Archive for April, 2010

be-labored

Posted: April 28, 2010 in Poetry

Strange how these
automated
monsters shred,
fabricate,
create and
destroy at
the touch of
small buttons—

—Yet at the
slightest hint
of mettle
the huge beasts
are alarmed:
they protest;
they shut down
businesses.

(I actually followed today’s prompt without knowing what it was. A co-worker mentioned something about our old copiers going hysterical over a tiny staple or paper clip, and I had to write this one down.)

amnesia

Posted: April 27, 2010 in Poetry

No, I don’t remember you.

I don’t remember the time
we were stuck in the rain
on the side of the highway
in the middle of the night
without a flare, besieged
by dead batteries, and we
sang old love songs and
slept until daybreak.

I don’t remember our
morning breath wars when
we’d breathe deep throaty
sighs in each other’s faces
to get those childlike horror
gasps out of each other
before rushing the shower
and stumbling over breakfast.

I don’t remember the time
I made a fake crop-top out
of my t-shirt and did bad
80s pop star impressions
while you choked laughing
and cradled a camera phone,
screaming that my body
needed to talk louder.

I don’t remember our
white flag rule, when we’d say
I’m sorry or I love you after
a huge fight by resting a
white something on the other’s
pillow. A white rose. A
white engraved pen. Nothing
over $100: just a feeling.

I don’t remember any of these
things. In my mind, there is
a minus sign next to all of
my forgotten times, a negative
you plus me creating negative
infinite memories with no white
feelings, no remembrances. I
try to cancel all of you out.

I don’t remember you all the time.

femininity

Posted: April 26, 2010 in Poetry

I twirl in and out of expectations,
like a little girl in a poodle skirt.
I am a woman, isn’t that enough
I ask as I spin around and around.

I can do things, but if you’d like
I’ll let you do them. I sometimes
like to be held.
And I would like
to be loved for me, all of me

At some point mid-spin I lose
focus, feel woozy. Isn’t that enough?
My center of being shifts as you step
away, letting me fall into my answer.

learning to affirm

Posted: April 25, 2010 in Draft Dodging

I always speak the worst into the world, and then I’m surprised when the worst of my desires happens. Because of this terrible power, I’m afraid to speak the best things aloud, the things I truly want. Why? What if I use the wrong terminology? What if the universe takes my words too literally and gives me something strange? What if I were wrong about wanting what I said? I have a lot of fear of the unknown since it’s so pervasive.

I am slowly realizing that being afraid of what I don’t know and can’t control does me no favors. I am slowly learning to be unafraid to admit that I don’t know how something will turn out, or I don’t know all the answers. I am learning to let my heart speak during prayer in case the wrong words spill out of my mouth.

Now, if only I could learn to stop using the computer when I no longer want to be online during the day…

to my lord

Posted: April 25, 2010 in Poetry

there are words for you
that are not created
and have never been spoken
by you, me, or anyone
on this earth.

you hold them in yourself,
you carried them to
death and life again,
and you tease us with
whispers of what they
might be, have been, and
will be again.

no one can hope to
capture those words,
because we fail to
breathe in song and
harmony with the spirit
of the unspoken.

a half-hearted curse

Posted: April 25, 2010 in Poetry

i want you to wake up,
sweating, frantic, naked,
clawing at your sheets,
soaked through with sweat
and the taste of salt on your
lips and fingers, i want you to
tear your bed apart, and then
to stand on your feet, bobbing
and sliding as if fighting a
ghost

i want you to run from your bedroom
as if you were chased by the hell
you invented, with a cur spurning
your calves and your hooves, smelling
the sex and the rum from your pores,
and i want you to run out of your shelter,
crying and cursing, stench falling into the
street

i want you to babble about us, about
what you never knew us to be, about
what we will never become, about
what you cannot be now that we are
not, about what you can never experience,
about how what we could have been
has failed because you lost the me in
you

get swept in that, get carried away,
get thrown in shackles at some man’s
feet, get discarded into dungeons, get
crushed by small insect legs, get splashed
with shit and your semen, get disgorged
with the venom of your despair and then
wait

a plea

Posted: April 25, 2010 in Poetry

it is night.
let us love,
flexible
and pensive
as the dark
lets us be.

let me in,
love can be
dangerous
between day
and dusk… let
me kiss you
into night.

guide me in
your strong palms,
rub me through
frightful fields,
love me out
of fearful
times into
something real.

give me your
night and lead
me into
something light.
don’t make me
cry again.

Nesting

Posted: April 23, 2010 in Poetry

This crow refuses to leave her perch;
she will stay until the saffron skies
collapse into crimson clap-traps and
head into onyx odysseys. She will square
off with the squall and squawk headfirst into
tomorrow. The rust will collect around
her calloused claws, on her metal pole,
as a salt-and-pepper testimony to
conduct unbecoming, behavior feathered fowl,
a conscience scolding reverberations
to conduct scavenger hunts for a home.
She has hewn a home in a dizzy daze,
an emporium above the branches of her
next-of-kin. The crow grounds herself
above ominous electric tendrils, reminding
herself not to claim the earth and
the skies all at once.

broken home

Posted: April 22, 2010 in Poetry

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that
a mother, a father, two point five
kids, and a dog are called “a
nuclear family.”

when you place
that concept into people’s heads,
every death, every layoff, every
illness,

every runaway, every
coming out, every affair, every
bankruptcy, every robbery, every
scandal,

every shooting, every
war, every skipped meal, every
foreclosure, every disaster, every
thing

starts to split those idyllic
branches into infinitesimal splinters
until the atoms fuse to muted salted
ground

until nothing quite as tight
and trite will grow again.

napowrimo #21: perfectly flawed

“In ancient times, Persian rug makers were deeply religious and believed that only God could make something perfect. They would deliberately drop in a small faulty stitch, a flaw, into each Persian rug. In doing so, a ‘Persian Flaw’ revealed the rug maker’s devotion to God.” — Karel Weijand

Like many of us, I often struggle with the gremlin of perfectionism. The above quote reminds me that achieving perfection is not my prime directive in life, and that in fact, striving for perfection can be a form of hubris.

Write a poem about flaws and perfection in yourself or in nature or write about how you feel about being imperfect or perfect.

Here are some things you may want to reflect on as you write: Do flaws add beauty to the world? What does it feel like to experience perfection? What is it like to encounter flaws — in our selves, in others, in systems or in objects? As imperfect beings, are we able to adequately judge perfection?

If you’d like, you can try contrasting these both concepts in one poem or just choose the one that you feel most drawn to. There is potential for both perfection and flaws in everything on earth, so there’s no limit to to subject you use to frame your poems.

one thing i hate about you

Posted: April 22, 2010 in Poetry

the people i like never say
“oh i can never spend
too much money on you”
or
“oh sometimes i steal
your toni morrison novels
to read when you’re away”
or
“hey i was driving
in the neighborhood
and since i know you like
riding around
i thought i’d come get you
to ride with me
and listen to chuck berry
singing about riding around
with no particular place to go
even though this will waste gas”

no
i get the ones who
work hard to prove
they are THAT asshole
as if i have never
met assholes before
and i forgot
i have an anus
and can aim a mirror
back there if i really cared
to meet an asshole
because if i must
trust an asshole
to do right by me
it would be my own

no
that would be too easy
so instead i open my closet
i get my freakum fashion on
(ALL BLACK EVERYTHING)
and i open my silver
bulletproof suitcase
and pull out a tiny silver box
and press a domed silver button
and like michael bay’s decepticon
the asshole radar detector 9000
mutates into being

(but to me
it looks like
a makeup
mirror)

and i sit waiting
trying to radiate safety
and calm
and quiet
and intelligence
and gentleness
and more quiet
and happiness
and curvaceousness
(wait how do you radiate that)
and and and

in other words
to the discriminating eye
i do not look like an angry
black will-cut-you-
if-you-cross-me
full-figured woman
i look more like
your super fly black
librarian

and then THAT asshole
comes over and farts
directly in my lovely
blushed shadowed
glossed and powdered
face and asks me
“why didn’t you say
excuse me?”