11.30.2013

Can't Light A Fire Without A Spark

Observing
the straight of your back
refracted in
this morning’s frost,
my glare begins to thaw.

Teensy tanka, #30 of 30! I did it: wrote a poem every day this month to benefit immigrants in our community via Center for New Americans. If you’d like to help celebrate these shenanigans, it’s not too late to make a contribution of any amount. Thank you for all your support, dear readers. Whew!

11.28.2013

Gratitude's Day

You know it’s Thanksgiving
when you peel your sweet potatoes
listening to the Macy’s parade,
when you cry during commercials,
drum corps, Rockettes kicklines
& Charlie Brown’s holiday meal,
when you play Yahtzee well into
the evening after an unplanned
but predictable nap on the couch,
when you hug your kids extra-long
& consider actually sending your
gratitude skyward in the form
of a soaring, bird-like prayer.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! #28 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans. With special love to Kirsten Piccini, who also tears up during the Macy's parade.

11.27.2013

Blue Laws

As the bruise on my right
forearm yellowed & faded, a new
bruise appeared on the left.
Can I just say I bruise easily
or chalk it up to clumsiness?
Or, in this season of thanks,
is something trying to reach me?

For Kerry’s very intriguing prompt to the Real Toads: Let's Write in Black & White

#27 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

11.26.2013

The Product of Too Much Time in the Office

What
if
lonely
columns merged
with rows, cells above,
below, auto-sums filling up
previously empty space? Desks might
    implode with love.

#26 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans!

11.25.2013

Concord of Sounds

Salvation Army
bell backgrounds
prematurely forlorn
accordionist
at the market door.

Having nothing else
to spare, I think
to ask him to dance
around just once more,
but I don’t dare.

Aaaahh it’s #25 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans!

11.24.2013

Girls Come Of Age, Too

This latest coming-of-age
film I’ve watched
is beautiful & poignant,
like the others,
but I want to see
stories about girls
up there on the screen.
Real girls, not mean girls.
Not pink-sparkly girls,
or crazy girls or princesses.
Just regular girls
doing ordinary kid things:
traipsing woods, fishing,
sharing secrets, swearing
allegiance, running away,
facing mortality, being hurt,
learning Big Life Lessons.
Why is that so hard to imagine?

I find it surprisingly difficult to write a protest poem in the spirit of Woody Guthrie for Susie’s prompt to the Real Toads. I revere Woody Guthrie (no surprise) and comparatively, this feels less than poetic. But this is something that’s been on my mind and I feel somewhat alone in my aggravation about it. So, here it is. #24 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans!

11.23.2013

Winter Raxiera

Sunlight
has a new calling,
bending early,
stretching sleepily
the day it first snows.

#23 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

11.22.2013

Overdo It

In memory of Kim Underwood.
Remind me
never to say
don’t overdo it now
to my children.
No imploring them
to simmer down,
take it easy,
settle,
be good now,
not take any
unnecessary risks.
I’ve done enough
of all of those things
for the lot of us.
Let me be
the mother who
supports her children
in overdoing it
completely
today and every day.

#22 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

11.20.2013

Fables

She says talk like a woman,
make love just like a man, cry
like a little girl. Float like
a butterfly, sting like a bee,
you’re the only one for me.
Beauty is as beauty does,
sure as hell crazy like a fox.

43 words for Mama Zen, in the voice of the fox.

#20 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

Big Box o' Books!


Super-size supply of SUPERPOWERS!  

11.19.2013

No Mixing Allowed on the 61C McKeesport

I boarded the bus downtown, took
a seat. You smiled, pulled off
your headphones, chatting me up:
I asked where you worked, you asked
about my work. You talked about
music, I described a book. I took
your notebook to write down
the title. (You gotta read this.)
It went like this all the way
through Oakland to Squirrel Hill, so
we did not notice the voice until
it got louder. Louder. LOUD.
HEY, YOU.
HEY, YOU. YOU.
GET OFF THE BUS.
GET OFF THE BUS.
OFF MY BUS.
OFF. GET OFF MY BUS.
You whispered next stop and rose
in slow motion, wound your way
through bodies, briefcases, glares.
After all, the bus was now late
and apparently you were the culprit.
The driver faced you on the street
yelling, pointing, cursing. In a daze,
I tried not to hear, could not look.
I heard GIRL. I heard NO. Everyone
on the bus was looking at you. At me.
You vanished as the bus pulled away.
Eyes down, I exited the silent bus
at Forbes and Murray. Ran a block
to you. You gripped my elbow. Your dark
eyes met mine: No promise there,
only defeat. I kissed your cheek.
We went our separate ways. Now, thirty
years later, I still wonder how you are.

I first wrote about this incident a few years back, but have been working to tighten it up and allow the story of the injustice to come through. Please let me know if you think I’ve succeeded.

#19 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

11.18.2013

Monday Is For The Birds

On Mondays
I’m ill prepared
to carry the details
of our affair.

Other days, I’ll sail
wave to swell, hard
to tell where my love
meets your shore.

But Monday roars in
unawares. I swear
I can hear your voice
in the cormorant’s call.

Poem #18 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

11.17.2013

November

Cold drizzle
mists my eyes,
blurs, chills
sideways vision,
the road ahead.

More tanka! #17 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

11.16.2013

Breathing Mt. Tom

Push all your air out.
Wrap your arms
around the mountain.
Inhale deeply,
noticing her moonlit pine.

More tanka for Real Toads! This weekend is part 3 of a fantastic series with Dr. Hisashi Nakamura. Please visit and be inspired!

#16 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

11.15.2013

Ghost In

This ghost in our house
reminds me of you:
Jarring, but comforting.
I wish it would sit,
share a cup of tea,
its cold hand warming
on my thigh,
but instead it just claps
to remind us that it’s here.

#15 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

11.14.2013

A View To A Kill

I chopped
a ton of tomatoes
that summer,
skinned a helluva lot
of potatoes, too.
The time I sliced
my shin open
on that jalapeno can
(man, that stung)
you were so gallant
with your plastic wrap--
a regular James Bond.
We coulda been flattened
together
driving around
in that level F4 tornado,
but we weren’t.
We coulda run off
together that summer--
but we didn’t.

#14 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

11.13.2013

Memorial Fund

Click give,
adding your meager dollars
to the relief effort
for the musician’s wife & children,
lamenting your own destitution,
wondering how much,
if any,
difference you could possibly make,
remembering that tributaries
flow into mighty rivers,
closing your eyes,
sailing a fervent wish across miles,
praying folks would do the same
if it were you.

#13 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.
& For the Love of Charlie Chesterman Fund is HERE.

11.12.2013

SUPERPOWERS or: More Poems About Flying

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s MY NEW BOOK!

"Pow! Pretty-words purveyor Marian Kent is back with a second collection of super-heroic verse, SUPERPOWERS or: More Poems About Flying. This bold volume showcases Marian's earthy yet extraordinary way of painting a landscape with her words. Other-worldly, sensual, whimsical, tragic, the poems of SUPERPOWERS soar with vision, strength, and hope."


CLICK HERE to be directed to Amazon for your copy. And check out the announcement at ALL CAPS PUBLISHING.

Also! Beloved Readers, if you’d like a signed copy (or if the shipping is wicked unaffordable to wherever you are via Amazon), just let me know. (My email is runawaysentence@gmail.com.)

Meanwhile, I’ll just be over here shrieking in ALL CAPS. Wheeeee!

Sounds of the Season

That yapping dog
in the yard behind ours
roused me from a dream
and some guy with a beard
named Jesus,
reminding me that winter
will soon bring seasonal sounds
like tires spinning on ice,
sparrows rioting in hedges,
snowblower choruses.
What would Jesus think
of this place in winter?
Never heard any carolers here.
What would Tim say?

#12 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans. Also, read Tim’s book! It’s so engrossing, I even dream about it.

11.11.2013

Raxiera

Let’s move
to the floor
That patch of sun
beckons
Scratch my back
I’ll purr
and lick you
#11 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.

11.10.2013

Forest Terminal

It’s better not to acclimate
to those who’d soon appropriate
your novelty. Better choose
your own path, even if darkness
looms through distant trees. Then, unless
trains don't run, nothing to lose.

Forest Terminal by Mike Worrall (2007)

For Grace’s weekend prompt to the Real Toads featuring work by the surrealist painter Mike Worrall. #10 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.