Saturday, April 28, 2018

Day 28 NaPoWriMo: Rules to Live by

I followed the prompt and did a prose poem for a post card.

Post Card: Rules to Live by

Please mention to your five year old self that spoons are for noses and forks are for music. The tenor and alto are not for your vocals, only soprano will do. Try harder. Then try a little harder until the hard becomes a rhythm and write using a pen, not a pen using you. The music stops and you stop. Our robotic envy,  we need to see the movement of others, we need the sound of their breath to assure us that we breathe too, that we live too.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Day 13 NaPoWriMo: Earth

Playing catch up again and still more poems to go! I chose to up end the statement "it's raining cats and dogs"


It's raining people.
They fall like
angels without wings,
neither animal or apostle,
neither holy or evil;
they fall forever
in the spaces between
paradise and the abyss,
a place of air and fire,
made from the clay
of their rough skin
scorched from the sun
upon this beautiful Earth.

Day 12 NaPoWriMo: Haibun: Bare

I'm playing catch up!

Haibun: Bare

A bear found asphalt on a summer’s day
on the cracked roads.
A tire found the bear’s grand paw and up
there in an old rot tree
the bear climbed; its bulk hung like a branch.

Suburbanites took
pictures of a wild pain.
Their Facebook read: ‘bare.”

Day 27 NaPoWriMo: The Devil

Followed the prompt and chose "The Devil" for my tarot card here. I wanted to attribute humans in some kind of animalistic way so I chose us to be the mouse, the devil's prey.

The Devil
To pray or prey the devil
knows both the hunted
and hunter, fallen
and glorified.

He does not require speech. He moves and the world moves. He blinks and the world blinks.
He perches like a hawk
that waits for the mouse
to peek out from its hole
for a chance at Eden.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Day 26 NaPoWriMo: Reality

On prompt. Tried to use all of the 5 senses in this one.


You are being entertained
in your hot seat
eyes watch in the window
pink copper canyons majesty
forever made from the palm
of love and greed
pixels become images
hair and wrinkles
stretched and straightened

Your ears are being energized
audio synthesis
beautiful voices
laughter rage sustained
our bodies burn with the sounds
we feed from carbohydrate
to entertainment
the collapse of speech

You are being entertained
our slurs and side thoughts
recorded in rapid speed
we write what we think
we do not think
we speak
our tongues search engines
that churn the abyss

You are being entertained
and all the screens
technicolor sites
as if we could see
really see
into this world
we do not create,
but we only think we can
like the little engine
we could build a planet out of code
brick by numbered brick
baked clay rough on our brain

But we are being entertained
there is no plan B
as a species,
we are entertained
by the simplest of things.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Day 25 NaPoWriMo: No Warning

On prompt today, what warning label do I come with? None. You just have to figure out as you get to know me...

No Warning

I don't come with warning labels
              take me
                                  leave me
I am a living liability.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Day 24: NaPoWriMo Elegy

Followed the prompt and wrote an elegy for my grandmother.


I will remember you as the

that flew in through the porch

the one that fluttered into my

and waited for me to take it

and let you go.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Day 11: NaPoWriMo Woman

Playing catchup...

My state of the union haiku.


Our bodies contain
choices and movements, but words
quiet our freedom.

Day 23: NaPoWriMo Sequence

I followed the prompt by listening to other people talk about their dreams and then I wrote down my interpretation.


He talks numbers in his dreams
counts restless formulas
wakes to technicolor sweat
his body thick with numbers,
he forgets how to speak.


The old conversations
close your tongue.
You recount the arguments
and calculate the number of
seconds, minutes, hours 
that it took your anger to turn
its cheek and laugh.


I laugh deep into the mating call
thirsty to contain murmurs and violins
the sound of the violent tide and forest,

salt and wood, frog and bird, the locust 
recede like silk over skin.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Day 22: NaPoWriMo Fire Flies

Followed the prompt for the sun rising in the west...

Fire Flies

At night fire flies emerge
from the west like a hundred suns.
They warm the night into day,
glow and move through the trees,
lighting up the corners and spaces
that the sun forgets in the day.
They wash the night clean,
letting time quiet and soften.
They confuse the earth’s turn,
making darkness into dawn;
all the suns rise and hover.
It’s so easy to capture a whole star
in a glass jar and then let it           go

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Day 21 NaPoWriMo: Petals in Wax

I followed the prompt and decided to riff off of the Narcissus myth a little bit.

Petals in Wax

She watches her face in the mirror

stares at her body, nose, and eyes
and sees her cheeks turn to roses,
her tears form into spring bells,
and her lips kiss into the first tulips;
her arms grow into lilies and trumpets
her buttocks hydrangeas in bloom.

But her petals begin to pucker
So she presses herself into a book
all of her youth captured in
between wax and paper
now lain into a relic and flat
brown and wrinkled
all the time wasted

in the mirror she did not
seek out a love that will last.

Day 20 NaPoWriMo: The Location Rebel

I followed the prompt and went with breaking out of a habit. I always insist on writing new material at cafes or libraries or anywhere else, but home...

The Location Rebel

I write on a hotel complimentary breakfast table
And in a loud café and tune everything out.
I write outside in the spring and summer
and in my tent just as dawn moves the horizon.
I write in the local library with the smell of books.
But I don’t write at home in my office room,
I don’t pull up a chair and sit my notebook
on my desk, I don’t wake up at 5 in the morning
and stumble into my room before anything else.
But for this poem, I wrote in my room and
listened to the occasional car swish by
and realized how the sun slants through
the windows onto my bookshelves;
I could stay in here and write forever.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

NaPoWriMo Day 19: Marble

For day nineteen of NaPoWriMo, I used the prompt. I took a paragraph from a short story I wrote and then began to erase words. It's interesting that the paragraph itself is describing a man helping his aging wife, but when I finally put the poem together it almost became sexual. A surprise since the sound and meaning of it didn't come across until I had taken the words and put them together.


He starts tightening my soiled clothes
with a wet cloth.
He takes everything, rubs out my curved
spine, rests me
down the hall rummaging with a cream-
colored dress.
I remember before we had children,
he lifted each
limb, adjusted them to rest on his shoulders
while I noticed
my stockings smooth into a pale marble.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Day 18 NaPoWriMo Sons of Sinew

The poem I used for my prompt was Nightstick by Kevin Young.

Sons of Sinew

sinew of sun
hands cover the earth
in a horizon gilded 
in the cage of skin
bone and blood
reborn into a sphere
honey ribbons down
upon the peacekeeers 
with their weapons 
made of God and glory
we see you in all the spaces 
the blood bleeds rivers
because handcuffs only work
if the living still live
who will blow the brain 
of a red heron into the lake
dark with death skin
the wrong direction
angles us all onto choices
don't bare your skin
but bear with me my
blood weight heavy arms
stretch up say shoot shoot
we're ready when it arrives
the end will feel breathless
like a horned beast 
that punctures your faith
or a revolver made of skin
the barrel smells like new money
sharp enough to cut a finger
and music plays down the street 
with all the forks and spoons
on the dinner table set for zero
only one heart beats in a room of death
but all of them have lungs
and skin like book covers
their bodies lined up like notebook paper
all of them old humans except one boy
three hole punches in his stomach
that blossoms into violets 
too many to count
but they glisten wet with blood
their petals a raw flesh
delicate and thin
daily weekly they bloom 
more and more on new boys
as they lay down without thoughts
praise the peace the quiet
nothing happens here
in temples to worship
the god of skin
reborn as violets 
fear and loathing
the sons of sinew 
lay upon the death slab
nothing new happens here

Monday, April 16, 2018

Day 17: NaPoWriMo - Adventures at Dammasch

This is for my mother who has stories of her life growing up in foster care in Oregon and about her mother who loved her, even if the system wouldn't let her.

Adventures at Dammasch*

She’ll tell you stories about piglets,
rubber boots, rotten eggs

over the head, and deep purple bruises.
She’ll tell you about a girl who had

who pitched soft ball with arms made of steel,
wilder than the Oregon frontier in the
rain shadow.

She’ll tell you stories about hunger,
eating mayo warm from the

stories of a girl who died by darkness
in the valley of the snow
melt river;

a girl whose mama was strapped with leather
over breasts, arms, legs and

convulsed in a stigmata of electrodes;
smothered by people in

She didn’t fly over the cuckoo’s nest;
she lit up like foxfire in the rain, in the

*Dammasch State Hospital in Willsonville, Oregon was a mental health hospital founded in 1961 and closed in 1995.

Day 10: NaPoWriMo...Threads

Still playing catchup...


In the street, laying on a wool blanket
out pours jasmine tangled with marigold;
the street seller lounges and smokes his pipe.

A boy begs in the monsoon rain, his shirt
torn, his mouth tired; his lips hold guava
a memory of his mother’s sweet milk.

Silk wraps women into their own smooth skin,
their bindis pools of vermillion,
bangles move music into their bodies.

A woman mixes water and wheat grass,
soaks their threads, forms patties, dries them on
rocks, then chews and eats; her body a blade

a sharp knife in the

Day 9: Coin Purse

I'm playing catchup today. With exams and team work, it's been a crazy couple of weeks!

a coin and a purse
come together; one
carries the other.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Day 8 NaPoWriMo: Arrivals and Departures

For Day 8 of NaPoWriMo, I wrote a fantastical poem. A poem of nine lives and nine deaths.

Arrivals and Departures

in your first life a cobra struck
your back right paw
the poison felt
like bath water
that lost its warmth
when you came back
you danced with
that same cobra and found
that it bled blue in
the afterlife
you painted the world
with its blood to celebrate
your next death
how your lover
fed you to the rats
or your third where
a butcher mistook
you for a meal or the next
when a mortal shaved your fur
until the blade cut bone
you bled blue and your skin
forgot how to make fur
you grew scales instead
and swam and swam
and watched Bastet
drown beside you
in the modern river
asphalt so black
it could be blue
the forth you didn’t drown
but you shivered furless
and curled up cold
your fifth you climbed
a great fir tree
to catch your prey
but you never found
a way back down again
your sixth you curled
next to the engine of a car
the seventh a coyote
caught your tail
and ate you whole
your eighth a little boy
dropped you from high up
to see if you landed
on your back
or on your paws
your ninth you ate
your last meal
hunted your last squirrel
and counted down all
your afterlives and inbetweens
and found a cobra
a young one
to let you bleed

blue and               depart

NaPoWriMo Day 7: A Wife on Writing and Men

Day 7 of NaPoWriMo, I followed the prompt and created two lists. One that lists all of my identities and another that lists how I feel powerful or vulnerable. I am a wife and a writer and my husband makes me feel powerful and encourages me to grow as a writer, I know that not every relationship is this way.

A Wife on Writing and Men

You chose well even if you didn’t know it at the time.
It only matters that you know it now and
That he knows how much you appreciate
The hours of solitude at your little desk.

It only matters that you tell him by writing a poem
And leave it in his lunch for him to find.
You know you could have chosen a man
Who wanted to keep you back.

You could have chosen a man who didn’t see the point
of writing your words on a page or
You could have chosen someone who
Burned your words with envy.

But you didn’t, so never forget how he holds you in place
When you sit in your chair and gather doubt
Around you like a sickness. He washes it away.
His voice is rare, but it is full of words
most men don’t have the courage to say. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

NaPoWriMo Day 6: A Small Revelation

For day six of NaPoWriMo, I followed the prompt and tried out different line sizes and experimented with space.

A Small Revelation

you pick up a rock and it’s a rock
but when you feel it
its edges
it becomes         more
it becomes c o l o r

when you take your finger over it              take your
                                                                                                  pause in its crevices    
its becomes more than a rock

when you            sip          its grains and scratch off its pieces          it becomes    


a landscape

a piece of something large           but

                                                           no less significant

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Day 5: NaPoWriMo - In the Flat

Used Day 5's prompt and used the photo below and took inspiration from the Basque poem 

Sure they are hungry wild dogs
Flea-bitten deep to the bone and glory
Here in the flatlands all of us are bone deep
And flat, the land so flat trees hide.

We’re all hungry for shadows
we build like the moles, hills out of the flatness
to hide our bodies
from the sun and sky
to build ourselves the possibility of having a shadow cast
against our landscape and turn our flatlands
into more than the plane that we know
but a place where we can bask in the dark
and not feel so wide, so exposed
and the hungry dogs feel less hungry

our bodies no longer the tallest thing in the flat.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

NaPoWriMo Day 4: Chaos


A hologram grows difficult
Music becomes red, red becomes human
She played the banjo and violin
The thin line of logic separates
As the butterfly from the chrysalis
Your eyes deceive into universe
The blast and the suck, stars die
Music plays on, our capillaries grow
Difficult and gold becomes human
She sang a Sousa march in the church
And one day we’ll walk into the sun
And believe our mother ironed
Our bed sheets with her love,
But we’ll find she had a tool
That heated and cooled
But it too died like the stars
She too died like the stars
Her music no longer human
a black hole nothing feels like


NaPoWriMo Day 3: In a Certain Order

I'm 10 minutes late to day three, but no matter what I still wrote it! This is a list of poem titles sewn together. I little lumpy, like a homemade quilt, but it more or less works.

In a Certain Order

In a certain order, the roots grow thick.
Special numbers in dance cards, in
the river chameleon, these weapons
come natural, comb and poppy
concentric circles in the humor
of predators and paper females
on Sunday’s she feigns pretentious
into serial waterfalls and sips bubbly.
Maybe the world grows colder, but
In a certain order, the frost seals
the summer into the earth and
she cartwheels into spring
her blue boat, her glass slipper

her body moving into poetry.

Monday, April 2, 2018

NaPoWriMo Day 2: Snow Bird

This poem was originally in third person plural, but I changed it to second. It makes the meaning of the poem change slightly and makes it more personal.

Snow Bird

You travel south for the winter,
your wrinkled hands steer your RV.
You park in the grand lot of Arizona
where you nest, squawk, sip margaritas,
lay out your creaking joints, and sleep.

One night in the RV park, you watch
a woman and her two boys fight the police,
drop their back packs and belongings;
rounded up like livestock and cuffed.
Their things sit in the dust until you
get up and throw all of it in the trash.

The next day you wake up slow,
stretch, make breakfast, strong coffee,
rustle your wisps of gray hair,
perch in the sun, and watch like a crow;

your beak bitter and sharp.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

NaPoWriMo: Day 1 - Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food

The first day of NaPoWriMo. It never feels like spring until National Poetry Month comes around. Writing a poem a day for thirty days is a way for everyone to awaken to spring and to sun, to get our heads out of hibernation and winter and open our eyes new. Happy National Poetry Month! Hope you'll join everyone for the challenge to write a poem a day.

Today's prompt asks for us to write a poem about a secret shame or a secret pleasure. My poem is both a shame and a pleasure...

Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food

The empty pint contains nothing
so it has never contained anything;
tabula Rasa, a blank slate.
I cleaned the chocolate out, no residue,
just water droplets, the lid is wet too.
You will not find it on the counter
or at the top of the recycling bin.
I buried it in the garbage can
covered it up with carrot scraps,
banana peels, and coffee grounds,
never to be seen again.
Not a calorie or gram of fat passed
these lips.
someone, I will not name names,
looked in the freezer and saw the hole,
the place where something’s missing.
They shut the freezer and looked at me,
                                                                and only me,
handed me the car keys and pointed
in the direction of the grocery store.
“Go get me some more.”