Ground Squirrel DAY#4

Alrighty!
“And now for our (optional) daily prompt. Our craft resource today focuses on the use of concrete nouns and specific details, using the idea of “putting a dog in it.” Today, we challenge you to write a poem that is about something abstract – perhaps an ideal like “beauty” or “justice,” but which discusses or describes that abstraction in the form of relentlessly concrete nouns. Adjectives are fine too! For example, you could have a poem about sadness that describes that emotion as “a rowboat tethered with fishing line to a willow that leans over a pond. Rainwater collects in the bottom, and mosquito eggs.” Concrete details like those can draw the reader in and let them imagine the real world where your abstract ideal or feeling happens. Happy writing!”I didn’t follow the prompt as much as I’d like to for this one, this felt a little lazy but all of these are first drafts and I plan on workshopping them at a later date. Here goes nothing!

He is gracelessly stiff and
rich in fluid
like petrified wood although
devoid of calcite or pyrite or
opal

our legs are hanging off the edge
into the palisades creek and
the ground squirrel
fat and floating, no longer burrowing
brushes up against my ankle
as if to say
“No traces of grace left here! but
would you check out
my last trick?”

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The Placentaurs DAY#3

Just going to post these as I write them! Heres the day 3 prompt
“Today’s prompt (optional as always), is inspired by our interview with Peter Davis. As he indicates there, his latest book is rooted in endlessly writing ideas for band names. Today, we challenge you to try this out yourself by writing a list poem in which all the items are made-up names. If band names don’t inspire, how about a list of titles for romantic novels? Or new television cop dramas? They can be as over-the-top as you like, because that’s (at least) half the fun. Happy writing!” This prompt actually reminded me of a fake band I had made with some buddies while we were traveling in California a few years ago. I think this one has potential so I’ll return to it at the end of the month….

If ascension is God’s trick
then the Devil’s is gravity!

I remember this as desert cops pull us off the roof of the van.
We aren’t musicians but we’re on tour
If all that constitutes that is leaving traces of sweat on every city floor we sleep on
And various reckless decisions

“Just trying to get a little closer to Heaven, buddy”
If believing that gets me out of Hell, it damn well should get me out of a ticket
But it doesn’t
So I watch the tumbleweeds from the passenger seat
through the wing mirror

We are driving to Salvation Mountain
But Jeremy doesn’t want to see it
“It’s not about the propaganda! It’s not even about God!
It’s the artistry!”
I should have snapped

But God’s not allowed to be beautiful if I don’t believe in him and
I’m not allowed on the roof of this van for the same

And gravity has something to do with it. I swear.

I, The Patient/Biased DAY#2

I’m a little behind, but I’ll keep going! This is the day 2 prompt “And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Taking a cue from our craft resource, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that plays with voice. For example, you might try writing a stanza that recounts something in the first-person, followed by a stanza recounting the same incident in the second-person, followed by a stanza that treats the incident from a third-person point of view. Or you might try a poem in the form of a dialogue, which necessarily has two “I” speakers, addressing two “you”s. Another way to go is to take an existing poem of yours or someone else’s, and try rewriting it in a different voice. The point is just to play with who is speaking to who and how. Happy writing!” I tried this out with an appropriate scenario that I found myself in today.

I, the answer

A “Yes”, “No” or

“Rather not disclose ma’am”

hesitently written, as I am spoken

I, the patient

matured! Surely!

Yet my voluntary presence

has never felt so involuntary

this is good! This is

cathartic

I, the nurse

Clearly (?)

getting off on it.

High Times Northbound Through Ohio DAY#1

It is the second day of Napowrimo but here is my first post. The prompt is as follows-

“And last but not least, here is our (optional, as always) prompt for the day. It’s based off of Lauren Russell’s collaborative poetry exercise. Today, we challenge you to write a poem that is based on a secret shame, or a secret pleasure. It could be eating too many cookies, or bad movies, or the time you told your sister she could totally brush her teeth with soap. It’s up to you. Happy writing!”  I chose to write about someone who was both a secret shame, and a secret pleasure.

When I left, I dragged him from my ankles

Northbound

No longer hot or following

I washed him out the vents

Through the rust belt

Although, Like things we love that scatter

The fleeting sweat grew large and when too large

Tumbled backward, onto a greyhound bus

To Maine

I gave him back

Unfiltered and unfeathered

Unwashed and unspoken for

Although, like things we love that detain

The fleeting sweat left me light

and when too light

I found myself crossed legged on a roof in Pittsburgh

Fixed and abiding

Eyeing the passerby

Searching for a tie

April 9th Poem

This is my poem for day 9 of NaPoWriMo (I’m catching up-skipping day 8 prompt until it’s complete!) 

Take any random song play list (from your iPod, CD player, favorite radio station, Pandora or Spotify , etc.) and use the next five song titles on that randomized list in a poem.

East Side 

They don’t make dropouts like you anymore-

pretty boy calling all the basketcases

to convene round the blazing crash-lands, as one

beating this brat of brain damage,

casting shadows on hawaiian woodrose beds, while you’re dead

choking on mediation

sawdust spills from you gums

but still

dry is better than drowning

mayor of St. Marks but you say you’re stepping down and

it would do you good, finding refuge for your lonely,

your brothers paint stained hands

this city’s had some revision, out there your blue eyes and

burning aeroplanes are banned

A few days late, need to catch up. April 8th’s prompt- a famous poem given a personal spin, is in the works and I’ll be posting that as soon as I’m content with it 🙂

Harps in Drag

The prompt for April 7th of NaPoWrMo was to write a love poem to an inanimate object. I didn’t get to it yesterday but here it is! This is my unconventional love poem to an inanimate object.

 

I’ve been meaning to crack open your spine for some time now

weave nylon cords through your breaches 

preserve your nature of sinless charm, though it’s only

reputation through which you’re sanctified-

you and I could change the looks of this place

I could take your tangled wires, cork them into busted amps,

I’d augment you a thousand times over

till the arenas discord of turmoil and

blood ignites the pending windowpanes and melt

the portraits of you embraced by angels upon cathedral ceilings

we could shake the rage

dragging from the tips of these kids fingernails,

hold the transmitter

to the masses of chapped lips, let them crash 

on our couches, urge them

to blast  X, Minor Threat, Bad Brains and to also

dress their harps

in drag 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street Light Bodhi Trees, Poem For April 6th

The tail of his sentences waved up, an inflection

too kind to be local

and much like the way I envision figs

to have fallen on Siddharthas shoulder, cab headlights

scattered about his contour like moonbeams

illuminating his smooth composure.

it is 2am

sitting on the first tier of steps in Union Square

Bringo is not drunk or stoned or lustful

someone, he said

built these tiers with strong hands

with his soul gleaming past his bones, can’t

you feel it lingering?  it’s beautiful, he said

that you leave traces of yourself

on everything

you touch.

April 5th, Golden Shovel Poem

The last word of each line in the poem makes up a different poem. This form of poetry was invented by Terrance Hayes in his poem, The Golden Shovel. The last word of each line of Hayes’ poem is a word from Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem We Real Cool.

This is the poem I chose to include in my own

Watermelons

Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.

-Charles Simic

 

Biking with Nobu in Kyoto

Roving through the green

backwoods of Kyoto, I see Buddhas 

woven on

to the 

fabric of foliage, under their mudras are offerings of fruit

at the base where they stand

I grow tired so we 

retreat.

one pedal of the 

bike has broken, but you only see the handlebars curved smile

I am American and

only spit

English, but I’m sorry about

your bike and unlike mine, the

fruit will stay nestled between your teeth

 

 

April 3rd

the emission
of oceans echo from dawn
defends my condition
she suggests I stay in bed-
restlessness and three days without medication
reminds me of isolation tanks in Boulder
and that it’s there where I decided
to never die
nothing irks me more than
arbitrary inertia
especially since even dragons
wrapping their tails around teacups
can animate with the right use of
eloquence
it’s been a while since I burned my tongue last
but I still bite nails
and pen caps
and metrocards and
distract myself long enough for stream
to forsake the kettle
I’d like to return to Colorado
and give inaction another shot
but maybe I’m wrong in thinking
passivity
is an invitation for
composure