Poetry: Linguistic Serengeti Maps (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-four

Today’s poetry prompt is to write a poem inspired by a reference book.

Today, I learned what I am.
I’m a Stan, no longer a mere fan,
I’m a Stan—the man.

Normal words
help me each day, also
clever and unusual, obscure (and obscene),
preposterous; the strange,
curious, and lovely lexicon.
In a word: troublesome!

Secretly, I hide in a closet
(or bathroom) where I read
books — about words,
of their history, called etymology;
how to say them, and maybe see
an idiom for future reference.
The meaning of words, the lexemes.

Every word has its morphology,
its synonymy family and
antagonistic antonymy gangs.
Some are humorous, others so literal,
I like snarky things and even
the devil has his own dictionary.

Semantics are arguable,
but without words there is
nothing to say, to communicate
we’d have to find another way.
Do words grow in semantic fields?

My blessing upon the wordies,
the lexophiles, logophiles,
lingua-(and lingo) philes, also
called word buffs.

A poet without a word is like
a seashell without an ocean,
a cow without a patty,
a day without a sun.

© Bill Reynolds (word-Stan) 4/22/2019

Mine. Raven printed on page out of dictionary.

Front to back, or look both ways, books about words have much to say.
Mind the gaps or stick in some adjectives.

Poetry: Unintelligent Design (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-three

Today I was prompted to write a poem about an animal.

Note: Prometheus (forethought) and Epimetheus (afterthought) were spared imprisonment in Tatarus. Zeus gave them the task of creating man. Prometheus shaped man out of mud, and Athena breathed life into his clay figure.

Thus Zeus,
before humans roamed Earth,
set Forethought and Afterthought
to task. Animals lived and roamed
without reincarnation or karma
fish swam, birds flew, and each
creature of day or night,
did the natural things, no karma required.

Dinosaurs upset a jealous god—gone!
With Athena, Prometheus made man.
But then monkeys mated with people
and Afterthought declared, “now
we need second chances”—
reincarnation, and karma came to be.

Humans did not know
what they were nor what to do.
so they caused trouble for goddess Gaia,
fought, became reincarnated afterthoughts
in lower and lower life forms to learn,
but each time, the lower form of
human was worse than the last.

Afterthought said to Forethought,
“look now, lower forms we need
for karma, these are slow learners.”
They created Lumbricus terrestris.
Earthworms that eat dirt and crawl
into the ground and are slimy and ugly
and are both male and female,
thus confused and lost bird food.
But to no avail as human nature
continued to confuse the gods.

Nirvana was vast and empty
when Afterthought reminded
Forethought, “Have you noticed,
we create humans, they fuck with monkeys,
die into lower karma never moving up,
and Zeus is pleased, laughing at us?”

Forethought said, “Indeed. We need a cover story.
I have one about a talking snake, two naked
humans too dumb to know it, some other god,
a garden, a tree, and an apple or some variety of fruit.”
Afterthought said,
“Without reincarnation and karma, no one
will ever believe that story. You need
worms, snakes are too hissy.”

Look both ways in forethought and afterthought but live in this now.
Mind the gaps and respect the worms,
you too have a next life and karma keeps adding up.

Poetry: Nuthin’ Man (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty

Happy Saturday, y’all. Today I am supposed to write a poem based on language as it is spoken in real life, as opposed to more formal “poetic” speech.

what is it with you — nothin’ man, what choo you talkin’ about — that chick — what about it — we’re friends — fuck that shit, man, you’re tryn’a save her —
she needs help, man, that’s it, i help my friends — how many other chicks you helped, you gotta stop, man, ya can’t help them all, you can’t fix everybody, and where are they now —
get off my ass, just helpin’ a friend, that’s all —
you got some sorta complex, dude, sir galahad or something,’ like yer a knight in shining armer or somethin’—
bull shit, man, you dunno what yer talkin’ about, it ain’t like that — look man, i know it ain’t like yer tryna’ get laid —
you need to stop, it’s not yer business.

maybe he’s right — maybe i’ma sucker — i help guy friends too, if they ask — besides, it’s done and she is ok now— i admit it feels good to help — is that a complex, it seems normal to me — she asked and ah said sure — there’s no problem and it’s not his beeswax anyway — but maybe he’s right about me.

Hey, how’s it going — livin’ the dream man, how ‘bout you — it’s all good, you goin’ to the game tamarra, it’ll be a good one —
i dunno yet, but I think so —
hey, how’s that chick we were talkin’ about —
who, oh her, she called me, said thanks, it’s all good now, she’s sending me a check, i’m glad i helped her, she’s good people —
good that you were there for her — yah, it feels good to help, you might try it sometime —
hey, look man, ima sorry fer what i said —
it feels good to help people, you oughta try it sometime —
fuck you, i help peeps, i’m jist more careful —
sure, whatever man, i’ll get back with you about the game, i may have a date —
oh, who with, you got a date, with who — talk at cha later man.

that’s great, now he thinks i’m seein’ her, let him think what he wants, he’s a dick anyway — but he is my friend — sometime i’ma gunna have to tell him, she set me up with her sister, we hit it off — i’ll tell him when i’m ready — for now, he can wonder — i can be a dick too.

© Bill Reynolds 4/20/2019

Look at things both ways for a clear perspective.
Mind the gaps.

Poetry: Poem’s Point of View (NaPoWriMo) Day Seventeen

Today, I’m challenged to write a poem that presents a scene from an unusual point of view.

***

He will not leave me alone. All that touching and feeling me, he tweaks me mercilessly,
and (too often) makes me look like barfed up SpaghettiOs.
It’s embarrassing.
He thinks I am his and that he knows all about me.
He doesn’t.
I know teenagers who know more about me than that old fart.
Others simply see my words or hear my meter while he sees me as his personal art (bitch).
He puts his name on me – how rude is that? He doesn’t get it.

He talks about me (us—there are others) endlessly, influencing his friends
to fool around with me.
Sometimes he gets violent with paper and pen and pushes me around
because he thinks his mental malady will be short-lived. How rude!

He knows so little. He has been writing poetry for fifty-three (long) years.
BFD, right?
When he was young with a hard cock, he ignored me. Thoughts?!
That’s all I got from him. He liked us, but he was ashamed
because I didn’t do much to make him look strong and tough and mean.
I think he is an imposter and so does he.

I am all he does—all he thinks about. He explores me in every embarrassing way,
he sniffs me, touches me, he reads bawdy stories. He acts like I am some sort of trophy bride. And oh, my fucking god!
The limericks! The men who write them must be burning in hell.
I know for a fact that he’d rather a crusty, edgy limerick over a sweet love song poem.

Sometimes he writes me and then loses me.
Rather than be upset, he writes another me.
It’s as though I matter, but I also don’t. Which is it?
What the fuck?
He will never win a damn thing.
He wants to put us in a book and claim us as his own.
Such possessiveness! It’s unacceptable.
We are our own persons, who just happen to be poems.
If we belong to anyone, it is the poetic universe,
but he’ll never understand that.

There are reasons he was as he was,
and more reasons why he is as he is,
but none of that has anything to do with us,
the poems, the words, the lines and rhymes of Our verse.

When he looks at me it is like he is seeing a ghost, a shapeless cloud figure,
wavering without beginning or end,
just flowing shapes in many forms of endless words,
of unknown visions and interpretations.

Oh crap, he is picking up that god damn pointed, sharp pencil.
Soon he will be poking and scratching, adding and removing, or changing—endless changes.

In my next life, I want to be prose. Just a little time on his laptop, maybe one printing and we’re done. At least he knows prose and has been doing it since way back.
This rookie old fart poet will be the end of it all.

©Bill Reynolds, 4/17/2019

Look at all things both ways, male and female, creator and created, toucher and touched, kisser and kissed, poet and poem. Mind the gaps which harbor resentment of the art.

Poetry: Nite Witch (NaPoWriMo) Day Fourteen

My challenging prompt for today was to write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms, or to otherwise make productive use of my native (and only) language and its ridiculous complexity of spelling and grammar rules, and the unlimited opportunities for mis-hearings and mis-readings.

The good which hailed me
into the knight
on the ruff waives of see
razing my hares of frite
to witch she would flea
aweigh off to the wright
and leaf me only to pea.

© Bill Reynolds, 4/14/2019

Look broth weighs for homo-words of -nyms and phones and graphs;
and mine the craps of four gasps per sent.

Poetry: A Good Pain (NaPoWriMo) Day Twelve

My poetry challenge on this Friday is to write a poem about two things of mine. One was to be a dull thing that I own, why and how I love it. The other was a significant thing I own and what it would mean for me to give away, or to destroy the object?

 

 

*** A Prose Poem

Technology is significant. Toenails are dull. We upgrade computers, cell phones, and tablets. We cut toenails and toss them. Sometimes we wonder why we have nails (sometimes I wonder about computers too). Computers get viruses, toenails get fungi. One seems to make my life easier, the other we may paint and glitz up for fashion. One costs hard-earned cash, while the other may be pedi-’d when we mani-, but they were originally free. Toenails are expendable. They can turn black, fall off, and then grow back – sometimes.

While tech stuff may be frustrating, annoying, and expensive, we keep it close. Attached nails I never forget. But I would not go back home to retrieve a nail. Computers never caused me physical pain. I caused my feet anguish which they returned in misery.

Drop my phone in a toilet – get a new one. Drop this toenail in a toilet, I’d get it out, rinse and dry it off and I’d keep it. People joke about me and my toenail in a bottle. But while a painful memory, it’s a life treasure.

No longer a runner, my marathon streak ended at number 15, the Steamtown Marathon. This one was in the New Mexico portion of the Chihuahuan Desert for nine painful, grueling hours. Blisters as big as my feet, pain from self-abuse, all my toenails turned black. Some fell off.

I made stops at medical tents for foot care and to dump all that sand and desert scree from inside my shoes. During the short refreshing rests and pee breaks, I observed more serious casualties. Some turned back and limped or rode a golf cart home, others took the more serious ambulance rides. It was freezing at the start of the race one mile up and a hot high-desert afternoon when I finished. The blessed mountain top view from another thousand feet up brought a slight smile that said now we’re going down there.

I did the same event over the next three years as a wiser, more experienced participant. Finished all four New Mexico marathons (and the other 11) walking catawampus supported by ego and a feeling of achievement that defies words. It was more than a high. It hurt so good! That toenail is my reminder. I’m keeping it. You can have this other stuff.

© Bill Reynolds, 4/12/2019

Look both ways. Our greatest achievements will always be
the most difficult and painful.
Mind the gaps, wear good shoes, and take care of your feet.
Your nails look great!

All turned black, three fell off.

Poetry: Boy, Howdy! (NaPoWriMo) Day Ten

My challenge today was to write a poem that starts from a regional phrase, particularly one to describe the weather. I am not a native Texan, but my wife and children are. I couldn’t do just one because the Texas culture is overflowing with verbal and cultural clever terms and phrases. The dialects for these (and there are so many more) shift, depending upon which part of the state you are in, and whether you’re in a city, small town, or rural setting. Disclosure, I can talk like this and at times, I do.

Boy, howdy!!
Looky o’r yonder,
I could sit still for that,
But she’s in a horn tossin’ mood.

Where y’all from?
It’s so dry Ima spittin’ cotton
Here abouts, it’s drier
than a popcorn fart.

Got all gussied up ta
go shoot out the lights,
but just cuz a chicken got wings,
don’t mean it can fly.

It’s hot, y’all!
Hotter ‘n a two-dollar pistol,
Like a billy goat in a pepper patch.
Yes’m, it’s hotter ‘n blue blazes.

Tomorr’a they’ll be frost on the pumpkin,
cold as my ex-wife’s heart,
I mean, cold as hell
with the furnace gone out.

Y’all come,
Ya hear?
Ain’t no butt ugly,
we all just sweetness an light.

Lord willin’ and
the creek don’t rise.
Speakin’ of suckin’ hind tit,
how ‘bout them Cowboys?

Y’all oughta be a-smilin’
like a jack-ass eatin’ briars.

©Bill Reynolds, 4/10/2019

Look both ways and listen close.
Mind the gaps in logic and teeth, they’ll tell you something.