sitting for a math exam
minding my own business
listening to pencil scratches
and foot tapping
I hear breathing
and not the quiet
but the loud
that makes the hairs
on the back of my neck
and my teeth grind
the longer it goes on
the more I can't hear
until it's a pulsing, pounding
I thought I hated calculus
but I don't even know
this person and
I hate them
so much more
If you're taking part in the Poem Every Day challenge, you might find yourself in need of inspiration as the month progresses.
To help with that, below is the April 2015 list of prompts/themes for all 30 days!
Writing your poems based on these themes is completely optional. I know writing around a specific theme helps me narrow my focus and get the words on the page, but feel free to ignore these and do your own thing if you prefer.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. SEE YA THERE, POETS.
APRIL 2015 PROMPTS
1 – Delicate
2 – Bewitched
3 – Mess
4 – Almost
5 – Jealousy
6 – Borrowed
7 – Feast
8 – Monuments
9 – Time
10 - Generous
11 - Escape
12 – Drunk
13 - Alchemy
14 - In Between
15 – Onslaught
16 - Freckles
17 - Icarus
18 - Slowly
19 – Blood
20 - Artificial
21 - Shadow
22 - Rivers
23 – Surprise
24 - Tatters
25 – Breathing
26 – Ancient
27 - Contrast
28 - Blur
29 - Galaxies
30 - Open
Questions? Check out the Poem Every Day FAQs
Bent like an articulation,
ready to snap like a rubber band
stretched to capacity.
Slowly but surely
she fits the pieces back together.
Spring brings great things.
The proof of the pudding is in the tasting.
You would be vile.
So pretty to look at
Something to sink in ones teeth.
But below the inviting exterior
The sugar sprinkled outside
camouflages what lies beneath.
Its a rancid, putrefied mess
that makes me sick.
narrate endless nights
on dusty keys
tracing unheard melodies
stretching octave to octave
left over right from
flat to sharp to natural again
build a crescendo
hitch in breath
hands curl into fists
retreat in recesses on the lap
overwhelming fear consumes fantasy
stars dim their lights
"musical whimsy, my dear, is absurd
it's good to never make a sound
and even better, to never be heard."
everywhere I look
there you are.
in the trees
(you used to watch me climb)
in the kitchen
(you used to make us pancakes)
in the car
(you used to say such colorful things behind the wheel)
in the passing buses
(you used to sing the wheels on the bus; it was the only song you knew to sing to us)
(man, did we laugh a lot together)
in my children
(they have your eyes)
it doesn't matter where I go
Or how long you've been gone
it's painful and comforting
all at once.
NOTE: I find inspiration for poems in all kinds of places. My own experiences don't always inspire me and I try to challenge myself to be connected to other people's moments. I didn't mean to suggest anything with this poem, it came from a place of empathy and was written in first person bc that is how I write. But with this particular piece I feel like I may have misled people and it feels important to clarify that my own father is alive. I didn't mean to give a false impression and I am so touched by the love notes I've received.
draw me how you feel with colors
show me how you feel with shapes
give me something for the senses
a kind of love that I can taste
I lose my legs
among a million others,
your legs between
in the middle of the night, I
try to carve all the cells
out of my body
to exfoliate my insides
to melt into all of the
to never find a trace of
any of this in my
lungs or my
rooms, any of the notes
under my bed
he says a lot
without really saying anything
and he speaks all too slowly,
but still I love to sit and listen
to my grandpa telling stories
about nothing in particular.
I gather the doubtful bones
from a wounded bird
I pull on the strings,
with unsure shrieks
what's left of things
Waxed wings that'll
take no wind,
not west, nor the east
peppered with dust,
like a corpse,
a husk cast off
Each, just a sun dry
afraid of even
trying at Icarus,
but without flight,
I fall anyway
a (minor) list of things you gave me (of which are just as important as the major list):
The way you so quickly get excited about one project and then the next
(like a magpie attracted to shiny things)
The importance of knowing your family
(go team keyte!)
That way you do that stupid photo face
(my go-to is more of a snarl)
(but you gave that to the boys too, so it's okay)
The giant blue bug eyes
(yours are a slightly deeper blue)
Knowing how to stay calm when things seem like they're wrong
(i'm still learning but i'm getting there)
The patterns in my skin
the little flecks of pigment that show
when the sun comes out to play
When I see those pearls, in a line
Brows, crocheted to perfection
Gates, swung open in welcome,
My first impulse
Is to tear my ribcage open
And begin giving you organs -
You’ll say you’re not hungry
And take a bit anyway.
I settle for a kiss.
We sit and watch the seasons,
- The world in a stereoscope -
And hold our blanket tightly.
Winters have come,
Left snow on our heads,
And departed without a wave;
I sometimes catch cold
But you warm my hands
And tell me to lay on your lap.
It’s an eerie sensation
That small tug on your soul,
The ache, and it’s only treatment.
A phantom pain,
In the cavity of my chest
Because you own the real estate.
To float above your bed at a thought
And find your world inside an embrace.
And a welcomed one.
Still the seasons pass
As we tell stories in bed
And watch from beneath the sheets,
Filling jars with slips of paper
and donation bins full of time.
Let’s read books there together,
An incomplete series,
And predict how the series will end:
An old man in the city
Aging wife on his arm
And a face cut with lines from the smiling.
Now we sit and watch the seasons
- the world in a stereoscope -
together, cocooned in a blanket.
In between the sea
and the stars, I float along
the silvered moon-path
once i knew
the black earth
the history living just
beneath my fingertips
crowding the spaces
round your eyes
while you discovered the rain
kissing my ribs.
you said nothing but
i heard it
inside every silence.
so i dug into the dark,
to know what
it felt like to see
the world through
you only laughed
unrooting me, holding me
up to the sky,
letting my skin
in the echoes, i learned
between sand on skin
and black bone deep.
there's no alchemy
that will press your history
into my spine,
no rain will wash away
the rocks scratching
a/n: went super nerdy on this one. one of the potential roots of alchemy is a word for egypt in greek "land of black earth"
Shudder down my spine
Like the quick unflinching wile
Of a shutters eye
The first rule of homeownership should be,
“Always purchase near train tracks”.
When your roof leaks
And your pipes explode
So your foundations crack
And your basement’s overrun by toads…
Or your wiring shorts
And your furnace breaks
And it’s all just
Too much to take;
The sound of the three AM train whistle will remind you,
You always have at least one means of
You said your heart beat calmed today
which made me think of my own
A pulse, not a thump;
a hum, not a roar;
padding soft, with no chance
of endangering sinew and bone.
Not for now, anyway.
i surrendered to delirium
three minutes ago
i've lifted the anchors
into choppy waters
Roller Coster Tycoon reminds me of tragedy
It reminds me of a metal computer desk from Ikea
of an orange and slightly lighter orange swirl patterned mousepad
of a CTR monitor whose shape I hope to never emulate
of the old beige two line house phone
the one that we weren’t supposed to answer if a fax was coming
it reminds me of this one time, when that phone rang
it was my mother,
‘your cousin is dead’
my cousin who was less than year old, was dead
I’ll never forget that moment
that feeling of being dizzy as the swirls of orange
the cold of metal desk from Ikea as fell into it
the CTR monitor woke up
Roller Coaster Tycoon was on the screen
all the little people without faces were having fun
all the rides were running
and my cousin was dead
Waiting for the thunder to speak
words into my head
and tell me what I want
To this, at least, I can,
waiting for the rain.
But are demons any crueler
No, I can't
make my heart obedient
to your hands.
Now speaks the thunder:
To hell with prudence.
I will force the key to turn in the door
if I have to
and the sea will never be calm.
At least today I have set my words in order.
i did not expect the chance
to turn away from the cold wall
& say oh, good, you’re here
as if i was only waiting
for you to turn up for dinner.
get the lights.
is this one of those moments
when you call me by name?
not when i had demanded a bar room brawl,
knowing you would bleed,
& you delivered.
(not when i had splintered soon after,
& how could anyone hold onto matchwood,
a relentless tremor,
the place where the wick ends?)
still, my body opens up,
makes room for you, a reflex,
& i wonder
if there have been too many hours
between that first split lip
& this moment
for me to ever be an impulse,
which is somehow more important
than being a careful choice.
i want to be what you reach for
when you are pulled from a deep sleep.
this time when i walk toward the door
you remind me of
of the startling truth of hands
of smiles that were never meant to be given
—on opposite sides of the glass, perhaps,
& in between half-hearted threats,
but offered all the same.
you stare at my fingers curling
around the door handle
as if to say
& what about the instinct to run?
I wish I'd known
there would be the desperate nights.
The nights when you are standing in a low-lit bar,
and you are more than a little drunk
trying not to make eye contact with the boys staring at you from their stools,
and you still cannot parse their gaze.
Part of you can feel the vodka harsh in the back of your throat,
makes you want to run out into the snow-covered street because
"holy shit, it's so hot in here"
can almost see yourself leaning over and
puking onto the sidewalk,
hands across your stomach.
And there is another part of you
that just wishes someone--
would just fucking touch you.
Because you still have the smell of
citrus in your head
from the 2 AM cigarettes
and the freshly laundered sheets
and you don't want it anymore.
You would trade it for the cheapest aftershave.
This dangerous piece of you
will sometimes slide onto an empty chair,
deal in underdeveloped pleasantries until you are babbling,
"it's just been so long, you know?"
and your mouths will meet with the wrong kind of rush.
good friends you will hate for a minute
will pull you away,
and a small hot part of you will
still hate them in the morning.
there is nothing like the bruising pressure
of a pair of hands
to get you out of your head.
The taste of saffron
permeates the milk
with a firm yellow
broken in half with
what I hope were your hands,
float through this space
sinking with the weight
of the heavy liquid
--dragging it down
drifting in the shoreline.
I put this foul smelling concoction
to my lips
the texture of golden ashes
strands of dry wheat
embedding itself in my tongue
curdled layers of cream
that sit on top;
I pull them out
with the back
of my spoon
gazing at the globs of white
but I know
I suck through it with
taking slow sips
so the flavour won't
won't make me feel worse.
it is not enough.
Poem every day: 3/30
that night was drenched in fog
of the sort that makes your eyes water
but i remember
my throat stinging and sore
my hips bumping against
my hands reaching
then swatting away
hasty invitations and
into one i almost knew
liking how my body
didn't need commands
but i also remember
underneath it all
i came for the convenience
take our turns to surrender,
as it builds over grass
would i speak
if it meant you'd remember,
of the mends gone past
a man in the moon
smokes clouds into view, conversing
a room of iron lungs
and native brains,
while snowflakes constrict
and the angels obtain
it's not what it seems
send me on a river
in a coffin with red ribbons,
to crash waterfalls
so i may awake
and think of you
for seven more years
you planted seeds of new life
in my mind
down my trembling spine
with your efficacious words
that i cannot accept as
saccharine but why
am i left with an illness
in my belly, nauseated?
a foundation in my chest
i am grounded abruptly.
a severed heart once tethered
in a transcendental union
to your outstretched arms, oh
why must you drop me
from such heights?
i've been here before
and will remain
since i'm still breathing.
This caviar is pleasing
only to a discernible palate—
bearded over softly
to preserve friction.
Your tongue folds the flavor,
settling tired pores
reminding you of
balconies in kingdoms
now frequented by
peasant’s children’s children
who need not know this
‘til they’re older.
Pleasure hums this merger
from the core into itself
breath caught in skin
forming a delicacy
void of tables set
for two romantics
with nothing better to do
than desire and plant
a frayed thought
until it is unraveled
like the loose string
of a good
pair of panties
waiting to be ripped.
Released in sweat
of damp beginnings
and back seat
moon halves tremble—
electrified by a
a body’s length away.
I find myself too often
to my temptations
Indulging in things
I know can be bad for me
But I am pure impulse
with a complete disregard
for the possible repercussions
of my actions
And later, the question
And though the question
stays the same,
the answer never does:
Was it worth it?
On a little piece of paper
kept in an old brown, rum bottle
Lies a lifetime worth of letters
Each word woven
with love and great care
if but breath could be stolen
Then this letter
would have a lifetime of air
stories of the better
and so tenderly
they'd be read and spoken
if only but solemnity, takes the sea
So the little brown bottle
filled with hopes and old rum
would finally settle
on lonely shores
Metals grind and twist
and with it goes the bare-skin
of the world,
basic needs become basic weeds,
rain drops turn to rust,
bouncing from inside-out uniformity,
the entropy begins,
a new reality circles the metropolis,
bio-chemical terrorism annoints
us, no burqas, no warnings,
the fear comes from us,
and greased-up dreams
smothers the melting pot,
falling in the dirt
carries me to the center,
the heart of nature; manipulation,
blueprints are contructed
franchising the seeds,
the roots grow deep
carrying out their plans.
you are hunting me
to rip me into
one, two, three
until I can't take it anymore
and say goodbye
to all of you
until I'll be
Fine dots of green just peering through the ground cover
Brushing away some of falls forgotten leaves
Gives way to the stems of daffodils and tulips
Clutched tightly in fists of color
Waiting patiently for the promised sun
Tomorrow bursting open
Saying once again
Life goes on
i tend to prick my birthday balloons
after the party is over
preferring to cause the
instead of waiting for time's
steady hands to squeeze
the last dregs of life out
but since i can't bear
to bring a needle to yours
i'll ask time to be more gentle
than usual - so gentle that
i don't feel its hands at all.
The smoother, mellower
Cane sugar flavor
Of a Mexican Coke
Sliding over my tongue
The salt grit
There is only flat here, a palm pressed against the back, & when
I say flat I mean the progression of voice & words – sounds
that mimic the stretch of skin between hip & shoulder,
the thoracic region with all of its bumps & cracks – or how
the spine is more question mark than straight line (sometimes,
I drive in the dips between dunes & think spine & then broken).
We speak in fragments like light that slats through matte dark
& illuminates in splices – your thumb taps on the steering wheel,
me, crater-eyed, in the windshield. You say, mesa, & I say, scar,
so we walk along the ridge line & try to feel the Earth’s callous
as it snakes its way between my ribs. Wear it well, you say,
like mountains flat against sky or the sun’s sly crawl down
to the horizon. In the middle of the beginning, I am filleted,
belly-down, a sunburned creek bed, & you are moon-flaked,
half obscured by clouds that will never bring rain. Instead,
you leak sepia around my wrist. I flinch, curl in upon myself,
a little conch shell. Then, I learn gorge, arroyo, the sadness
of split rocks. Here, I am fault-lined, I say, as you wane in the clear
dark. Later, I dwell in the earthiness of it all – the muddiness,
the mesquite, and sheet rock. You are the root & stem, you say
when you are new moon & blue & your fingers shy-crawl
through dust & skin near the mend line, barbed pink.
- Falling hurts.
- I am not invincible.
- My parents are not infallible.
- I am not infallible.
- Pizza is delicious. (this wasn't a lesson hard learned but it lead to.)
- Too much of anything is no good.
- Love isn't always mutual.
- No response is a response.
- If it tastes good it's probably bad for you.
- Just because it tastes bad doesn't mean it's good for you.
- It's hard to admit #8.
- Not all hurt is physical.
- No hurt lasts forever.
i wish there was
to tell my younger self
what i know
and have me
Confronted with another poem to write
My heart says yes, yes, yes
While my stomach says no, no, no
Tap, tap, tap, my fingers dance on the keyboard not a soft shoe
But a waltz of sorts, meandering one two three four
Oft times off beat, two three four, one
Trying to get from this thought to the next
Without tripping over my awkward doggerels
And falling flat on my face, missing my stride
i will silently
scratch and claw your weak skin numb,
tearing you apart
The raindrop descends
as a whole. Then it fractures,
as it falls it transforms into a new song:
a birthday, baby steps, scratching on your roof.
As it grows, it crescendos into a symphony,
outliving the sky. Its notes clinging
to your window. The sounds of the earth echoing
in your ears, a symphony of sounds, a dance of childhood.
Maritime. The first time it touched your skin;
its cacophony serenading your farewell.
Just giving you enough time to breathe,
before it starts again.
A dirge of death to rebirth.
preach to me,
empower me with something
i cannot see
not the good book
i've heard it too many times
speak something clearer,
something that oozes light to the ocean floor,
pulling me up and
extending my poor sight
past horizons of earth
suffusing my skull with a gold nebula,
to soon settle
the blank slates of my mind
warm on my back.
Inching up my shoulders.
Toes curling around blades of grass.
Say nothing more.
wind cuts into my skin as rain pounds into each pore
Demanding its due, some might say
having its Way, others may incline
enthralled with the tide
this Piece of clarity overtaken
the currents of this affair impede each inch of skin
as I lose myself in the mist
each Breath presses against this being
aching for relief
slamming into a coast Too stubborn to corrode
maybe this is drowning
but in truth the tide is just remnants of rain
and you’re just here
willing me to wash away
It caught me mid-step
in the midst of a crowd
I was half-way through my drink
gin&tonic, 50/50 - I like it strong
with a medium-sized slices of lemons
when the band were having their break
It was implied rather than stated
yet still I was almost certain
that midnight had struck
A/N: Once again a yesterday's poem. Today's one is coming later today :)
Make your sea green way to me,
and touch my skin unlike a screen,
but soft and light beyond
that window that we found
our long lost love for none
but us to see.
yay I finally did something for the Poetry a Day collab! I borrowed a clapperboard over the weekend and was inspired to fill in the blanks. I uploaded a blank clapperboard resource so y'all can join in by clicking here.
Roll over you
obscene piece of shit
you take all the blanket in which I was in
dire need. You even used
my toothbrush right before you
came to bed. This is the worst
date I ever had.
I am not yet moved to write poetry about you
so don't go thinking you'll read this and find a reference to the way you pass your knife through fruit
and give me the bigger half
This really doesnt even involve you because you just got here and I've been hanging out for a while
the softness of your white shoulders and the movement of your mass through the too-small universe of your apartment
is what I think about at night
It's nothing personal.
I'll write you when I'm ready and until then I'll settle my score
with the backside of your jeans
and the three different colors in your eyes
the empty hole punched through your ear that misses its pirate hoop
I'll take these things for now and play them like tapes until the next time
I need a place to stay for the night
or my rings returned in the tunnel of data
that bisects the lobby of the New York Times
Write your stupid words in your office on 8th Avenue and stay soft to the touch
I won't write a single thing about you.
bubbles crown the head.
it slips and slide
lulls my heart into your bed.
each grape twisted and pressed
it forgets the word fresh,
so sweet so bitter,
it caresses and abandons
my hungry tongue.
the demons grow,
the demons become silent
hips and lips,
shush and smile,
roar with empty laughter.
and as the walls fall
as the wants grow
i want you, you alone.
i will memorize your scars
and you my bones.
I could fill libraries and the tunnels beneath them with endless tomes about you.
Endless words and sections about your eyes alone.
But I won't sully your grace with weak constructions of man.
I thought you knew
that it was broken.
After all, it was you
who pushed it beyond repair.
Who left me
wishing on eyelashes, stars,
and even clocks
for things to go back
to the way they were.
call, or text, or email.
don't make some desperate attempt to
head sunk into a pillow
with daylight pawing at the blinds,
sleep is so loud, so all-encompassing,
a slumberous honey i reluctantly wade through
to reach morning.
then, the tipping point,
shedding the groggy resistance
& seeing the soporific shackles on me,
sleep's victim suffering stockholm syndrome,
i wake up all over again, this time properly
to hear the hum of the day,
buses in the distance, the clunk of the radiator cooling,
a muffled voice from a neighbouring room,
hours bustling in colour, my mind picking up momentum,
my to-do list diminishing, connecting dots, constructing plots,
and then, just as i feel maximum velocity is in reach,
sleep seductively slips back into my vision,
"remember the good times?"
and i'm done for, again,
down down down.
i draw the blind,
i pretend i haven't seen that last email
& i let drowsiness take me over.
until your tender heart
(from prompt for day 1: open)
Here's my frist VO for my VO for a month commitment. If you have a poem you want me to do a reading of (be it mine or someone else's) let me know.
First, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Star Wars Day! The Force was definitely strong with all of us last month, and those who are starting to take on this challenge.
(Dark Lord of the 5th is where it's at, though. *cough*)
Second, I'd like to thank everyone who read, recommended, and remarked my poems from April. Your kind words, hearts, and hits make my days so much better.
Third, I'd like to mention that writing every day made me take in the days a lot more. I've come to realize that there were some good days, bad days, and days where I felt like I did absolutely nothing productive at all. In a sense, it kind of slowed things down, even though I still feel like April went by so fast.
Finally, I'd like to thank (again) the brilliant mastermind of this collab, Evyn, for the work she's done and for really just creating the collab in the first place. You're awesome (but you already know that)!
Sending love and more thanks,
we had a saying that scared the living out of me
Those port wo-and/or-men who'd one day walk Home just,
Like they'd never see the sky again.
O Mae would say "they already is dead",
"they only alive from the toes
up, the soles that keep them on the ground,
Bad as I've ever seen."
So the human dust on them,
wont allow us to put them away.
I reached the top
An incredible view
Of beautiful words
What does a bee look like naked
down to its bones, white hot on grey?
Is there room, a hollowed nave between
pinstripe bones to build a bed, some
bookcases? Are the bones rafters, the space
between ribs a vaulted ceiling?
Is the foundation solid enough to support
a house? I moved in with some
things, a pile of clothes and art prints I hung
on vertebrae. I made my home in the navel of the bee
surrounded by sun dried skin, singed fibers,
I stay, burrowed
deep where flesh was once pulled tight, elastic,
across the skeleton. The bones crack under the weight
of footsteps. They sway and buckle as I move about
vacuuming, dusting. Is the bee still a bee when the bones
break? Do I still have a home when the bones
turn to dust?
You know that feeling you get
As you are about to fall asleep
Like you are sinking into yourself
Yet drifting off to somewhere else
Falling from where you are
It spreads through you like a shiver
If it startles you and leaves you unsettled
If you fight it, and don't give in
Sleep will always be an elusive bother
Day 29 - Poem-a-day
I was marked Strong by my mother
Who taught me that bravery was how I should view womanhood
My mother who taught me I could be my own Knight in Shining Armor and that I am no one’s Damsel in Distress
I was marked Equal by my father
Whose ‘Klingler & Daughters’ is every bit as good as ‘Someone & Sons’
My father whose back-breaking labors paid for music lessons, running shoes, and study abroad so that I could be anything I wanted
I was marked Hope by my sisters
Who turned to me in their times of fear and need
My sisters who looked to me to show them that the world is as beautiful as it can be cruel
I was marked Human by my actions
Marked by every unkind word
Marked with every selfish pursuit
Marked every time I didn’t say Thank You or I’m Sorry
I was marked Imperfect by man
Marked every time my legs weren’t smooth enough
Or my breasts weren’t large enough
Or my hair not long enough
I was marked Fragile with every “C’mon baby, you owe me.”
I was marked Damaged by the strange hand that slipped between my legs on that crowded rush hour train; by the faceless body that kept me pressed to the door while he explored the places of me I rarely share
I was marked Bitter by the people I turned to for help, and their nonchalant “Just take the attention as a compliment.”
I’ve been marked
By everything and everyone else… but the only thing I’ve marked myself is...
sun rises slowly
lake shines proudly
waves rise and bow
clouds part ways
sky looks upon
wind breaths softly
day has entered
i was bored, so here's a tiny little experiment...
download for better quality...i think...
sorry-i'm not very experienced in uploading videos :/
i'm not a filmmaker whatsoever, so i would love to hear opinions and advice :)
if anyone wanted to remix this in someway, maybe do their own voiceover, i would be so happy! i hate hearing recordings of my own voice...
Let's have a secret runaway day,
just you and me.
Somewhere magnificent we'll play,
meant to be free.
We can sip tea in the tallest trees,
branches as our seats.
Perhaps ride on the cool breeze,
beating the hottest heats.
We'll close our eyes and listen,
as nature plays a song.
At the end watch sunset glisten,
arm in arm where we belong.
It will be the perfect day,
our secret time to play.
Just you and me,
meant to be free.
Hot lemon-filled bulb
In a watercolor ring
Like a ringmaster’s
The clouds decorate
Earth’s necessary life source.
The warmest face
Into the blue sky
Wow. This month... This month has been a hell of a thing for me. To a certain degree, my creativity, my mood and my physical health have all ganged up to flip me around like a rag doll in a series of tornados, and my contributions to hitrecord in general and perhaps the Poem Every Day collab in particular reflect that. Although I always think of myself as a storyteller, and therefore narrative writer first (and doubly therefore, for modern times, prose writer at that) there is so much to love about the loose and free and spoken bravado of poetry that I find myself drawn to it, especially when I have extra creative feeling, energy, and steam to vent. Ironically, I believe that hitRECords strong inclination towards flash and microform prose and narrative has prepped me to be ready to jump into writing poetry again, so cheers to you, Wirrow, for sparking all the quick burning tiny story fuel lines round these parts.
I'll go into more detail looking back at my poems later, but for now, after all this month has put me through, from mood swings to sleep disturbances to medical emergencies to hospital stays, I just want to say thank you for giving me, through this challenge in poetry, a place to vent the fires, good, bad, energizing and horrifying that have been burning all to bright in my life of late. Thank you for that.
He is legion.
He is the king.
A compelling sense of majesty.
cling hard to the bough
then a swift squall, swish and fall
scrunch of arid leaves
She has her back to the door
To the piles of cloth and lace
Upon the creaky bed
The cracks in the unlevel floor
Making the wooden desk
In its jar
She feels no shadow
But only sees
At the corner of her desk
And the crane fly
Twitch the tango
Feels no shadow
Ink drips to the page
As the spider
Sinks in its teeth
Its thousand eyes rolling
As it submits
He is closer now,
Yet still she feels no shadow
As ink spreads
Across her page
Lost is the word ‘quickly’
Gone is ‘afraid’
As the spider
Starts to shake
As the fly’s venom
It’s judgment takes
Still she feels no shadow,
Yet he is closer still,
In the rounded dull corridor
He watches her corseted back
Striped with mellow light,
Feels the point of his knife
Toes to iron bedstead,
Arms reach from the desk:
His million eyes roll in his head
At the peachy fur
Upon her flesh
He is the end, the night
As he sidles up crab like
Yet she feels not his shadow
As the knife bites
And the poison spreads
Like silk handkerchiefs
Venom claims a victim again
I know it's May, but I only made it to 12 poems, so I feel I should keep going! This was inspired by the impossibly creepy paintings of Walter Sickert, which always put me in mind of Jack the Ripper... indeed I believe he did actually do a painting series of a man slowly creeping up on a woman...
And when the walls came tumbling down,
and the floor started to crumble,
I learned to float.
I'll keep this one short:
- Poems are hard
- But also awesome
- Poem-every-other-day is just as good as poem every day
- So even if you missed a few days, come back and post any time
- I can't wait to read your work
- You look great today
- And if you just joined us, AWESOME
- Start your 30 days whenever you want
- Finally, a request for all you talented souls -
- There have been some gorgeous readings and remixes of poems in the last couple of weeks
- LET'S DO MORE
GO FORTH AND POET
He’s on the way to
Siskel saved a seat.
you might step back.
you might wonder about the waves
of intensity, of the sudden
of black irises
pinning you to the spot.
is a vacuum for your thoughts.
and when she speaks,
you are her sole audience.
It’s too late for coffee.
It’s too late to be up.
Here I am anyway
With a steaming hot cup
I should leave,
how I love
the salted sugar
of my heart
breaking on your lips.
all we had was the frenzy of butterflies
under suns curved dive into
casually indifferent water, to which we offered
pier splintered feet.
fine dining went to the mosquitos,
while peanut butter jelly on
regular white sealed our sticky kiss.
once, we connected continents
the purr and pain of deep
blues turned red in air
we sang along to the pleasure
writhing out the cure;
soaring on the hearts of poets
through texas snow in april.
i know how you look
you wont even say hi.
Somehow this week went by a lot faster than last one. I'm going to try to remember why I wrote every poem I did this week then end it off with an overall observation/rant.
April 8: It's The Little Things (http://www.hitrecord.org/records/1277052) - I've always enjoyed twists (I don't know why but I tend to do dark twists). That's all this (and now that I look at it most of the ones I did this week) is. I think it's because I'm really not at all this dark and brutal in real life (nor are my surroundings) that I tend to go dark so frequently in my writing.
April 9 Thump...Thump (or My Heart) (http://www.hitrecord.org/records/1277925) - I just found out (a few weeks back) that I'm getting to the age where I need to start caring for my body. The theme of this poem was inspired by that. I also wanted to try to do both a limerick and haiku then I figured I'd add my typical style in between and voila.
April 10 The Things I've Seen In War (http://www.hitrecord.org/records/1279945) - This one is kinda of depressing. It was influenced by an article I had to do an analytical essay on for school. Sometimes I find myself needing to almost exercise (as in exorcism) my negative emotions before I can write an unbiased essay. That's where this came from.
April 11 How Poets Say Fuck You (or Suicide Note From My Teenage Self) (http://www.hitrecord.org/records/1280740) - I've started listening to a lot of spoken word poetry. This was basically influenced by two main poems 'Scars/To The New Boyfriend' by Rudy Francisco (for style) and 'To This Day' by Shane Koyczan (For content. Meaning I wrote it...
I rummaged through her closet
Finding her shoes I struggled to wedge my foot there
I collapsed to the floor
The light sneaking through
Slits in the corporate blinds
Is clean and thin
So, he guesses, about 6am
Banhi from Accounts
Is gone now
He imagines her driving away
In her beaten up Nissan Micra
With the ‘I heart New York’ sticker on the back,
Taking her scent of
Florid perfume and the smell underneath
Like over ripe peaches in the sun
Sweet, sticky and full of juice
To make its home again
In her husband’s arms
He curls back up
Under his duffle coat
And worries thoughts into
The worn patches
Of the lining
Little snippets of memory
Are returning now
Like Polaroids in a pile,
So parts of the pictures
He remembers the kiss
Not the first
Cool touch of lips
But The Kiss,
Up against the water cooler
In the hallway by Section B
The long, warm journey into Her
Like going back into himself
Like Sunday morning under the blankets
Watching black and whites
With a steaming mug of bitter coffee
She had stepped back from him
And begun to undress, right there in the hall
Her fragile brown body
Too tangible under the strip lighting,
That it made her surreal,
Like the coffee machine
Had become confused
And poured out molten woman instead
The Heat of her
The incredible Heat in his arms
The ecstasy in
Finally rolling her name around his mouth like an olive
And dropping it into hers
Those two tiny syllables had dominated him for months
Haunted the deathlike space between wake and sleep
Wiggled its way into his work,
Refused to leave,
Always inserting a comma after itself,
So the next one slotted straight into place
He speaks it now
Shyly into the empty room
Listens to the way it moves of its own...
I certainly can guarantee
That you are not my cup of tea.
not sure why i spend so many hours doing this
idly clicking through the many pages
wasting my most valuable resource, time
i'm not sure what i'm afraid of
i don't think it's failure
i think it's more like success
or maybe it's just hard work
or maybe i just love the distractions more than i think i do
my father said to me once that he had come to terms with this in himself
that he used to give himself a hard time for watching some bad tv show
but then he decided
no, you know what, if that's what i'm choosing to do,
it's because that's what i really want to do
i thought at the time that this was a cop-out
but it haunts me
what if he's right?
what if our true purpose is to watch grey's anatomy?
i can't think of anything more terrifying.
That's how I'll die.
It will sound glamorous and old fashioned
To my evolved and eco-symbiotic
When they mentally scan my digital archives
They'll pause, charmed and superior,
Gazing at the photos of joyful me and food.
"How cute," they'll say.
"Look at grandma with her soda pop."
"Another one with a burger!
The old dame liked milkshakes,"
They'll laugh, and underneath their humoring smiles,
A twinge of shame.
"Another shot of her with her take-out,"
"Can you believe she used plastic containers?"
"I bet that's microwave popcorn."
They won't say cancer or lupus
Or diabetes type 2
"Poor old grannie,"
"She died of consumption."
We’ve just passed the one week mark in the poem every day challenge!
Congrats to everyone who made it the first seven days with seven poems up – I know that is not an easy feat. But the good news is that the first week is probably the hardest. The thing about creativity, I think, is that you can’t really run out of it. Creativity begets more creativity – the more you use, the more you have, and even though you might be thinking you'll be limping to the finish line on Day 30, by then this will almost certainly be easier to do, not harder.
And if I'm lying, you can throw a tomato at me or eviscerate me in fiction or something.
Also - if you only just found out about this challenge, or didn’t quite hit the seven poems, THAT IS TOTALLY OKAY. The most important thing is that you’re here doing it when you can, and that you’re taking part in whatever way works for you.
This challenge isn’t about 30 poems in 30 days - that’s just the mechanism. That's the how, not the why. The purpose of this challenge is to stretch yourself as an artist and, ultimately, to surprise yourself. When you have to write every day, you can’t plan it or obsesses over it, you just have to get the words on the page. And it’s remarkable what can come from that simple act.
The other thing about this challenge is that it forces writers to grapple with some of their most dreaded horrors, over and over.
You have to face the terror of the blank page, every day. You have to defy writer’s block, every day. You have to share your work with your peers, every day. You have to be satisfied enough with a piece to call...
It was a medium for ideas, heat, and sound,
So we decided to call it a "Human", a noun.
out among the stricken corn,
the air is ominous.
it fills my throat with tar.
so heavy, it sinks
like rust into the bones of a city.
we have forgotten
to fly like birds
we'll fall like stars
All share a table.
(Just finished my science midterm.)
The only time a hickey is funny
is when it's self inflicted with an object unexpected
let me become a habit
a part of your life that you can't shake
This collaboration is an invitation, a challenge, NAY, a DARE — can you write a poem a day, every day, for a month?
Here is the mad scheme - write 30 poems in 30 days. That's it. One month of your life, one poem every day.
We tattered few who have done it can promise: it’s kind of awful, kind of wonderful, never easy, and always worth it.
ARE YOU A WRITER? BRING IT.
Get your poem-a-day on!
Start right now! Or tomorrow! Or after you've had a bagel! Whatever!
NOT A WRITER? NO PROBLEM.
There is so much poetry here you can use as raw material. Make a blackout poem! Do a voiceover! Make a short film inspired by a poem! Take some of these poems and use them as song lyrics! Illustrate them! Animate them! Remix to your heart's content!
You can submit your voiceovers or performances to the RECITE A POEM EVERY DAY collab.
For more details on Poem Every Day, here is a quick FAQ.