On my dresser, crumpled like sin lies a leotard,
gold lamé scarab’d like a 24 carat snake skin,
black lycra arms tightly tubed, trimmed in lace
sewn to this gay garment celebrating costumes
and splayed over orderly folder’d paper stacks
inches thick with frayed efforts, struggling pens
of students composing in discomposed anguish
for the A’s, B’s and C’s drifting over their heads
hovering above their walking shadows at the go
as trudging destiny to seats betraying no means
that end in hours sipped in blind ears and minds
mending time in threaded thimbles of mothers
who cajole and credit them with bygone myths,
those about education and scaling mountains,
inheritances emptied from bank accounts dried
long ago spent by the crackhead loan pirates
and bank note worshipers of voodoo financiers.
Burst pipes in the ceiling, flood on the floor
running water, feet paddling wooden slats
tread the milling seeds of parodic shrugs
shouldered under duress, swamped under.
Not my burden, not my share to offer any.
Only advice I can give is phone a plumber
fix the foundational leaks pouring in on us
seeped slyly wet sopping our shirted skin.
Make a claim, seek help, buy a plan, a key;
we’ve been sunk up to our necks before.
Open your mind; see the broken thoughts
splintering the walls as the fragments fall.
We both knew the roots would unearth us
bring a house down to the water’s surface
strangle the strangers within in knotty lies
and so we sink as the tides rise and rinse.
I can swim but the weaker ones will drown
no doubt the inundation will sweep them
as blown broom dust nests sit atop a pond
casts shadow on upward sea eyes beneath.
We must leave our stake, abandon the plot
unworthy of its keep at the edge of leaving;
the walls, children, mothers and fathers go,
poised to leap finally sprung from the fount.
photo credit: http://usercontent2.hubimg.com
This poem marks the half way mark of the poetry half marathon and the deteriorating focus and skills become more evident. That day started late with a late awakening and continued to be challenging around the house where I camped for this event.
The prompt instructed the participants to write from another’s perspective. I started out that way–from a toddler’s perspective–and quickly departed on my own journey as was the case with most of the poems I tried to follow along with the others.
Swooshing, hum, hum, swishing um, um
inside an elephant’s trunk swinging away.
Parrhump a dump twiddle all the de-dum,
singing the song nasal as a horsy’s neigh.
“Tickle my feet again” begs twiggly titters.
Pebbly teeth swallow eyes disappeared,
blinked inside with butterfly lashes’ flitters.
“Snuckle me silly,” her fat-thumbed cheer.
Baby cry tears weeping joyfully in sneezes
shuffle eager ears along clear paths drawn.
With fatty lamb’s feet she snuggles breezes
plumped up in words to dimpled knee songs.
Too soon, too little, thinned spiny legs grow
lean against time stretched long and brittle
bones bounce less break slick sidling slope
downed in the snow howling no longer little.
Trigger smiles and crackled cries muffled
the early risers’ dawn in spires sunk below
for cattle cars passing by in bovine shuffle
milking calves paused in stations unknown.
Beneath the stretch of time’s skin lies heat
and the promise of the amnesiac release.
In squiggle patches laughs a memory treat
relished in paunchy belly sweet sits peace.
photo credit: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/toes
Technology ticks like hiccups gone mad
torment a novice’s grip on poetry’s feast
when mind’s immersion in patterned plaid
yeans unleashed growls of a gnarly beast
Screaming primal tones blasted in bleeps
a machine shunts me into mental mayhem
one along shattered nerves a fault creeps
and cracks open wide calm’s cool diadem.
Clicking across railway ties’ smooth sound
the wood of imagination settles a twitching
and rust scented bark draws images round
deep strung in a tapestry’d poem’s stitching.
photo credit: mediadpublicbroadcasting.com
“He was such a creeper, he made my skin crawl.”
She spoke with squinted nose and eyes sucked in tightly drawn to the center of deep disgust.
“Where did you meet him?” I sipped lemon water.
“A place called ‘After Hours’ on Beach near Central.”
She shuffled the boot leather sole of her left foot underneath the quaint table dressed for two.
Its mate was folded up underneath the back pockets of her 501 Levi’s firmly squat into the padded seat.
We used to meet at this corner cafe often; she was married then.
“He spit when he talked too close to me and had a dripping smile, loose grin spun widely–and loud.”
I conjured up with a shudder the stale beer, punishing electronic drum beats and the glint of a greasy stare too close up inside the parameters of my circle of heated breath.
“He thought he was hilariously funny wishing me ‘good morning’ at 9:30 at night with a wink as if he could make it happen just by saying it.”
Sinking inside with an outward sympathetic half smile, I inwardly groaned at the enormity of it, like Sisyphus’ burden this giant gap of want, need, ties we seek just to sever, never have and don’t even want.
photo credit: http://media.brainz.org/willmon
The disordered day already under way
carries my mood under ground in coal,
lanterns out, miners gone home to sleep
and me left to rest with the morning dew
in this tram car stalled and waiting for day.
The turnaround east side of the tunnel
approaches slowly, nearby dim neon
growing warmer and fanned expansively
filling the grey night with airy luminescence
on a day when chaos tripped like a switch.
Photo credit: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/
Photo Credit: Salvadordaliclocks.com
I took the poetry half marathon (thepoetrymarathon.com) challenge yesterday, which started at 6 a.m. The object was to write one poem an hour for 12 hours. I underestimated the difficulty of the task, especially with so much life interfering, but did end up finishing and producing 12 poems, which I will post for the next 12 days.
The day did not start out auspiciously with a late awakening after a tough time falling asleep the night before (might have been the late night chocolate bar–just a guess). So I had to start off with a bit of a cheat as I was pressed for time (Haiku is still poetry, no?).
Silent morning crashed by knuckled knocking–
“Do you want breakfast?” he asks like clockwork.
A man who eats to fuel his quest for the next meal.
I remember the bed and breakfast crawl we made
visiting New England in late fall of the festival trees
the first snow of Vermont outside a barn-turned pub.
The magic peppered with the strafing questions like
“Do you want pizza? Are we getting soft serve?”
And we just finished breakfast not even an hour ago.
We laughed and sighed heavily too mocking the man.
Mom was herself then and could join in the jeering.
This man she married from birth delivering herself too.
Broken windows, airless in vomitous heat of rat breath
this sweat shop he worked in nearly all of his adulthood
feeding too many mouths that barely spoke to his image.
He convinced himself from so fateful a day–stay boxed
when only he tripped on the rug pulled under his feet
by friends joy riding days to sweet steals, jobs or dying.
A mind goes empty in the cabin of fear dank and dark
communing with foreign tongues, solemn shells of skin.
Like solitary confinement for 48 years, no one remains.
So we dwell on the asking, the feeding, breaking bread
we two who watch our center fold in on herself slowly
eking death out slow-steady for lack of a conversation.
“No, I already ate,” he hears expectantly but undaunted.
“Come on. You’re too skinny and you need to eat more.”
Words endlessly cut and pasted on a screen of our lives.
Other words fly scatter shot red-orange like those trees
the ones in New Hampshire that year we traveled miles
from my rage-ful grimace, head banging steering wheel.
Remind me of a father’s daughter teetered on seesaws
lifted by the weighted desire dreamed in obedient love
and grounded earth bound to shackled birthright chains.
Invisible strands heated like electric coils of metallic sin
knit our knotted ties seemingly eternal yet dust shallow
as we journey the branches we are and make complete.
The insatiable consumption of air heats the moving parts,
wills an engine movement to carry bodies across lands
upon which fathers and daughters feed the mime of time.
Late afternoon, she asks the silence, “How many nows do we get?”
Infinite, as time slips past the moment always–no one answers.
Must be the caffeine under load, the crash after so many hours awake.
“These particular seconds feel dry, in need of plumping,” she adds,
sucking dew-lipped petals in bloom while sprig leaves turn in shame.
Amid the giants slashed beaming rays the sun dust coats the light
pastels of the sky drooped through the branches spill chestnut
splattering solid pane of an ever adulterated blue, one poison pale.
Arc of the illusion, placid rivulets dribble past plastic encased feet,
“I know I will never pass here again, this earth, this sky, these trees
at this time of day.” And the hiss at the tail of the “yes” lingers a little.
The crackle of vinyl absorbed whistles becalms the watching birds–now.
An empty canvas missing minutes lies blank, only us inside at the edges.
photo credit: http://frothmagazine.com
a distance, silent mouths forming wordlessness
a seat at the window safely piggy backs society
the vitrine protection dividing in from out unreal
keeping clicks where they belong, in finger flight
and pad ticks, far away from the tongue stealers
those who would en-web you in their sale spells.
Where I finger thrum on wood thin counter tops,
jittering quick shot the espresso electrical shorts
and spy on the unconscious pacing and dodging
the bots with electronic ears in elephantine slog
they drift and separate, crawl inside their spaces
cocooned til the spring of their dawning moment
the one where memory reaches the track’s end.
Those mouth dropping shock seconds of where-?
When did the wall of puzzle pieces appear and
how long ago did the trash can cut music notes
while the airbus busied itself as a kids’ toy store?
The pajama’d trees passed me by while I sped
past birch beads encircling a neck slip into brew
dipped in twenty true coffee grains indissoluble.
No matter for the mindless masses none notice
but for their double exposure, shadows on glass
juxtaposed on a manicured verdure hip and free.
Brown on black, olive on pale, face to facing skin
empty gestures mock and mime the cruel illusion,
one that paints them imperfectly distinctive matter.
This art breathes no reason splayed and kneeling.