Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day Twenty Five: centos

NaPoWriMo has suggested this prompt: "Today, let’s go a bit further in our theft and write centos — poems made up entirely of lines from other poems."

I already did that (Day 10) but I had a lot of fun doing it so I'll do it again but change it by only including lines from different poems from the same poet. :)

Here goes: (Most of these are the first lines from many William Carlos Williams poems)

Cento I

If you had come away with me
    the half-stripped trees
    the dayseye hugging the earth
    ecstatic bird songs pound
    an old willow with hollow branches
I have had my dream - - like others - -

Again I reply to the triple winds
    yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow!

In the flashes and black shadows
    I feel the caress of my own fingers.
    I've fond anticipation of a day
    each time it rings
    I must tell you
when I am alone I am happy.

* I've numbered the title of the poem that coincides with the line number in the cento:

1. April
2. Approach of Winter
3. Daisy
4. Dawn
5. Epitaph
6.  Thursday
7. January

8. Primrose
9. The Hunter 
10. The Gentle Man
11. The Uses of Poetry
12. The Thing
13. Young Sycamore
14. Waiting

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day Twenty Four: Anti-Love, Lipogram

I'm going to try to combine both of the prompts from NaPoWriMo and Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog.
NaPoWriMo has suggested writing a lipogram: " A lipogram is a poem that explicitly refrains from using certain letters."
And for Robert Lee Brewer's "Two for Tuesday" prompts I'm picking the anti-love poem. (Go figure.)

So here goes: Let's try a poem without the use of the letter 'e'

Why cupid do you not fly by and court such a poor, sad, hollow girl?
You walk at most, right by an unsocial, outcast woman as clockwork- not in any way stopping.
How do I bargain for such constant and candid ardor? 
How can I find satisfaction and succor from an unfair, fat, wing-and-quill numbskull?
Why did I put so much vigor into such aspirations for cupid and adoration?
Why, for all that is myth, did I plan for amazing and still go through and savor all this abandon?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day Twenty Three: Ekphrasis

Go here to learn about Ekphraksis poems. I wrote this poem after looking at a diorama (and for the life of me I cannot remember the name/artists). Click here for info on what a diorama is. It was a smallish diorama: about 2' x 1'  and the exterior was painted red and you had to bend down to look through a small peephole and inside the interior is painted grey and it's a diorama of a bus/train station and there are small numbers above the doors, and the detail is amazing. I could almost read out the numbers on the lockers across the tiny room.

So here goes:

Peephole Postcard

It has been a while since
I have played the waiting game,
            especially when all I want is to be alone.

Behind the numbers 5, 6, 7
in creeping shadows
it is lonely in the gray

By my fading, transparent body
the wall with your gilded,
framed ghost evaporates.

Even in this silent picture
            you cannot take me with you.

And in this hollowed-out station,
I could wait for you-
the way you want me to-
but your heartbeat
and this breath
            cannot occupy the same space.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day Twenty Two: Earth Day

Today was a horrible-horrible day. I was pushed around by rude people for 3 hours and it left me so empty that I forgot that today was Earth day. How shitty is that? So in honor of those a-holes who make my day a living nightmare I'd like to dedicate this poem to the Earth.

I'm Sorry

Dear Earth,
I'm sorry we tread on you as
if you will feed us for an eternity.
     Clearly the message is still being lost.

I'm sorry the people who live
here, in this city, especially
feel all-powerful wealthy when it comes to belittling
   poor little, underpaid, me.

I'm sorry that you would think
to take poor little, underpaid, me
into consideration when pondering
    your short lived existence.

I just wanted to write
to tell you, that I am sorry
that you have to carry all of us
     especially the mean, miserable and hateful.

Poor Little Underpaid Me

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day Twenty One: hay(na)ku

 hay(na)ku: " a verse form similar to the haiku" as the NaPoWriMo prompt suggests. And you can click here for more info.

First line is one word, second line two words and the third line three words. So here goes:

silence, enveloping
all my senses

Here's another:

absence leaves
my mouth dry

And another:

pressure pulsates
between spread toes

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day Twenty: Drive Home

Almost done! So I wrote this during dinner alone.


On the way into town
once- the sun was
struggling to hold on
as evening crawled in
it was such a lovely day.
    Not too hot-
    Not too windy-
    Not too cloudy-
Just lovely and the
sun waited with bated breath
for just one more

It was such a lovely day, thank you.

But now evening creeps
in, not waiting for a cue
just eager to bathe in
the light of such a
beautiful day and
for a few minutes
evening shines with the
strongest and oldest stars
twinkling and shifting
    under their cosmic wind

and the sky is that purple
evening violet-
darker than lilac
lighter than ice cold plum
    a sun cooled amethyst

On the way into town
in that evening, just
past an intersection
with a house that sells
fire extinguishers and
on the opposite corner
a coin operated car wash
full with shining
    pink bubbly glistening cars

A fire fighter plays the bagpipes.

He is wearing a navy
uniform, blending in
with the end of
evening and
solitary, he plays.

His eyes shut
and his red face
push high pitch
notes out of the
foreign instrument
into the cool Texas night.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day Nineteen: Opposite Day and Life Event

Almost done! Although I think I'll keep up with the poem a day after this is over. But I can't believe I've kept up (kind of) with it so far!

So I'm thinking about Robert L. Brewer's Poetic Asides prompt. He suggests writing about a life event.  So here goes:

This fear of the truth
scares the energy out
through my limbs,
and every cell

I can't run very fast
or far but I'll try
when it comes to 
this fear.

I know what 
disappointment is
I know what it feels  like-
I've tasted it's bloody
copper metal sickness
and cannot wash it out.

I have seen my future
and it is limited 
it is lost
it is sad

The energy spent in
such potential
is really, now all a 
waste. An amount
of time that I could 
never replace.

In the front yard of my home
I can lay down next to the 
ghost of my younger self
and feel her wish 
and see her count on 
stars while cool
blades of grass press and
tickle the back of my legs.
I can feel all the hope
and feel the happiness
and I can see it
drift toward the moon
and I can see it evaporate
on that hot
August day.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day Eighteen: Solitude

I spent an entire day alone without checking my email or picking up my phone and it was a little frightening how amazing it was.


In my own head
all thoughts in my voice
I talk to myself in my writing

in the exploration of this
I want to make it better
I want to make me better
it is still a mystery

Such attachment to this voice
it belongs to me
it doesn't belong
most ideas molded and formed
from the pages of other text
written alone by some dead writer
read alone, in my voice

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day Seventeen: Disappointment

So yesterday I heard disappointing news- it's been a while since I've been turned down for a job but it was done really professionally and it's a little awkward now (as it was an internal position opening that I applied for) and he kept telling me, "You just don't have the experience. But we learned a new side of you and we love it!"

Yeah, truly disappointed. Not sure how this poem even fits in or if it's even good at conveying what the hell I was feeling as he spoke to me.

Slow Motion Let Down

No. I am not bitter about this whole thing.

Of course, thank you.

I suppose 10 years experience doesn't
really add up to the other 10,
I'm missing-
    Where did they go? How are they missing.
    It's not they're missing it's just that
    I still don't know what I'm doing here
    let alone, there

"You are too kind, it was really a privilege to be offered this chance."

No this is not the end.
Don't cry.
Please for the love of God, don't cry.
This is it. All that is left is
staying afloat, keeping
my head above water
with a smile.

"I really appreciate the time you took out of busy schedule to see me."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day Sixteen: Yesterday

Okay, wow I finally dropped the ball on this poem-a-day task.

So here is the poem meant for Monday.


The measure of success
among my peers is the
measure of the years
of marriage-
     gold rings and expensive dinners

If the measure of my success
could be measured
it just fits in a cheap
black frame propped on my
desk, top lip leaning against the wall.
At the rate of repayment
that piece of paper and my brain
are pretty expensive-
     but that's nothing to measure success by

I could have measured it
by employment
but I've burned that bridge
and keep trying-
     to reassemble it with burned hands and still lit tinder

I could measure it by
number of relationships
but I've a lackluster
roster of experiences and
they tend to leave me-
     frustrated and dry
     I do have love and it's
     really all a matter of
     finding the right http address

Eventually I will fall into
a place where I am always
   comfortable in being
   comfortable with myself.

For now I'm good at
lying low
I'm better than fine
I'm more discrete than
a simple brown spider.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day Fifteen: Late

I think I've only been early for one important event in my life and that was when I was born and since then I have been late for pretty much everything else.

 *Note: Prompt taken from Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides, "For today's prompt, use the following five words in your poem: slash, button, mask, strap, and balloon. Use them in any order."


Sleeping through the alarm, the
button to make it stop felt swollen
     fingertip immersing into it
     slashing in a futile attempt to
     just. make. it. stop.

Masked in drowsy sunlight, the
slow warmth spreads across cool skin
    lifting sleep from pores like
    a balloon once strapped to a child's wrist
    let loose unintentionally
    please. come. back.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day Fourteen: Sonnet

I have never written a sonnet. I have problems with conforming to the rules, even thinking about trying to think of a subject to write a sonnet about is putting me on edge. The only rhyming technique I actually enjoy using is alliteration. However, as it is national poetry writing month, I think it would be an ideal time to just bite the bullet, get over it and write a freakin' sonnet.

PS- I found this extremely helpful: Writing a Sonnet- for Dummies and this one too:
PPS- I think I did horrible and pretty sure I didn't do this right. :S


Time stalls and then stands still
my attempts to move forward, are impeded
just as Sisyphus continues, compelled up a hill
my own boulder, disappointed longing, forever conceded.

Lackluster, limp love has lost momentum
and my efforts to keep smiling, indifferent
to keep comfortable and calm, alone, a victim
to the withering, frustrated cells slowly, efferent

But someday I will wake and disintegrate into it
seeing stars and deprived of all oxygen
we'll see eye to eye and transmit
a lost sound left reverberating in a green glen

So when we meet on common ground, pebbles strewn
at our bare feet, lucid majesty gilded by our hearts attune.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day Thirteen: Unlucky

*I spaced and forgot to upload my poem yesterday! I swear I wrote this yesterday!! *

Friday the 13th and being unlucky. Once in a while the stars will align and I will have an extraordinarily lucky day. Today was uneventful but I started thinking about all my lucky days (can count them on two hands) and they are pretty memorable and sometimes I get overwhelmed just thinking about HOW lucky I was on this days. So here's a poem, not about my lucky days but the unlucky ones (I already spend a lot of time on the lucky ones):

Note: I tried to use the numbers from the date 6= Friday, 4=April, 1,3, 212 (i was not going to write a 20 word line)... very loosely. Hopefully it works


Thoughts spent under the spell of
"what if" it happens


but reclusive hearts
seldom catch
seductive force.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day Twelve: Tanka

"A tanka is a Japanese form poem closely related to haiku. The tanka is a 5-line poem that generally contains 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second, 5 syllables in the fourth and 7 syllables in the fifth."
I grabbed that description from the Poetic Asides by Robert Lee Brewer

So here goes, never been too great at haiku but this is definitely a first.

Today my simple
daydream evaporated
and withered, swirling
light and shade toward the sky
and burning truth, haloed sun.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day Eleven: Senses

So the moderator suggested a poem involving all five senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste.

So here goes.

Texas July

After hours under a neon
light that burn my red skin
still smelling of sunblock
I'll still hear the constant ocean.

After hours under a purple
cotton blanket that cools
I'll dream, restless as the waves.

     The waves that pushed and shoved.
     When I stood up in the water
     sand molding my feet and
     hearing my own laughter with
     the bitter water burning my eyes
     and tasting salt, still

I will be restless.

I will see the water beyond the
sand bar and wish to bathe in its
green-turquoise smooth waves

I will be restless.

After hours under a blue
wave that drowns me
I'll see the shore and float away.

     The waves wake me and my
     skin is icy and wet with
     sweat. My heart is a fist beating
     its way out of my chest
     and the salt tears staining my
     pillows expand and morph
     and shape into a nothing

My mind is restless and all I
cling to is the empty sheets and
the sound of the ceiling fan
anchor and wind to my most restless sleep.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day Ten: One-liner Poem

Here's my own, random exquisite corpse. It's a lot more fun to play this with other people but I didn't have a lot of time to really prepare something for today, oh well.

So I just selected the first line of randomly picked poems:

One Line

Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head
Maybe you'll remember that razor-faced man
        Bring me all of your dreams
        I even hear the mountains.

"I want"- it pleaded- All its life-
Again and again, however we know the landscape of love

And never to forget beauty, however strange or difficult
      when I saw her yesterday she was totally still, looking to the sky

We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon
      We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan
      strange fits of passion have I known
      If you don't know the kind of person I am.

      I am not yours, not lost in you.


1. A Certain Lady, Dorothy Parker
2. Sonnet LXXIII: Maybe you'll remember, Pablo Neruda
3. The Dream Keeper, Langston Hughes
4. Consumation of Grief, Charles Bukowski

5. "I want" - it pleaded - all its life, Emily Dickinson
6. Again and again, however we know the landscape of love, Rainer Maria Rilke

7. Why I Write, Reginald Sheperd
8. The Other Side of the River, Xi Chuan

9. Mutability, Percy Bysshe Shelley
10. Kitchenette Building, Gwendolyn Brooks
11. Strange fits of passion have I known, William Wordsworth
12. A Ritual to Read to Each Other, William Stafford
13. I am Not Yours, Sarah Teasdale

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day Nine: Point of View

Instead of writing a dramatic monologue as suggested, I took part of the idea and just tried to go with it. Here is the result:

Mason Jar

Something had to happen
to make a story
   so I'll tell you what may have happened.

I may have been left behind
holding a blue-lined letter
   a letter of love, for love, to love
   cradled in my lace lined
   sealed shut mouth.

It's possible that dirt
encases me, damp and compact
   buried beneath the
   slanting pecan tree in her
   front yard at home.

The tree she climbed as a girl
   far above the reach of loneliness.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day Eight: Rejection

It's day eight, actually almost the end of it and I do know the bitter taste of rejection. I just couldn't think of a way to write about it without sounding/reading like a an 8th-grade emo kid. 

So here goes. (What I think is the second worst in the rejection list: writers block)

10:45 PM

Sour, curdled globs
  rest and swim on the back of my throat-
     I cannot force a single thread to shape a letter

surely. by all means today
    we will be one.

Blood, swirling clots
  copper and vile on the tip of my tongue-
     I cannot use a single drop as ink

maybe. perhaps in an hour.
    let me think.

Tears, dripping stinging
   salted and vinegary on the rim of my eyes-
     I cannot see a single word on this line

no. not this time. 
   too tired.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day Seven: Color

Although the prompt suggests to pick a color for some reason my thoughts turn upward to the stars- the least colorful to the naked eye.
This will be an extremely "nerdy" poem as my fascination with stars, constellations and space (astronomy) has taken hold of my creativity today.

Note: I am not well educated on the entirety of the Orion constellation and all it's infinite parts that make the whole but I will keep it simple.

The Hunter

I first fell for him
while wishing upon his
neighboring lights for a
true love to wrap his warm
    arms around me
    and never leave.

Now he haunts and
follows me at every turn
and every sleepless night.
And hiding
in a dream, I can
    escape his fierce and
    watchful eyes.

Enveloped in
the blackness of my
bedroom, shrouded
beneath thin sheets
in expected anticipation of
his sudden appearance
    he approaches.

The intense heat
of the excited atoms
    makes my blood hot
    and my body tremble.

pins and points of
steely grey-blur light shift
and pulsate, marking his
figure as he
    stands a moment
    at the foot of my bed.

He continues his precession
and hovers above my
still form,
    peeling away
    the sweat stuck sheet.

He has hung his belt on
my bed post,
    An asterism 800 light years
    in waiting.

His nebular pink heart
quivers as pale blue
    almost blinding white eyes
    trace my naked body.

He connects and pins his
points of light to me and
in the forbidden transaction
we remain reflections of one another
    and float
    parallel in the vacuous black.

In his reflected radiation
the rarified dust falls
and silence rests on
    my shoulders
    glistening celestial iridescence.

On his red luminous shoulder
that red resplendent jewel
during this blue star hour
    he fades and fades-
    A slow evaporation.

A glimpse of the four hearted cavity
of his chest
framed by plain dust
    painted by the light of his
    white fire life

He finally fades to that
deep black where
    his light doesn't touch
    not yet.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day Six: Happy Marianne Moore-ing!

I love Marianne Moore.

The Fish is the type of poem I hope to one day emulate: condensed-precision. I'll not have it perfected like her but with only 12 hours to complete a poem like this I will do my best.


   wild on walls, hardy and
   erect. Forced

   the sidelines, pale yellow and
   shy, mysterious

   swallowed in the deep
   dark fragrance of a
   shapeless, shadow.

    wallflower, won't you
    open, won't you
    look up
    won't you
    drop your whisper white
    chrysalis and
    come to me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day Five: A Day of Firsts

The prompt was discouraging at first, I don't know anything about sports. However, a study on firsts in general is a lot easier to understand than say... baseball.

Many Firsts

First kiss
   wet, cold saliva
   drying unsure on unsure lips
   and winter mist dancing on winter air
   kissed me too on-
   chipped green paint
   weather worn wood

First disappointment
   hot, arid evening
   family broken murmured from weary lips
   and burdening summer heat crushing fallen shoulders
   disappointed in shock-
   wavering white light
   striking sever shadows
   on tear-stained faces.

First love
   warm, sunlit room
   tucked away in a library mouthing words written long ago
   and then writing, mimicking black lettered words
   loved again in blue-
   whispered wifts weaving
   on blue lined paper.

First hate
   humid, sunset sky
   trembling anger from every limb and pore
   and berating conscience bruising and pushing out
   hated deliberation in resentment-
   irresponsible ignorant idiot
   why, why , why?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day Four: The Blues

This prompt was interesting. Definitely made me work as it is now 11:37PM and just now have something to show for it.
I really love the song "Wild is the Wind" as sung by Nina Simone. It's not in the suggested blues style but it is certainly a lyrical blues song. So here goes...

Wild is the Wind

sifted through pallid plastic window blinds
and bleached white
                trace along sunlight’s shy hem
                retreating and reappearing
                like the pale lace trim
                on the cool side a satin half-slip.
lying next to each other
like blotched brown bottles
filled with forgotten flowers,
                abandoned keepsakes, skeleton keys,
                sticky blue bingo chips;
                tethered to two-day-old balloons,
                don’t sleep, above the low thread count cotton sheets.
rests on his side and watches the shadows
of the clouds loiter in a negligent three quarter time
waltz that has no turns,
                watches the fast moving reflections
                from cars driving across the street
                like polished skipping stones
                skimming across black waters.
closes her eyes and listens across the street
to the white clothes lined and hanging
on a wire, whipping and wavering
                listens across a park
                to the wind imploring and wooing
                a bloodshot paper kite
                tied to the pale skin wrist of a dusty-eyed boy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day Three: Epithalamium

First, go here to learn all about epithalamium.

This won't necessarily be a poem about weddings but something I'm feeling about the whole idea of weddings/marriage. A little bitter but that's what happens when you're single for a very, very long time.

Empty Spaces

Is someone supposed
     to be there?

Why should I put a

Yes, I nod to a stranger,
     I know the space
     next to me.
     I can trace it blind with
     black chalk and fill it with gravel,
     and satisfy your curiosity
     of the emptiness.

I know the color of loneliness.
    The color between starlight
    and the dust under my bare feet
     - the color of that old light
     that carries wishes and
     dream filled gazes out of reach into
     that invisible, vacuous hope.

I read once on the sticker layered wall of a bathroom stall:
         "It is human nature to feel lonely."   
          Yes, it is.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day Two: Mickey

I could not stop laughing when I found out what song was #1 on the day I was born: Toni Basil's Mickey. It started out lovey-dovey but then I twisted it into something pretty sinister. I'm not sure where this came from- maybe it's the song.

Oh Mickey

All my life
    even as of now
I have been chasing you.

Guys like you, you're so fine-
    what did I do before I ever met you.

You take and took
     heart in hand
     every night, I gave and give.

                  All alone
                  left in a dam
                  I plotted and waited
What a pity
    so vain and empty
         you still don't understand
    You broke my heart
    but I found you
       you're so pretty
       what did you do
but I toast the end:

Oh Mickey- say-goodbye-say-goodbye- now blow your mind
Bye Mickey!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day One: Carpe diem

Carpe Diem quam minimum credula postero - "Seize the Day, putting as little trust as possible in the future"
Odes 1.11, Horace

April 1st: Day One

I thought about the prompt and wracked my brain over what to write and then instead of thinking of seizing the day all I could think of were days I'd let go, days I missed, days that I just wish I could take back and start over. Days I didn't seize (intentionally or not).

So here we go:

Those Were the Days

When I could try to do cartwheels
and falling down was looked on
as a right of passage,
such stuff inspirational posters are made on.

When I would count stars:
wish I may, wish I might-
but somehow, ended up with
bloodless veins,
dirt in my mouth,
I wished I was the moon.

What asinine providence.
I have shut that and this book,
I have been made crazy
in ways I have to write about on buses.

And now,
when I go back to bed
trees, reaching up
with dying limbs
for the stars-
Just old light,

All I can hear,
is the fast beating heart of a
slow learning,
brown and black speckled bird.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

NaPoWriMo! 2012

UPDATE: 4/9/12 - - -
I am also using the prompts suggested by Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides. They have been extremely helpful and definitely interesting when I need more inspiration. - - -

My best friend suggested (last year) that I participate in this amazing feat as she participates in NaNoWriMo. I have not written a poem in a few months. I have not seriously written a poem in over two years.

I started writing poems in college, 2007/08. I had the most amazing poetry teacher and still have him as a friend and mentor, he encouraged me to keep writing and I did. Throughout college I wrote a lot: I made my own chap books (two volumes), published in both the community college and university literary journals and even was poetry editor for the community college journal.

One summer I took an amazing class with one of the most fascinating poets I have ever met or read and I am still very fortunate to have been a part of that workshop. But that was the last time I seriously wrote a polished poem, not necessarily finished but polished enough to write my name on it and turn it in for critiques.

So I think it's time I finally sit down, dust off those old portable typewriters and count down to April for National Poetry Writing Month 2012

So here goes...