4.22.2017

Just a Few Small Things I Like



I like the way
you open windows
in any kind of weather
as if to say hello morning air
thank you for visiting

I like the way
your fingers
navigate a messy ponytail
on weekday evenings
when you let your hair down

I like the way
you say you love me
even when you’re pissed off





NaPoWriMo Day 22! For Susie’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden featuring the artwork of Mi Young Lee

4.21.2017

Gimme a P

Souvenir megaphone
tries hollering
from the belly of a whale
on an Anytown beach
Its environs no longer
conducive to the cheer squad
Its hurrah reduced
to a last plastic gasp
      Go School

Note: Today is the birthday of John Muir and tomorrow is Earth Day.

NaPoWriMo Day 21! For Magaly’s prompt to the Real Toads: "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream"

4.20.2017

Take It or Leave It

It’s the nature of ultimatums.
If this, then that
or if not this, then another thing
determined by the issuer,
nothing else after.
Pondering this, I notice
now there is a crow
on the rosebush outside my kitchen window
that ordinarily hosts a circus of sparrows.
The sparrows have been gone all year.
I wonder
if the crow issued an ultimatum.
My way or the highway, stupid sparrows.
Maybe I am meant to take this occupation
as a sign. The crow prophesizes--
this will not end well.

NaPoWriMo Day 20! 
For Fireblossom’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden: CORVID AND SIT A WHILE

4.19.2017

Broken Things

The washing machine broke,
wet towels piled in garbage bags
to be taken to the laundromat.
The cat is suspicious of this pile

and the rest of us are weary
of the entire situation.
Broke my tooth this week, too
so it’s next in line to be fixed.

New washing machine coming Friday.
You can only fix a washing machine
so many times before it’s just junk,
or maybe we gave up on it too soon.
The dentist will crown my tooth
and it will be better than it ever was.
Remember when our girl broke her arm
and then her leg, then her other arm?
Now she’s fine. Not broken at all.
How many times can stitches bust
and heal again, fuller than before,
threatening to tear newly sewn seams?

Because love’s like that. It snaps
and heals. Breaks, then all better again.
Don’t give up on this love too soon,
this fragile thing, this human condition.

NaPoWriMo Day 19! For Sanaa’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden, taking inspiration from wonderful poet CAROL ANN DUFFY

4.18.2017

Why I Should Never Go to the Mall

What are you trying to hide?
is the million-dollar question
posed by the Dead Sea Salts Guy

in the middle-of-the-mall kiosk
as he has emollient cream to fix
every clumsily concealed shame.

He notes my pink-ruddy cheeks,
dry patches on my eyelids,
dark circles, lines around my eyes,

laugh lines, blemishes, crepey skin,
everything aging with the promise
of youthful vibrancy and tightness

following 6 to 8 weeks of daily use.
He even notes my chewed fingernails
You must stop biting. As if I didn’t

know. As if over years and with less
jowl elasticity one becomes saggier
of mind and social understanding.

I can’t help but wonder if Dead Sea
Salts Guy would sell more creams with
Look at you, absolutely perfect. Gorgeous!

NaPoWriMo Day 18! Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.

4.17.2017

Infinite Trend

In a perfect world, David Foster Wallace is trending every day.

NaPoWriMo Day 17! 
It’s National Haiku Writing Day and DFW is trending on Twitter, so here ya go

4.16.2017

American Sentences

Reflections on Easter Sunday morning:
(1)
The house is full of Easter chocolate, but I earnestly eat Grape Nuts.

(2)
Wind lifts the scent of backyard hyacinths wafting through muslin curtains.

(3)
Your hands feel so large on the small of my waist--please lift me to the sky--

NaPoWriMo Day 16! Trying on Ginsberg’s American Sentence as suggested by Kerry in the Imaginary Garden. This article is so fantastic, check it out: What Are American Sentences?

This is the kind of form that sneaks into my brain and can easily turn into a big-time bender. I’ll try to restrain myself but don’t be surprised if you see more of these from me!

4.15.2017

All I Wanted Was the Recipe



Everything I did
was for love
of my catfishing
computer wife

Love is treachery
creates identity
and justifies
villainy




NaPoWriMo Day 15! For Rommy’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden: THE VILLAIN SPEAKS

For the uninitiated, this is Plankton and his computer wife Karen from SpongeBob SquarePants. 

4.14.2017

Driving the Bus

Captured
window reflection
does not include me
but I am here
behind glass
squinting into the sun
It contains street signs
building facades
sidewalk walkers
a grandiose steeple
spire poking the clouds
and me
listening to snippets
of private conversations
for later poem-making
I am here
noticing all of you
not noticing me

NaPoWriMo Day 14! For INVISIBLE in the Imaginary Garden.

4.13.2017

Short Sale

Suckers
are born every
day. Hustlers scurry like
roaches at night-time, nurturing
their marks.

Lucky 13! Short & sour for Grapeling’s GET LISTED word list prompt including sucker, hustler, and mark.

4.12.2017

Signs of the Time

We listened
to Nikki Giovanni
read poems
of love and resistance
at Chicago Public library
Outside queens and dykes
danced in streets
illuminated with rainbows
We joined and kissed
in front of a yelling man
with a sign
reading God Hates Fags
In memory of my dear friend Tracey, with love.

NaPoWriMo Day 12! For Izy’s prompt to the Real Toads SIGNS OF THE TIME. I am not posting a photo of the sign referenced in this photo. We all know what it looks like.

4.11.2017

This Song Goes to Eleven

If you
were set to music
you’d be the kind of song
I never forget,
the kind that stays
just under the surface
ready for humming,
the song I’m always happy to hear.
You are songs of my youth
but not really
because you are so very much your own song.
You are so new I have no way of imagining.
You are the song I turn on
through tears and laughter both,
heartbreaking and pleasing, seemingly
simple but endlessly complex.
You are perfection. You are my song.

Today is my daughter’s 11th birthday! Love!

And it’s NaPoWriMo Day 11! Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.

4.10.2017

Looking at the Sun

Some days, my body scarcely
remembers what it’s like
to run without dragging all
the contents of the house behind,
to enjoy a garden without
feeling compelled to pull weeds.

Look at that perfect sunflower,
not shy at all, always facing
the sun in quiet confrontation
as if to say don’t forget
there are creatures of this earth
magnificent as you.

Maybe I’ll swallow all its seeds,
sprout flowers from my eyes
like the most exotic lashes
aptly described with exclamations
like Wonder! or Light! or Lift!
or What You See Is What You Get!

NaPoWriMo Day 10! This is responsive to Margaret’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden: Poem Sketching. I made a word list from Mary Oliver’s poem "Beside the Waterfall," including these words: scarce, drag, body, flower, swallow, light, eyes. This seems like it needs a fourth stanza, but in the interest of April volume I’m leaving it for now.

4.09.2017

Women and Crows

At only 30, I smile
At you whom I abhor,
At you,
Oh I adore your golden heart.
I’d struck gold--
If only you’d hold my heart, hold
It well--

Oh! Mine own love,
Tho’ your heart be broken
‘Twas once you have been happy--
And Love, and Dreams--are not
these lovely things enough?

If love
haunts even those who dream
beneath yew trees,
then hearts
the world over are ill-prepared
for suffering wrought by seeking same.

NaPoWriMo Day 9! This is my response to Magaly’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden: TWITTER ME A GOTHIC POEM. Here we have a tweeted conversation between Sylvia Plath and Edgar Allan Poe. And me.

4.08.2017

Hope at Mountain's Feet

Periwinkle clouds spread
over reclined mountains
like a twilight blanket,
the moon a nightlight
    cozying early spring.

NaPoWriMo Day 8! For Sherry’s prompt to the Real Toads: Hope and the Places That Heal You

4.07.2017

Woodpecker's Song

Scratch of birch bark
under clear-crackling talon,
hollow call buried in forest,
skipped stone across fields
lying fallow for killing

Kaoro Kawano, Tree Girl with Woodpeckers (1960)

NaPoWriMo Day 7! For Kerry’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden: LET’S PAINT A PICTURE

4.06.2017

Our Hearts Leap Up


    (after William Wordsworth)

Dear pretty kitty on my lap
    In all your purry glory:
So is it since you came home;
So you made our hearts your own;
So in play or sun-filled nap,
    Our favorite furry story!
The cat is heartbeat to the home;
And we will swear our family
Bound to you with love eternally.


NaPoWriMo Day 6! Stacie has the Real Toads writing poems that children might enjoy. So I wrote this for my kids and our cat, Sammy. Meow!




4.05.2017

Music in Several Dimensions

Replace
all that hot air
with helium
float effortlessly
in effervescent stasis
beyond the ceiling
clouds
stratosphere
to a place
humming
with indulgent dreaming
you are weightless there
carelessly tasting
sugars hyper-tremolo
not of Earth
engorge your senses
for a flash
as upon your return
I am gone
and you are
strumming
your Stratocaster

NaPoWriMo Day 5! Responding to Bjorn’s space-time prompt in the Imaginary Garden. What is this? I have no earthly idea. :)

4.04.2017

View From a Bench

The waterfall
is so perfect and stately
inviting contemplation
about man-made edifices
the industrial age
and what this city was like
with the factories humming
workers working
and this park beckoning
with its waterfall
on the outskirts
I wonder
would I have loved you then

Day 4 of NaPoWriMo! Sharing on the Tuesday Platform