NaPoWriMo 2014

NaPoWriMo Day 27: Fence

Fence

 

A winding of wire twilit dun

in the even of rustling grasses

halts eyelid closing and softens

the fall of night. Dun turns to

gold. The fences fade to naught

when night settles in.

 


Based on a randomly selected picture from Vanishing Breed, a photographic memoir on cowboy culture I found at Friends of the Library, which copyright prohibits me from reposting.

 

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NaPoWriMo Day 26: Sit Down, Shut Up

Sit Down, Shut Up

 

These voices are too loud, less in volume

than their incessant surety. They speak

with the perverse authority sanctioned

by a life I cannot comprehend. See,

their pain, no less valid, is much louder

than the less-told stories could hope to be.

 

Were they born to the pulpit? Do they know

through privilege-glasses what we cannot?

No one ever told them to sit down, shut up

and take notes. People listen when they speak, or shit,

 

but now’s not their turn.


This is an attempt at a curtal sonnet, but I was very lazy about the meter, so it is what it is. I don’t know how well this subject matter is going to come across, if at all, but I feel pretty strongly about people attempting to speak for minorities and had to say a thing today.

 

NaPoWriMo Day 25: Don’t Write Poems for Me

Don’t Write Poems for Me

 

I could love a boy with scars.

I could kiss the foreheads of ash-skinned demons,

caress the raised tissue of too many deaths,

and yes, I could

love a boy with scars.

 

I could love a boy for his poems.

I could make love to a boy with words

alone, or allow my hand to find his

sure as ink to paper, and yes—

oh how could I not love a boy for his poems?

 

I could love a boy who isn’t mine,

and I could love a boy as only friends

and I could find new definitions for us

but I cannot straddle this chasm

alone, not now that I know.

 

I could love a boy with scars. I could

love a boy for his poems. I could love a boy

who isn’t mine. (I could keep my hands

to myself). I cannot put my love,

this birth-blind puppy, back in the box

 

now that I know he wants to kiss me.

NaPoWriMo Day 24: Intersection of Beauty and Power

He has beautiful hands, this mason.

Dirt and clay cake around his nails.

A white sickle scar, and a handful

of freckles adorn his fingers.

 

The mason lays one brick at a time,

from the first row at my feet:

each individual constellation

in shades of red and earth.

 

The mortar he spreads on

even, and careful. His hands

are thick, and strong, their rivers

highlighted the pallor of mortar.

 

I catch one last glimpse of him,

serene face and careful posture

as he evens a stroke with flourish

and places the final brick to seal me in.

NaPoWriMo Day 23: A Prophesy of Relations

A Prophesy of Relations

Up at the sermon tucked into birth of day,
light silhouettes you as the crow against vows.
Mine-own, the crow’s name is your name.
Yoke me voiceless as the ravishment of saints.
charles + jasmine
Mine-own, hang me with my cords
singing,

lavished under the linden, held in pity.
You cut into the summer’s set,
rhubarb, boxed in a hotel.
Mine-own, the hurt of a marble ton
pressing down called us
into tilted vats’ reflections unvigilant.

(Oh you, you more than
the scent of summer’s death)

So for our lemon talks we stroll among
distorted reflections.
You can take this error into the forest,
in bed of sorrel,
put to rest in cuts to my hide.
You can take this error,
a pillaged canvas,
to hang the sun.

 


 

NaPoWriMo Day 23, 23 April 2014

Prompt: “translate” a poem by reinterpreting the sounds of the words. I highly recommend the poem I abused for this, Sink Your Fingers Into the Darkness of My Fur, a beautiful Finish poem read by a man with a beautiful voice, which, when I allowed myself to read the true translation afterwards, really moved me.

NaPoWriMo Day 22: Where the Wild Things Grow + If a Poet Were a Spider

Where the Wild Things Grow

Into the woods where the wild things grow

trees and vines form mystical patterns.

The feet can carry you far from home

and the mind is always free to roam.

 

The sunlight plays on spider webs,

their precise organization exposed.

Through bramble and blackberry tramp alone

so the mind is free to wander.

 

Where the fences rise and the signs say turn back,

No Trespassing, sit your rump on a stump

and watch the lark flit through tricks.

The mind is always free to roam.

spider threads

+

If a Poet Were a Spider

I live in my artform
catch food with this verse
and need nothing more. 

 

 

NaPoWriMo Day 21: Let’s Whisper Sweet&Sour Everythings

1.

Life is a nearly-new sofa with cat scratches

left on the curb. Well, some days.

I hardly know what I mean but

if it sounds good, must be true.

Do you remember when we found

that beautiful dresser a block form your house?

Of course you do. You carried the too-big body

and I drove the drawers and your boyfriend

talked to me from the back seat in tones I find

forgettable. No, I remember: He was afraid

of the mirror. You love mirrors.

I love mirrors and am afraid of them.

Is it just this town that throws away everything

for a few of us to retrieve treasures

from curbs and dumpsters, or

is it everyone?

 

2.

Yaz, this is my third love poem to you,

and if none of them seem like love poems

that’s because the two of us prefer impossible

crushes, treat our hearts like printing presses

(me more than you) and you’re a wandering landmark.

Maybe my fourth, actually. The darkness

challenges the sunlight for shade

and makes us a breathing space.

 

Do you know, I’ve had maybe three

significant relationships with men. Or boys.

Whichever. Romantic, that is. I fuck or befriend

the rest, or turn them into poems. Well, it’s curious to me

because we’re both a little boy-crazy these days,

some days, and I wonder if that’s my why.

 

In the plaza we’ll hold hands. Did we both use to sing

oftener? We sometimes look normative, more

than I ever expected, me opening the door,

taking your hand, but everyone sees past it.

We’re the queerest fish of all the courts,

strolling past the statue of the Confederate Dead.

I’m leaning over the counter, beside the baked goods,

for a peck on the lips.

 

3.

I cried over my fear of leaving you

when I though I was engaged. Long story.

You know it all, but I don’t know

jack from bull. Did the sun set on my siesta?

Have we been sleeping through potential meetings?

Sometimes I see the pictures of pastimes before

I hear your stories, and I imagine the sound of the wood falling

to your blade.

 

4.

Did you hear me missing you

while nighttime rolled cigarettes out of fossils?

Can we find a phrase to use oftener

than “I miss you”? Does missing

taste like raspberries, ghosts,

or limes, better made into

margaritas? My mom and my best friend

like you, imagine that, so we’re feathered burglars but

I haven’t seen you in a week

and before that I saw my partner in poetic crime,

my friend and best critic, all

rolled into you but I’d like to

fall into you like bubble bath

and it’s been some streaks of

finger-painted oil masterworks of dusk

and midnight since last

I’ve seen my lover.

NaPoWriMo Day 19: Incised Moon

Prompt: the name of a sea shell.

 

Incised Moon

 

The rats have been nibbling

at the moon again. Their bites

seem to be expanding. Their little

distended bellies, under a layer

of fine pale fur, feel nothing but hunger.

 

The rats have been biting through

the moon’s bones. They blend in,

white as asteroid face, only pink tails

and red gleams of eyes. Bone dust

coats their lungs.

 

The rats have gnawed through the moon, for

the first time, and the will have a long way to fall.

The rats teethed on the moon, fine-dined

on the moon, and the moon will drink

their broken bones and patch wounds with rat pelts.

NaPoWriMo Day 17: Wake-Time Blues

Morning presses close, tucked

tighter than the blankets but not so soft.

I echo the birdsong and call back

in the film conducted in the grand recesses

of near dreaming. I want to know which

birds sing to me, but when I am more awake.

Traces of incense still smudge air and sheets.

Shiny kale smelling green, their crumbling scales

in my hand as I press them into the blender:

I imagine breakfast for when I am more awake.

The space between my shoulder blades

pulls tight and sore. The shower echoes rain.

When voices tug me–up and at ’em!–

morning fog stays heavy on me.

The plans I imagine disintegrate:

first, write a poem. Shower. Eat.

Everything else can wait.

No day do I live up to the burden

of my sleepy imaginings.

The body is slow beside the mind.

NaPoWriMo Day 16: Please Don’t Wash My Mouth with Soap

Please Don’t Wash My Mouth with Soap

 

Two wrongs make a left, and two lefts

make a right, washing the slate clean.

Hearts break even as the backs of wooden chairs

in a living room brawl. Frida Kahlo

left her mother in a house come compost heap.

I know all about it, because everyone cared more

about her mother than her looking glass marriage.

We artists are society’s snake-shed skin.

We are on display, the jewels to show

maharaja’s wealth and pope’s piety.

Image

Drafts 1 & 2 of “Please Don’t Wash My Mouth with Soap”

 

Prompt: ten lines of lies. In case it’s not obvious, I know nothing significant about Frida’s relationship with her mother, and the living room brawl was actually a partial reference to Zelda and Scott. I first noticed when I was studying Dylan Thomas and, inevitably, his wife Caitlin, the cultural fascination with, and my personal interest in, these artistic unions rife with extramarital affairs and sometimes violence.