnacles, don't hold back --
once you've peed yourself what pride
is left to lose. We all wear down with use.


Monday, April 28, 2008

NaPoWriMo 28

Your wrist flexible and ignored you lob
fastball to third base. Your aim is off,
a child snags it from the fence. Bet
won, you're off your million per.
What does this matter? You pore
thinking over records. Old as Noah,
mitt ball, bat helmet, duggout spit
too near the red lit exit.


What does it mean this burning word?
Network hive, the bees dying,
who are we afterall but acolytes
our swarms out the door of the open mic tent
why are the chosen ones
so much better dressed? Gossip
and embarrassment warm crowds
under the heat lamps at the main stage
cheese store book store small presses
up the wooden stairs Anne Waldman
wafting here and there we come and go
not waving but drowning not drowning
but overheated the metal chairs hardening
under us poet voices dulling as we
lose ability to hear. I want, I want, I do not want
to be lectured, want to be levitated
some can do it. People I know without nametags
people poets I want to know. I avoid the open mic
tent in the backyard for the kids
am I too old for this? Too crotchety and mean?
Where do I fit in all this?
Do you know me? Hello?
Adjust the poet's microphone, find
her notes, a man calls from down stairs.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

NaPoWriMo 27

Name Dropping Poem

Joyce Carol Oates on the radio today.
I picture as I always do Joyce in car,
computer on her lap, husband at
the wheel, arriving at a friend's friend's
wedding, typing till at the last minute
her husband takes her indoors.
The interviewer trolls a long time,
reads an entire James quotation
Joyce agrees is on her bulletin board.
She's written a book of short fictional
end of life memoirs for Hemingway,
Dickinson, others, and James. Henry.
Fastidious in dress and deportment,
a man she imagines as difficult,
but who, thanks to his friend,
Edith Wharton, rolled up Europe
tailored sleeves and, amid stench,
and severed limbs,volunteered,
much as Whitman in the Civil War,
found his human best and was useful.
How has it been for you, the interviewer
asks, in the year since your husband died.
I want to reach out to her, alone in that car.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

26 before leaving for Burning Word!

I say what does the doctor say about this
mystery film? Traumatic impact, my mother
says. Looks into the distance. "Mining copper
at Metaline Falls." My father was climbing
up out of the mineshaft as another miner
cleared his drill with a pressure hose.
My Uncle Gene spent that evening picking
rock flakes out of that eye.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Quoting from Real Sofistikashun, Chapter Two

Let me begin by saying I deplore despise and turn away from this book's title. I think it is vulgar and flip. I never ever shopped at Toys (backwards) R Us out of the same aversion. I don't think it's cute, either, to reverse letters in "humorous" oral dyslexia, for example, jocularly, "I norgot your fame." (okay, that is a little bit funny.)

Some quotes from "1. Cloud" from Chapter Two, "Tis Backed Like a Weasel: The Slipperiness of Metaphor":

"Of the hinterlands of the gray matter, where metaphors roam free, our data is all rumor, conjecture, and anecdote."

and then,

"It is a mystery hand going into a black mystery box. The head says, 'fetch me a metaphor, hand,' and the hand disappears under a cloth. A moment later, the hand reappears, metaphor on its extended palm. But, despite the spontaneity and ease of this event, we have only a vague idea of where the image came from. In fact, we don't know. And neither does the hand."

Most people naturally make metaphors, and Aristotle said he could teach everything but. Hemingway didn't have a metaphorical bone in his body. But Emerson, of Emerson Tony Hoagland writes:

"Emerson had it, and metaphor flows out of him like Perrier from some high Swiss alp. Emerson's essays, which are his real poetry, seem basically the result of holding a bottle under that transcendental faucet: all the essays say the same two things (know your worth/try harder), but they say it with enormous figurative variety."

Yowsa! I experience metaphor's "endorphin-like impact" here. Thanks, Tony.

NaPoWriMo 25

I want badly to be heard
but I have nothing to say
am mum on the matter of money
impotent as to prosperity

for you to get what you want
I must sacrifice what I want
and I'm not willing to do that
whimsical as you say.


You wear the gauge that measures depth
neoprene mitts and wetsuit dull the act
your partner gives thumbs up,
flutters through fan coral's vertical array
all for fun and beauty until POW
your air has fled you're in the cave, no Tom
to save you now. Just so we go for broke
for all that glitters in the proverb
face mask whether fogged or vented
fresh water muddies what you thought was ease.
Oh please. Keep your mind on pressure, ami,
before this boat lets drop another rider --
if only we could plan this from a desk!
Orca bulk menaces like Orson
your fingers ridiculous and reedy
reserve tank holds more air to draw
you give yourself a moment to adapt
nothing in the midst is solid
how will you provide, provide?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Image, Diction and Rhetoric, a Book Report

Tony Hoagland, “Altitudes, a Homemade Taxonomy: Image, Diction, and Rhetoric”
from Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft, © 2006, Graywolf Press.

A Book or More Accurately Chapter Report
by Laura Gamache

As Kundalini Yoga describes the seven power centers, or chakras, of the body, Tony Hoagland describes the three poetry power centers as image, diction and rhetoric, listed in ascending order from where they arise in the human body. I like his idea, and the light way he acknowledges but distances himself from the judgement that higher is better. Sharon Olds’ image is not inferior to Wallace Stevens’ rhetoric, though I think he knows we will secretly continue to think so.

Image is the most potent force in poetry, he says, continuing, “the ability of images to carry complex information is tremendous.” For examples, he uses “My Son the Man” by Sharon Olds and “Tu Do Street” by Yusef Komunyakaa.

As the instinct underlying image is visual, that underlying diction is auditory, intellectual and alert to inflections of weight and implication. Diction, as defined here by Hoagland, is “speech that is consciously making reference to the history of its usage.” He uses for example Galway Kinnell’s “Sheffield Ghazal 4: Driving West.”

Poets are often wary of using rhetoric for its dangers of emptiness and impersonality. Hoagland identifies poetic rhetoric as relational speech signifying attitude rather than delivering information. To make his point, he uses Larry Levis’s poem, “A Letter,” which begins:

It’s better to have a light jacket on days like this,
Than a good memory.

He chooses Wallace Stevens’s poem, “The Well Dressed Man with a Beard” to show rhetoric’s power and its emptiness, Mary Ruefle’s “Trust Me” for her rhetorical muscle, and John Ashbery’s “Decoy” for his rhetorical virtuosity.

Good poems, all poems, our poems, he says, come from an interweaving of all three chakras. The best, as in Paul Goodman’s “Birthday Cake,” combine and integrate them “into powerful, unprecedented poetry,” that is “full of feeling and fully engaged in that feeling, but also offers shifting perspective on its feeling.” Consciousness adds power, and I will be aware of the presence and interplay of these three power centers in my poems as I revise them.

NaPoWriMo 24

Rhodie buds swell to Christmas lights as I pass
tolerating shade like me and Yew
this spring when winter cannot seem to stop,
that which was to be demonstrated, not.
Robin drops straw, dips, flies off with more --
a million tales in this not so naked city acre.
Sprays stop rot and encourage blossom set
in the 40s here, but 59 degrees in Oslo.
English ivy pushes itself upwards
I yank its fingers from fir trunk furrows
jump away as it falls around my arm.
Sky thickens from gray to puce,
alder splats spent catkins as it sways
above the wavering chicken windvane.
Maples begin within asphalt crack
and in spaces between decking.
Last year's thumbthick seedlings hide
in the prickly hawthorne between yards.
For all I have missed I wish to be forgiven.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

NaPoWriMo 23

Handmaid's Lament

Practicing my vocab, I see alar
angel above the lintel with his bow
his genitalia are not (is not?) clad.
This is bad. I am called to cope --
scrub scabrous jets to clear the spa
coax strangling caul from Hera's lily
mix potions for Adonis's hipflask
whet stone and sharpen his epee
wangle wanton weeds to please Estee
time plods through but she erases
traces -- I know. I plucked the rose
and juiced the thousand ants --
most secret of all alchemic arts
I keep it all with key and hasp
shoo nudie cherub from ivy.
troubadour arrives, toss lei
across koi pond,confiscate dirks
investigate progress of the imp
Jack of all black arts, I'm only
fingerpoint from murder, skim
algae for Narcissus at his seat
Millenia and yet he won't mature
I muse on a move to Boise.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NaPoWri Mo 22

I scrape carefully at the price sticker
pasted across Mozart's profile
this is no metaphor, I plucked
this chocolate from the plastic pail
at the grocery checkout stand
"Mozart Herz'l" from the Austrian cafe
on the way to your D.C. newsroom
before we knew your dad had cancer
I carefree under the Calder mobiles,
meeting you underground for tea.


Mozart's measured sweetness
survives the oboeist's combover. In our era
I listen on YouTube, my heart open, avid.
Too many needles in the internet haystack
and Google finds them. I needn't go a mile.
Bach's passion on foot across Germany
to hear an organ. I can hear eleven
any hour.


Humane Impulse of the Lyric
After Hearing Ed Hirsch at Intiman Theater

He wanted to write an American poetry
intellectually robust but with heart. Modernists
were cold and their fascistic tendencies, Elliot,
Pound, not unrelated. Poetry precedes prose
and there is poetry in every culture - he doesn't
want ours to be the one to drop the ball.
The tendencies of poetry are two: elegy and
celebration. Time for more celebration. At his age
he says it too has darkness, not a poetry for the young.
"Give me back my father," he began, emotional
high C, embracing Tsvetaeva's short poem power.
He warmed with help from Mandelstam,
Milosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Adam Zagajewski.
Poetry is social, he said, conjured more poets -
Paul Celan to say poems are messages in bottles -
the poet sends one out, you find it, it is yours.
Ninito Neruda glimpsing another child's hand
through a fence hole, exchanging wheeled sheep
for his treasured resinous cone - gift for gift,
writing and reading, humane impulse of the lyric.

Monday, April 21, 2008

NaPoWriMo 21

Lake surface appears to move towards town
action that can be lifted off from thing
though the geese blown out of their V
a thousand feet above us are inseparable
from the movement of their wings which fight
we can tell, even down here, to stay
together and stay their course. now
two V's, now a V and a wandering line,
geese forging ahead of the group like
the strongest from the peloton pressing
forward, pumping calf muscles intent
on what? These birds no longer migrate.
After snowmelt we surprise
a starling from its mailbox nest. It rockets
like comic superhero from the stick
mess on top of a soppy folded phonebook.
You want to know why I think this is.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

NaPoWriMo 20

Ye Gods and Little Fish Hooks

Holy crap! he says as the day begins
April 20 and the sky awash with flakes
hillside tree limbs and cabin roofs,
our neighbor's new boat lift white.
In front of me, Lake Chelan undulates
gray near shore, melds into weather
overhead and around us. Will we
see color open from six stiff-necked
tulips or will their lips stay sealed?
Arbor grapes with leaf buds the size
of bebes and our apricot blossoms
falling with the snow. Where are
the birds today? Can the fishes see
it snowing?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

NaPoWriMo 19

Auto Penitence

Forgive me others for I have directed
another to fill the oil receptacle
of my vehicle with water to the brim
I have turned the key, oblivious
to grim consequence, and I have
phoned AAA in willful ignorance
of my error. I have stood haughty
and sniggering at the piddly belief
a boy held that water would spew
and burn us if we did not wait two
hours for the engine to cool. I chided
him "you silly" for his ignorance
as I turned the oil receptacle cap,
turning my face away from water
contained to my left. My ego grown
godly my haughtiness knew no
bounds as I bid him from his carwash
hose to pour. "How much?" he asked
and I said, "More!"

Friday, April 18, 2008

NaPoWriMo 18

I'm dancing you know how along the ave
alive no matter how they tssk
how long till everything that romps
is dead and I'm destructive as I lag
Greenland's new streams scour ice
waterfalls larger than Niagara erase
landmass as I test new sheets for ply
no one repairs old monitors, dot matrix
compulsive hoarders all. I hop
to buy I am too scared to sweep
am I willing to discard protective arts
in my shame I blame the USA
pulp another paper for oped
Go on and dive, I'll stay on top
lick ice cream from the dasher
I have seen coral in the ocean
gray and broken as cadaver teeth
Kodachrome! Bring me the nice bright colors
bring me the greens of summer
make me think all the world's a sunny day
But does Obama wear a flag pin?
Hillary owes us a statement about cum!
I have acquired ADD, a product of this era
the rich build city ships that only dock
each year. Pandemics, water wars
will circle their magic gardens, dun
them after songbirds grey whales fall.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

NaPoWriMo 17


Nobody on our street played bop
when health meant you ate meat.
We listened to Limelighters - folk
with brains my mother said, no Burl
Ives, no Kingston Trio in our house.
I longed to dart, I didn't know elan.
One fun thing would make her tire.
Shopping cart before the barcode
when drinking meant teacup.
Maynard G. Krebs had a weirdo pad,
Zelda tried too hard. Me too.
TV was the latest thing and comics
made you dumb. I snuck one.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WaPoWriMo 16

My nose fills with feathered dusty light in the shed
urine stench and squack, winged flurry,
yolk stained purple egg trays under the workbench
squat fridge beneath the hanging bulb,
each warm oval filched and nested for a moment
in my palm, miraculous and tan.



Now it's eighty six and shoo
so what you were a lovely egg
you ain't no twenty six
you're old, you smell,
we have no time for ethos
we'll shoot you like the tsar
look at you your pants all wet
you cannot read small lettering
your emotions too, so much ado --
go in your sleep if we're in luck
don't come to live with us.


I should post a disclaimer with that one.
In honor of the the first Essential Poems Reading, which will take place at 7pm, April 30, and feature poets Rebecca Loudon and Paul Hunter, Paul Hunter has brought a batch of his beautiful Woodworks Press poetry broadsides to Madison Essential Baking Cafe, where they will be on display and for sale from now through April 30. Broadsides are matted, covered with archival glass and ready to hang in your house. Each is a limited edition printing, signed by the poet, and for sale, as they appear, for $60.00/each. Broadsides on display include:

"This Room" John Ashbery

"Song in the Off Season" Rafael Campo

"Spring About to Happen" Lawrence Ferlinghetti

"The Anatomy of Mushrooms" Sherman Alexie

"Russian Letter" John Yau

"Touch Me" Stanley Kunitz

"Storm at West Beach" Kurt Beattie

"The Gift" Carolyn Kizer

"Selection Process" Charles Simic

"Tulip Field, MacLean Road" Samuel Green

"In the Canyon" William Meredith

Each is a numbered limited edition, letter press printed 8 1/2 x 11 inches on archival papers with multiple-color press work and woodcut illustrations.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NaPoWriMo 15

Mineralite structure defines opal
ugly gumption fills the toad
Refind Bogachiel on this map
Don't choose only at the deli
squirrel shares color with the hare
mugclub mits on microbrew ale
a penny for your etiquette
we have eternity to rot
wonder at ginzu knives' hundred uses
take time and take your pique
it all has value Bogus Basin
on Sol Duc trail and off the menu
So here is where we are, Egad!
Hesitate you lose. The Frankest
sourpuss, picklepuss, gloomy gus
urges latex gloves and tongs
cautions delays, defy them too
cedars do not emulate sequoias
pursue your pencil to its stub
Quillayute moves as does the Ural
Dig beneath the soil it's fiery
golden geese emerge from beans
poplars' sticky gum makes balm
Ungulates look forward to the rut
feldspar and copper form turquoise
missives take the sky along this arc
who cares what Joseph did to Essau
the sentimental crap from Noel
do-si-do my way just don't say Doh!
I'll miss my life more than its data.

Musing about NaPoWriMo 15

Hump day! Only fifteen more daily poems after this one. Oh oh, that was a scary utterance. The weight of 15, beware the Ides! Reading the Academy of American Poets' journal this morning, speaking of weighty, "inadequate in the face of meaning" spoke to me from Sven Birkett's piece which was I think talking about why people are afraid of and don't read poetry. The other day, reading about something not poetry, oh it was opals, I read about "defraction," which I think is something like what my poems want to accomplish.

Monday, April 14, 2008

npwm 14

Limulus polyphemus

Its carapace outlives the horseshoe crab
beach house chatchka ashtry scams
aside, fishery vessels mine the copper
in their blood not blessed like ours with hemo-
globin, the true blue bloods of Maryland.
Arthropods like trilobites except they lived.
Red knots and loggerheads eat their eggs.
Regrow limbs like seastars, check your notes,
Paleozoic lives in them and they're not over.
Hoover upright ugly, salt marsh cord grass,
book gills so they breathe awhile on land.
Rough surf flips them helpless as ladybugs,
Mezozoic underdogs who outlasted dinosaurs.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

13 Bonus couplet

Never think I am stupid or wrong.
Please praise me I am stupid and wrong.

NaPoWriMo 13

My father wouldn't
give anything back,
like trying to see my reflection
in a planked-up door.
Home from college,
I pelted him with silverware.
He didn't flinch.
He just looked at me.

When I asked my mother,
what does dad say
about moving
to the retirement community?
She said,
"He just looked at me."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

NaPoWriMo 12

as sea opens to prow
mollusks mar the hull in drab
clusters that won't be coming off
in the hold are sandals from Lima
flipbooks, fishhooks, walls eely
dank, a hundred cases filled with roe
rocked beneath surface billows
tuna herds turn as if on cue
south polar skua cut shearwaters path
humans have little history here
a gray whale won't revere an earl
turtle hatchlings disoriented by magnet
manta ray bookmark, its silver tassel
marking oyster bisque or adage
strings burned away before capping the bottle
your boat may be a joke for a whale to ram
sea lions lumber unto bellbuoy like a sofa
we want these far off things to make us wise.

Friday, April 11, 2008

NaPoWriMo 11, really

Re-engineering the Foundation

garage plan splays across kitchen table
blueprint measurements marked with slashes
insipid piano crescendoes. Tape measure
retracts with a slashing snap.

Ivory prince lenten rose swells, its bells bow
barebranch dogwood feathers with tiny buds
garage, storage, workroom uproot them
from my window, another but.

My father says he is not mature enough
to trust his decisions. He won't decide.
He follows grumbling behind. I know this.
Tape measure slaps entry floor.

NaPoWriMo 11

oh jezuz gawd I threw out my words this morning, came home from the coffee shop with the exterior of the Life and Arts section without my completed Shefer Crossword, just the husk of the thing with the "Love me, legal tender" article on the front with its great graphic, knowing what we know about Benjamin Franklin.
Last night my friend said she is practicing compassionate something. Distance? Dispassion? Disinterest? Disappointment? Detachment. I know it's detachment because I wrote it down.
The last couple of days I've had the sentence, "everybody is fragile but me" playing in my head, and I have a strong negative response to that, so this is not about what I think or want, but brought up by the coming/looming/dreaded helping the parents get their act together, which is to say helping them make their transition from their enormous five bedroom house to a smaller place, probably the retirement community with the care continuoum, which may be spelled that way. But, you are wondering about today's poem.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

NaPoWriMo 10

shimmy baby it's all sham
maypole dancers flat against hub
what you love abandoned for bile
breezes and blizzards got to go
lights and darks added to our era
around we go again, amen.
As bluebirds wove sit-upons
mothers mopped about all
those unmade beds, time sped,
bad choices made bigger
trashroom panicked lair,
might have beens, rodeo clown
cpa, shimmer in your olden
tragic mirror. Move ere
we come unrolling rainout tarps
forgive me on your radiophone
each thing becomes a shadow self
be a pussycat, befriend an owl
slap yourself my dear for this is true
if you don't tip the teapot nothing pours
tackle box wigglers and dried up roe
basement bifolds open to rile
frizzled prom night posy
all you've sidestepped our onus.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

what the hecky hell is wrong with my blog setup situation? suddenly not only is this frackin thing far over to the left with big old white to the right but the top has no room to breathe. This thing looks like crap and I don't know how to fix it.

NaPoWriMo 9

To My Father at 84

You held your breath it all erodes
you've got tastebuds better savor
smartest in your class
poet at four and twenty
regrets die with you too and when
you do not choose your life depends
you splat like robin egg on deck
cherry blossom carpet outside Sears
knife scrapes plate your fingers bony
why not gobble Good and Plenty
abandon all that crap and nuance
rip her fingers from your roses
yell "they're mine!"

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

NaPoWriMo 8

NaPoWriMo 8: After Hearing Lucille Clifton At Intiman

windows and mirrors she says still an elf
for a milkshake you have to eat your peas
he used a potato in a sock she used to hide
living is ridiculous no matter how we rant
wear a full face helmet in this area
even as we watch the Dead Sea
to be a human person is an asset
her mother burned her own poems, our
faces feel the heat, she has brooded
how naming unmakes history. "My husband
was a yogi my niece says walk a pig
by her see what she'll do." Repetition makes
it true. Alexie arrested for fighting a guy
who dissed her poems. "My hero."

Monday, April 07, 2008

NaPoWriMo 7

NaPoWriMo PoemDraft 7

all that glitters is not your guru
ask your mother or your sib
eat your lobster not the bibs
heart and mind wide open
close neatly with twist ties
Don't try to be favored, even Esau
loses as did Marty's dad to Biff
my sister says "You have to be right"
takes the early flight and I intuit
whatever it is I want to fly away
give me words what do I think?
five year old huffing gas from Jim's bike
could've been me if I couldn't read.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

NaPoWriMo 6

The mama dropped the baby and its head popped off
my daughters sang and sproing the yellow flowers leapt
sprung off of their knotted stems by chubby hands.

My sister and I round each other warily, wanting
we're both wanting what sisters give each other --
we're knotted in our need and quick to pounce away.


My friend has a slit across the base of her throat
sutured mouth that held a gob around her thyroid
she'll be quarantined in June with a great view -
bereft of comb and rings, given pill from lead box,
recover all most certainly to tell the tale.

She and Jim talk about taste buds and salivary mist
what he misses that is never coming back --
red wine tastes worse than mud. "Like yeast?"
she asks. "Like mold." Her spouse and I
drink wine. "Another?" I offer. He says, "Yes."

Saturday, April 05, 2008


I Google "furor", am shown a photo of art
made of feathers and a pickled fetus head
that image in my head forever after
this an age of disconnect and shocks
blue TV haze, a pistol in each clutch
reptile brain screaming run or crouch.


In April, Flickers descend upon the building
openings the size of soup cans in the wall
they've got the nesting instinct it is spring
In April, Flickers descend upon the building
Picture birds in flight and how they sing
These peck fist sized holes, we hope for fall
hang faux owls in hopes of stopping
openings the size of soup cans in the wall.

Friday, April 04, 2008


The Forbes Fictional Fifteen

NaPoWriMo April Poetry Challenge Day 4 (NPWM 4)

NaPoWriMo April Poetry Challenge Day 4

Snivel on the sidelines, someone acts
what you are wanes daily just a tad
wait a day to harvest lose the crop
moon rides our blood like sire
axe swing splits another rail
string ladderwork lifts sweetpea
angleworm eats through April soil
as was foretold by savant DNA
pale November threatens sloe
from underground the gusher tolls and Jed
there are so many panties yet to raid
another splinter slides into a paw
lines across your TV aren't even static
circumstances change so shrinks the sourball
so stack your comments in another pile
verve or no we swerve along this oval.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

NaPoWriMo April Poetry Challenge Day 3

NapoWriMo 3

Near Valladolid a man shows us old pesos
burro on his porch, his wife serves Oreos,
chicken scratch, the polyp on his neck, now
buitres shade our map, a temple, on the road,
Colonial town squares yellow as ether
old encountered new we stare agog
Mayans in hardhats oompaloompas at the inn
Quintana Roo all candy for our ids.
Jaguar rite ball court I'm a mutt
no family here a thousand years ago.
Tulum women to my shoulder, prim,
their laundry in the ditch, do not quote Hesse--
no one on earth as smug as we
who milk it all and swipe the cream
gave the world flush toilets and sonata
x's on the map for cinnamon, gold, and oil
worthless hump of coins we're on the town
there's more where that came at the ATM.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

NaPoWriMo April Poetry Challenge Day 2

NaPoWriMo 2: 4/2 Sheffer Puzzle Poem Draft

Nereocystis bobs above its holdfast
branched and gripping fist sized rocks else
no surface tassel forest, no hollow tube
to blow. To be alive we must assert.
Earthworms, superior annelids, elude
trowel; tulips bloom, tomatoes set.
Ocean bulbs sway to waning crescent,
we dream of conquest and The Blob.
Glacial till filters upward through rake.
Moles make holes so voles eat calla,
trumpet and aurelian. Strain yin,
no Paraguayan pineapple for Dole.
It's not worldly, our argument for gain
another had to fall for you to chacha.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

National Poetry Month Daily Poetry Challenge from NaPoWriMo

NaPoWriMo 1: April 1 Sheffer Puzzle Poem Draft

Primal Therapy lowered my range to alto

purple egg carton ceiling, foam wall, No Zen,

scraped grains of old wrath from the silo.

I lost composure at the Royal Fork, loon

beside the withering green beans, plod

to red lit roast beef stalled as my sea

wall burst through older folks and teens.

I was twenty two, ran sobbing to the car.

Resist reenacting this with emoticon rebus.

Olympics block Pacific storms' brusque

intrusion to the Sound. I have stood atop,

reckless pugilist against prevailing wind.