Thursday, April 17, 2014

Clubbing in the 80s (a Poem for Day Seventeen of PAD)

Wow. Day Seventeen. More than halfway there. Below is my poem for the day; it's not really autobiographical (at least not completely). 

The Day Seventeen prompt for PAD:

For today’s prompt, write a pop culture poem. I guess I broke out the Bon Jovi a day early, eh? But hey, write a poem about Bon Jovi or Van Halen; write a poem about the Kardashians (or don’t–and say you did); write a poem about a popular SNL skit; write a poem about Dr. Who or Downton Abbey; write a poem about any kind of popular culture thing-a-ma-bob you wish. In fact, write three! (Just kidding; you only need to write one poem–but seriously, write three and be sure to add a little more cowbell.)

photo by fousik
These Are the Waves I Listen to Now


Clubbing in the 80s

Mom and dad told me to come inside
when city streetlights shined up the night.
Instead, I (Du)ran out into darkness
as strobe lights blinked on, stumbling
over 10,000 Maniacs and a Flock
of Seagulls rushing across the front lawn.
Those were the days, Driven to Tears
on My Own Secret Journey sprinting
from Police, then Walking Like an Egyptian
with Bangles dangling on both rigid wrists.
I passed Stray Cats strutting in alleys,
on sidewalks, and on teenaged car roofs,
and then cried Tears for Fear
of men after Tom petted my ego
and then turned aloof. I Squeezed self-
consciousness into black tights and big hair
daring to fit into a League beyond Human,
dressed to impress my Loverboy
constructed of a Simple Mind. Now I suppose
that was all right, nights forgotten across river Styx
after growing up attending Spandau Ballet,
left behind to become the nineteenth member
of the town’s secret Cult, praising charcoal-eyes
and forty-ouncers in hormonal back seats, still waiting
on Tom, too tiring for me, sucking his Red Hot
Chili Peppers, I snuck back inside
before morning came and Mom flipped
on my bedroom light.


*****


Your Absence Smells like (a Poem for Day Sixteen of PAD)

Hmm . . . I sense a pattern. Midnight approaches and I haven't yet written my poem for the challenge. So here I am again posting when I should be sleeping. 

This poem isn't quite what I wanted to create, but I'm too tired to fight it.

Day Sixteen of PAD:

For today’s prompt, write an elegy. An elegy doesn’t have specific formal rules. Rather, it’s a poem for someone who has died. In fact, elegies are defined as “love poems for the dead” in John Drury’s The Poetry Dictionary. Of course, we’re all poets here, which means everything can be bent. So yes, it’s perfectly fine if you take this another direction–for instance, I once wrote an elegy for card catalogs. Have at it!


photo by Marco Michelini
Can They Smell Your Absence?



Your Absence Smells Like

Cozy smells like thickened casings
of your arms wrapped
around the parts of me
you left behind. Sometimes
I sit, waiting for your appearance,
cross-elbowed, back slumped over
above folded legs, staring
into mirror’s warbled reflection, irises
shifting colors like mood rings.

My life smells like waiting for a sign
you haven’t left me, like you promised
you never would, your bones hardened,
have become cement statues decorating
rose gardens you tended in my youth. Staked
into ashen soil, you try hard to hang on
to vine-y leaves before disintegration
takes over, makes me smell the death
I don’t ever want to face.



*****


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Love Wants (a Poem for Day Fifteen of PAD)

Once again I'm writing at midnight. And I'm tired, so I'm sticking to just one. My poem for Day Fifteen is below.

Today's prompt is a Two-for-Tuesday:

  • Write a love poem. Love, it’s such a big 4-letter word that can mean so much to so many for a variety of interpretations. Friendly love, sexual love, dorky love, all-encompassing love, jealous love, anxious love, love beaten with a baseball bat, hot love, big love, blues love, greeting card love, forgiving love, greedy love, love in a music video, and so on and so forth.
  • Write an anti-love poem. Well, kinda like love, but take it back the other way.

Photo by lolo piepie
Finding Peace in Love


What Love Wants

Love does not sag to jowly depths,
criticize dusty shelves or scowl
at speckled, mud-spattered floors walked
one thousand miles upon.
Love sees only Sunday morning
misty hikes in those sharp and chiseled
cracks around your weary eyes.
And in wobbly legs, stiff with age’s routines
and boredoms, she sees only moonlit runs
on oceanfront property you both stole
from the serpentine sea. Love wants someone
to see through her skin and bones,
someone to expose her soul, to call
her home, someone to bring heaven
to her earth. That’s all she wants.


*****



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

There Is No Man in the Moon (a Poem for Day Fourteen of PAD)

My poem is partially in honor of the lunar eclipse and partially from my heart. I'm tired. Good night. (My poem is below the picture.)

The Day Fourteen prompt for PAD:

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “If I Were (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles might include: “If I Were President,” “If I Were Smarter,” “If I Were a Little More Sensitive,” or “If I Were Born on April 14.” If I were you, I’d get poeming about now.

photo by Eduardo Siqueira Filho
Do You See the Woman in the Moon?


If I Were a Moon

I wouldn’t be a man at all—just eyes
of a woman with eyelashes thinned
from witnessing your life of seclusion.
You, surrounded by glass stemware, red-filled
evenings with those you call friends,
blasé about every plump and luscious cell
pumping through your skin, pretending
not to be universally selfish, caring
only for trendy atmospheres they breathe
and eat, scuffed wooden stages, lipstick-
stained pages of sheet music left behind
in dressing rooms. They live unaware of existence
beyond their Friday nights on earth, nonchalant
about you who I love and adore, bitter about the space
you call home. Now I’ve drifted away—
we’ve never been. We can be nevermore. 


*****


Monday, April 14, 2014

What Is Your Animal Spirit Guide? (A Poem for Day Thirteen of PAD)

I thought I would take on the full challenge and write a sestina. Only yesterday was a busier-than-usual day, so I had to finish this today and it needs additional editing. To keep up with the challenge though, you can read the work-in-progress below.

Day Thirteen prompt for PAD:

For today’s prompt, write an animal poem. Pick a specific animal or write about your animal spirit. Maybe you’ll get tricky and write about mustangs (meaning the car) or jaguars (meaning the American football team). Maybe you’ll do an acrostic, or even go crazy and write a sestina (crickets).

Photo by thomas informater
A Raccoon Delivering a Message?


Nocturnal Chitterings from Animal Guides

Somewhere around the middle of self-examination, raccoons
splashed into my internal chaos, slipping a dip in my pool
of confusion, leaving behind a delicate message
I yearned to interpret. Wait by the corner just beyond
sheltered borders of your complacency, spread yourself, unfold
your soul, and embrace your endearing curiosity
.

But sleep won me over, wooed back to slumber by chittering curiosity
bouncing from bedroom walls to backyard grounds where raccoons
tip-toed in, took quite a drink, their possessiveness beginning to unfold
and take a lick at solitude I’d gotten used to beyond
the last twenty years of beer mugs, dartboards, and pool
tables, unable to hear signals of smoke hidden as a message.

My eyes drifted back to planes where spirits floundered with a message
for those in touch enough to see, nurture innocent curiosity
about things eyes cannot perceive
, only senses beyond
the usual five can enhance awareness for talking with raccoons
or interpreting things they do when they pool
around your life, helping your spirit to unfold.

Still, nocturnal creatures at each corner yearned to unfold
the fleeting earth, draw attention to time’s sacred message:
take off your mask, trust in others, pool
resources with those of like curiosity.
I began comprehending signals from those raccoons
weeping and screeching—what is greatest lies beyond.

So lost in the depths of immobile-bodied dreams beyond
any I’d ever had, my understanding of existence began to unfold.
Yet refusing to let go of my time and attention, those raccoons
tried once again from outside and in to get across the full message.
Refuse to lose yourself in daily routines, nurture curiosity
for all grand things, and take a plunge in life’s nourishing pool
.

By this time, I was quite exhausted, splashes in my backyard pool
disturbing me again. Stomping to sliding door, I looked beyond
the raccoons’ outer appearance, admiring their curiosity.
Pursuing desires left them unafraid. I’d watched their character unfold
before my tired eyes, once and for all receiving the message
from those masked bandits disguised as raccoons.


Quench your thirst for curiosity with a spin in life’s pool,
buoyant with vigor.
I’m left thankful those unwavering raccoons navigated beyond
from their home to mine all to unfold this vital, now-recognized message.


*****



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