Monday, April 30, 2018

#NaPoWriMo Last Day Poem

Prelude To A Sequel of The Great Vowel Shift
Even if you’re a well beloved, or at least unavoidable, car company
Or a radio network with only 5 stations (but they form a cute pentagon)

You were the kind of person who has to write 10 pages to get 3 good lines,
Clinging to meaning like the promise of pain in a drought,

Or a radio network with only 5 stations (but they form a cute pentagon),
A mess of misunderstanding between the aesthetic & ethical

Clinging to meaning like the promise of pain in a drought
“It’s been awhile since we had some poison, and you want to be realistic, right?”

A mess of misunderstanding between the aesthetic & ethical:
“You’re welcome for making lemonade out of the lemons I gave you.”

“It’s been awhile since we had some poison, and you want to be realistic, right?”
“…. she was a far better marriage counselor after she got divorced.”

“You’re welcome for making lemonades out of the lemons I gave you”
“I think you’d be happier if your standards were higher.”

“… she was a far better marriage counselor after she got divorced.”
The sling sighs far & wide, or try out the new pocket pack, my secular friends

“I think you’d be happier if your standards were higher
Even if you’re a well beloved, or at least unavoidable, car company,

The sling sighs far & wide, or try out the new pocket pack, my secular friends
You were the kind of person who has to write 10 pages to get 3 good lines.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

April Draft #29

Sunday 4-29
A nun with a gun said the sun is a hun, 
so say you haven’t stood on an actual 
liminal beach with feet in wet sand
(why does coast seem rockier than shore?)
and felt the waves lap at your ankles
or perhaps that rust-proof wheelchair
or to stand your ground in scuba gear
amphibious merman statuesque squip
in between the crest and the break
of a wave acting llke a wall…..
and there’s this longing, or hunger
to write it down so you don’t have to do it

but you can’t just write, and memories
don’t have to hurt, like the time I told
the bully on the rich side of town,
“each moment is a mansion” and
Cambridge Analytica knows what happened next…
It has something to do with the common myth
That happiness is more fragile than sadness
And its (14 year old) cousin myth
“Reason is more fragile than nature”
and when they marry, after the sealing kiss,
the bouquet lands on heaven
who had recently divorced hell
and now had her eyes set on pop culture
who had recently divorced mom culture
whose (mom & pop) store, now renamed
Spirit and Daughters, sold skies for smiles

or the sea that made cost coast along
like the smoothiest sappy organic symmetry
ever sailored ever wailered, ever Rita Marley
ever suspiration ever slipstream landlocked
Styrofoam heartland night bleed drench quench
To be the moon to listen to that which howls
As an eye might take up the page’s invitation
To talk back to it in a way that transcends argument
Or at least lets the lie fallow until absolutely
Necessary, and if you sound so sure of yourself
It means you’re in the shore of yourself, and
What’s an argument but an overgrown quip
As I could surely write a book length dissertation
On the relationship between the iconography
Of those surfin, turfin, Beach Boys
& the increased number of Beached whales
or the coincidence that inflation rates
remained slow and low in America
until “Up Up Away In My Beautiful Balloon”
rose up the charts, and even higher
when “99 Luftballoons” came out…..
and happiness doesn’t have to be
more fragile than sadness….

Saturday, April 28, 2018

April Draft #28

“What Me Beg?”

Does a self need a mirror more than a body?
The escalator runs smoothly in the confused ocean.
The kettle was watching the pot on the back burner
it called black as if that was a put down, and so
it never boiled so you didn’t have to leave the kitchen
to avoid the heat. That was a lot of work, for little
pay off, and how’s it gonna help you find a job?

“Hollywood loves the pathetic fallacy almost 
as much as poets do. Look it bought me a moaning 
mink coat” maybe it’s the moon of metonymy
spreading moon happy hamburgers athwart the pride 
of short wide Baby boomer extrovert gurus
who have so many battles to pick from, they
decide on Ringo, who contains all, as if there
can be wonder beyond superstition, and awe
could be admirable did it not sound like 
a brigadier admiral melting each penny
he steps on with his fiery therapeutic boots
that separate each toe, and shouldn’t mercenary
be more of a put down than prostitute and I’d cry
mercy if I knew the meaning of the word,

but then I remember that Alice Cooper teenage song
you can’t get a girl if you can’t get a job
and you can’t get a job if you can’t get a girl
and when I was in the so-called romantic marketplace,
I learned that often the second you stop looking,
that’s when your lover or soulmate would appear
even if the temptations to be “male” & make the first move
or take the bull by the horns are too strong
so if you ask how’s this gonna help you find a job
just remember how much damage you did to yourself
on a wild goose chase trying to find one. Namaste (LOL LLC).
and your partner says, it takes a lot of memory
to clear the toxins from the river of forgetfulness.

Friday, April 27, 2018

April Draft #27

Is there a way to compliment you
without it sounding like a come-on line?
Why does it always sound like an insult 
when someone says “I envy you?”

In the glades today, I overheard 
a shepherd tell her son, “if you’re going
to be envious, at least have the decency
to know what you’re envious of.”
“Too much work, screw envy!”

Reverse psychology? I love the rhetorical
sleights that can suck you out
of human essentialism almost as much
as those that can seduce you back into it.

I love the way you incomplete me 
and yes if you want compliments,
I have to get better….at compliments.
Stiff to my ear, the beautiful, kind, and lovable
words fail such practical praise

Perhaps coz I’ve been trained to be 
so on the lookout for flattery
that I can’t take anybody’s compliment
and certainly this is a failing in me
(I took “you can’t take a compliment”
as a compliment!), unless it’s better
to look, not for compliments, but complements…

“What do I have to do so you stop
envying me, so I can envy you?”
“Ooh, ooh, baby, I wanna comp you.”

Thursday, April 26, 2018

April Draft #26

I Feel So Unnecessary…

I could cry out, “I wish I could please you tonight”
or hold my tongue until it could be expressed more poetically,
but the phrase triggers a song in the iPod of my memory
that probably distracts me from the task at hand—

Linda Thompson sang those words in the 80s
“…but my medicine won’t come on right”
and then her husband joins her on the chorus
with his low voice, harmonizing: 
“I’m walking on a wire, and I’m falling.”
Should love take the form of a high wire act?
& I still don’t know why rising in,
or even out of, love never caught on.

I’ve heard critics say Richard Thompson is not
a great lyricist, and maybe that’s true on the page,
but what does it mean for a man to write
the lyrics for his wife to sing
about why she’s leaving him…?
a mystery of who or what is singing to whom
or just another patriarchal voice over?

And it reminds me of the time you tried 
to please me, but failed, and I didn’t leave,
and it’s been years since I’ve heard it
& I used to know the chords, and loved
the guitar solo, and maybe when I get a piano again,
I could try to remember it

Coz I feel the piano playing
even if I don’t sing or remember the words
could please you tonight, but without it,
I feel lost, must lean on wit or “social relevance”
which I thought brought you pleasure
but maybe you just tolerated it for me
coz it’s not able to please you tonight,
and then I could cry out,
in sadness, “I feel so unnecessary”
or hold my tongue when I remember
how joyous Rufus Thomas sounds
when he sings it in “Funky Chicken”…

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


The Ghost of Poetry Months Past
Some speak of white on white crime, white on black crime,
and for others there’s the poetry wars.
I admire how you kept aloof from the poetry wars.
There are many who pretend to be outside the poetry wars
And a few who really are. Sometimes, at night, by the fire, 
conversation could pass for the poetry wars.
We had hours of merriment making fun of the poetry wars,
the gentlemanly righteousness, the wit sharpened gossip
and bumbled rope a dope in the poetry wars,
the social life of solitary people in the poetry wars
defined myself divined the de-defined in the poetry wars
a critic said I held out an olive branch in the poetry wars
though sometimes the branch is on fire
there were even wars to figure out which were
the most important poetry wars,
the confusion of introvert & extrovert, 
the equal sign between ideology & temperament
Soul Car never caught on like Soul Train in the poetry wars.
Up became left and down right in the poetry wars
A broet said the pun is another broet’s “fatal Cleopatra”
 in the poetry wars. Can the content be beauty 
and the form truth in the poetry wars?
Does one have to get away from poetry
to get away from the poetry wars
to return twenty years later, as if post-poetry wars?
Did the internet save us from the poetry wars?
Or is there a twinge of nostalgia?
And at a certain point, you have to
let a few words lie uninterrogated….

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

April Draft #24

National Sadness Week

You could identity with 
the way the calm day suffers
and the storm is in denial
like a portrait of a smile
with no face but a failed crop
makes the farmer feel helpless
so back to tending the mules
or letting the mules tend him
and maybe leaving it alone will help
and the butterfly of sadness
has flown into the net
it brought me, in its beak,
as a gift, so I could free it 
for if it didn’t fly freely
no doubt mankind
would be even more