Tag Archives: Napowrimo 2017

Regular Poem: NPR Is Going to Straight Murder Me

20 Apr

all things considered
i’m still listening to NPR
yesterday it was an interview with
a lexicographer

and i found myself
in sumptuous daydreams
about words
and their etymologies
and their first printed usages
an idealized version
of myself
sitting in a dark gothic library
scouring microfiches
i see the exact outfit i’m wearing
navy pencil skirt
cream and olive vertical striped blouse
cream cardigan
cream ankle strap pumps
a lot of rings
shimmery nude lipstick
i always feel like
a member of the bletchley circle
when i wear that
but

in this fantasy
instead of a murder board
i’ve got
word diagrams
in that phonetic alphabet
i wish i’d taken a course on
in real life
and then i’m spiraling
and wishing and regretting
instead of fantasizing

i swear
why don’t i listen
to a different radio station

Regular Poem: A Rose Is a Rose Is a Rose

19 Apr

if you ever needed more evidence
that flowers
are just
pretty weeds

try to kill a rose bush

i dare you

it comes back
more luscious
and thorny
than before
and seemingly
in a matter of
minutes

just embrace the rose bush
accept the rose bush
make it the centerpiece
of your yard

but as soon as you do that
lay any expectation on it
it dies

i don’t know whether it’s a
paradox or
a conspiracy

Regular Poem: I’m Not Gonna Write You a Love Song

18 Apr

there’s a subgenre
of country western song
that’s all about
fist cities
and
taking jobs and shoving them
and
keys into sides of pretty little souped up four wheel drives
and
goin’ home and loadin’ shot guns waiting by the door lighting cigarettes

all precipated
by ill-fated
damaged and damaging
love affairs

they’re gorgeous
and terrible
indulgent
and twangy

but where
are all the
rage jazz tunes

i want to hear
julie london
croon to me
in that sexy basement register of hers
about vindictive vandalism

what would that sound like

a walking upright bass
the sizzle of a symbol
igniting
a tremble in the treble keys of a piano
then slow purring alto fury

now you say you’re sorry
when all you’ve got left is ash
you didn’t say i’m sorry
when all my hopes you did dash

the piano follows
the spiraling the ratcheting up
the bass drum’s
like a broken heartbeat

you thought you had my number
thought you could do me wrong
that i’d sit back and take it
but my fuse is short and my memory’s long

the strings pick up
the brass wails
it’s the chorus and we know
the ex-lover’s in for it now

the fire of our desire burned out
but passion in motion stays in motion
so i wasn’t going to stay home and pout
i’ll bet you’re wishing a lot of things
as your mercedes blows smoke rings
you were my bembo and i was your borgia
but that was over the day you left me
and tonight’s the night the lights go out in georgia

Regular Poem: Sassy Shoulders

17 Apr

it didn’t make sense to me
until it did
one day i looked in the mirror
like weeks later
and i was like
yeah
those girls were right

it’s not like
nobody’s ever seen them before
work cycles through phases
just like my dreams
unlike the moon
because the moon makes sense

but still distinct phases
with discernible beginning and ending points
several weeks i’ll dream about
winning large jackpots
but i’m not excited
just worried
about how much tax will be taken out
and the next several weeks will be
that recurring cabin in the woods
where there’s always a different large dinner party
several weeks
the kids at work all want to pull my hair
the next several weeks
i get my shirt ripped off over and over

so it’s not
as if they’d never seen
my shoulders before

but sometimes
they are just
strikingly
more sassy
i guess

it’s nonsense
but
i’ll take it

Regular Poem: Myths and Legends

16 Apr

a good cry
is a myth
or maybe a legend

i’ve had a lot of cries
all dissatisfying

i cry
and i want to cry more
or

i cry
and i want to throw somebody
off a building
take a chainsaw
to somebody’s BMW
storm into a wedding and
pitch the cake into
the pinterest birdhouse card receptacle
call my congressman and deliver a long diatribe
take a nap

i’m never
cried out
and it never
is cathartic

but maybe it’s just not
within the capabilities of my personality

crying turns out
to just be another way
to rile myself up
my tears are vinegar
my face baking soda
and it’s all just a third grade volcano
the science fair
gives me a participation ribbon
sends me home until next year

crying in the shower
is all right
but that’s probably
more to do with steam
the cleansing of sinuses and skin
that transfers accidentally to soul

crying in the car
almost always a terrible idea

while somebody strokes your hair
and tells you you’re justified
really the only way to go
but that’s a luxury not often available

while you punch your heavy bag
8/10 recommend
can get messy, turn into
drinking a little too much bourbon afterward
but much better than standing over
raw chicken you’re trying to freezer package in individual servings

overall
a good cry is a myth
a necessary cry–
an overflow of garbage feelings
that manifests
sometimes while you’re taking a sledgehammer
to a shop vac that doesn’t achieve ample suction–
is
well
sometimes
necessary

Regular Poem: Gory Details of My Most Recent Illness

15 Apr

descriptions fit for gothic horror
all familial curses
obsolete medical terminology
symbols motifs haunting images
flowery prose
depicting both the physical symptoms
and the ensuing madness
winding metaphors
and then curt blunt
grotesquerie
a winding path of feeling and supposition
facts and fantasy
and fever nightmares
phantasmagoric in toto

all of it delivered via text message
with pics so you know it’s real

i wonder if all spinsters
go through the same stages
until they’re all
the same woman
who says condescending things to you
over a coors light at a garage party

like did she go through the
oversharing graphic descriptions of all three bouts of strep throat to anyone who would listen
phase
early in her spinsterhood

will i be the same kind of weird
she is when i’m
fifty five and have had the same
haircut for thirty years

does it even matter
will i even care
about how weird i am
by then

do i even care now
how weird i am

am i being
judgemental
misogynistic
ageist
amatonormative

really i’m just wondering
and just trying
to get rid of this strep

Regular Poem: There Are Worse Things I Could Do

14 Apr

He always said
I looked like Rizzo
in this shirt,
and tonight
I feel like her
or perhaps more accurately
like the woman she might’ve
grown up to be.

There are worse things I could do
than drink a Miller High Life or two;
I don’t steal and I don’t lie,
but I can do laundry and I can cry.

But maybe I’m not grown-up Rizzo at all.
Judging from the Christmas lights
I just put up in my bedroom,
I’m probably Stockard Channing:

A thirty year old
playing a teenager.

Regular Poem: Saying Things, Hearing Things

13 Apr

“They’re jealous because you’re cute,”
she said.
Of course she would.

Some people
say things to say things
or to manipulate
to scam
to mock
to accuse
thoughtless heartless fruitless.

And then there are the people
who say things to edify
to lift up
to strengthen
to bolster
selfless guileless.

It’s probably not true, what she said.
But she wouldn’t have said it
if she hadn’t have thought it
true.

She says
all kinds of things like that–
those things she believes and I
wish she were right about.
She says
all kinds of things,
and I always hear
her love.

Regular Poem: In Medias Res

12 Apr

They say
good stories
start
in medias res.

Almost all stories in real life
do.
You’re talking
to somebody you’ve just met,
and she’s telling you
about Brian
and the dog track,
and you don’t interrupt
to inquire about the identity
of Brian,
the location
of the dog track.

You listen with your binoculars
and telephoto lens
in your ’90s Firebird
on the stake out in your mind,
spilling stale brain coffee on yourself
as you investigate, put the pieces
of this person’s puzzle
together.

It’s even better
when the story has a lot of exposition
but the kind that only adds to the mystery.

She’s telling you something about Brian
and the dog track
when suddenly she’s
also telling you

every detail
about why the dog track
is no longer operable
and why it was not converted
into a casino.
There are dates and figures
and conspiracy theories.
You still don’t know
who Brian is.
Or how all these loose ends
will ultimately be woven
into cohesion.

In the Law and Order
episode in your mind
where you’ve moved on from the
stake out scene
to the interrogation scene,
you’ve got her behind a two-way mirror, and she’s spilling, and
you’re waiting.

But it’s not like that.
Not really.

The assistant district attorney never
shows up.
You flip the channel
before the concluding
court scene.

You leave
with a piece of somebody–
that piece
perpetually
in medias res–
somebody somehow decided
to bestow upon you.
And you also know
a lot more
about the dog track.
Wherever it is.
And you still don’t know
who Brian is.

Regular Poem: Hammock Nap

11 Apr

a hammock nap
is the best nap
a sunshine nap
waking up to a soft breeze
looking up to see
a large bird veering toward you
then away
smiling
pretending it’s an eagle

a hammock nap
doesn’t do you dirty
like a couch nap
leave you bewildered and ten years older
like a bed nap

a hammock nap
can give you a sunburn
but that first sunburn of the year
is so revitalizing anyway
ecdysiastic

some waltz of a rain
can chase you out of your hammock
but you always run laughing

a hammock nap
is the best nap

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