NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 13)

Day 13 prompt: write a poem of non-apology for the things you’ve stolen. (Lingo warning)


Ted P. stole your fucking car. Not me.
I didn’t steal it from you. I borrowed it from him.
Scout’s honor, it was just a lesson using locks and keys.

See, in my mind, it was no longer yours. It belonged to Teddy.
You left it unlocked—just gave it up. No key required back then.
Clearly, a case of baiting entrapment, don’t you see?

Use some logic here. Stolen property, like your car,
once taken is fair game. It’s still hot, just on loan. In a way,
it was still Ted’s, I stole nothing. He said it was okay.

From hood to hooligan, if you will. But he took it.
Then he called me. Wait’ll you see what I got, he said.
Holy shit, I said. Are you nuts? I don’t know why I asked.

Ted was a leader of loonies, among which I sometimes loomed.
Don’t ask me why. Doing dumb-ass shit is fun. You got it back.
Not trashed or nothing. It was a six, automatic. You fer real?

Yeh, I knew your black, with red leather bucket seats, Chevy
was cool and hot at the same time. I got blamed for re-stealing it.
If Ted could-a returned your car a little sooner, we’d all be good.


Look both ways with disambiguation.
Mind the mental gaps in the logic of youth,
but learn the lessons.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 12)


Day 12 prompt: write a poem in the form of a triolet, which is fixed and straightforward: the first line is repeated in the fourth and seventh lines; the second line is repeated in the final line; and only the first two end-words are used to complete the tight rhyme scheme.

Thus, the poet writes only five original lines, giving the triolet a deceptively simple appearance: ABaAabAB, where capital letters indicate repeated lines. According to Lewis Turco in his classic, The Book of Forms, every line of a triolet is the same metrical length.


this is your nightmare I keep on dreaming
at my best doing that terrible war
don’t lie to me when I wake you screaming
this is your nightmare I keep on dreaming
the death of love for hate’s dreamy feeling
oh, nothing like this have I seen before
this is your nightmare I keep on dreaming
at my best doing that terrible war


Look both ways in war and dreams.
Mind the gaps for traps and schemes.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 10)

Day 10 prompt: write one or more hay(na)ku poems, which are six-word stanzas where one word is the first line, two words make the second, and three words make up the third line. I made 11 (66 words).


Goodbye
often means
someone will die.

Life,
the source
of all death.

Find
what will
not kill you.

Would
you cry
as I did?

Care
not what
people will say.

Nobody
likes you
when you’re drunk.

Addiction,
part of
the human condition.

Sometimes
my poem
is not good.

Sometimes
it is
just another poem.

Exercise
is often
the best medicine.

Hayna?
is colloquial
to northeastern PA.


Look both ways crossing new roads.
Mind the gaps.
The pavement’s hard.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 9)

Day 9 prompt: write a concrete poem wherein the lines and words are organized into a shape that reflects the theme of the poem. Old, beat up baseballs, covered in electrical tape, were not always spherical either. This must be viewed on the site. Email will not provide the shape.


***

Sandlot baseball,
stickball, wiffleball, were all
for me, when I was a cantankerous lad
of some age without a uniform or cap, and maybe
a black taped ball in hand, air, or a grounder to bounce
just right to smack my face, but no such fear did I ever show,
even though I had bouncing grounders or fliers catch me taking
a peek to home or second, at the runner, and not a catch would I
make, or when batting rocket arm riley wound up to heave a bean
ball shot at me wearing no sissy hard hat or gloves or pads, just me
in the sun on a warm summer day doing things with balls or games,
like burn-out, whatever cleat-less shoes we had worked and we had
no managers, couches, parents, or girlfriends to bother with us. An
old dog chased our ball, swiping it, tearing the tape, and left us to
scavenge for a new old beat-up ball. The dog would not give
ours back. We could not catch one old dog. I recall many
memories of taped balls and bats and days when we
would just play the day away with whatever we
had. That left us with only memories of balls,
old dogs, and names of many games
we played in those dirty
old sandlots.

***


Look both ways, but do not take your eye off the ball.
Mind the gaps but take the longest lead you can safely manage.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 8)

Day 8 prompt: Use a portion of a poem from a twitter bot as seed (inspiration) to write a poem.


Confession: I dislike the words twitter, tweet, and bot. It’s getting late. I need a poem. I’ve read nearly all of Anne Carson’s “The Glass Essay” searching. I considered her “Where does unbelief begin?” and discovered her phrase, “That was the night that centered Heaven and Hell,” which I may use later. I pondered Richard Siken’s words, “Let’s admit, without apology, what we do to each other” and “This has nothing to do with faith but is still a good question.” I did the perusal work of reviewing several twitter bots. Nothing worked.

Then, as I was re-reading Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried (1990), I found it. I try to do “optional” prompts. I hope I semi-followed the elective prompt with a twist.

My poem is based on a scene from O’Brien’s book, specifically from the chapter, “On the Rainy River.” Tim writes of sitting in a small boat 20 yards from Canada while facing his inner dilemma of doing what he thinks is morally right and what his family and most people (at the time) thought he should do: to accept his draft notice and fight in the Viet Nam War.


The Embarrassment of Tears

It was a moral freeze,
part hallucination, he supposed,
as paralysis took his heart,
a tightness he wants me to feel.

He could swim but he saw them,
a blind poet scribbling notes, people,
his past and his future, and mine.

His conscience lost the battle in a war
it could not win. He would do it.

He would go to the war –
he would kill, and maybe die
because he was embarrassed
not to. That was the thing.

And so, he sat in the boat,
and he cried, but he did not die.
Not a happy ending, his war,
his book, our war. He went to the war.

He was a coward, he claims,
because he stuffed it for them,
for their love, which he carried then,
and carries today. I disagree.

He asks me, and you,
would you cry? The scene jerks
my tears, not for Tim, or the war,
but for me. I was not in his boat.


Sit in your boat and look both ways, to Canada or to home.
Mind the gaps, there may a book or a poem in them.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 6)


Day 6 prompt: write a poem from the point of view of one person, animal, or thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous, bizarre triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. After spending too much time searching the five-hundred-year-old hallucination on wood, I decided on one of two snakes from the left panel.


Blame Game

They could have blamed the moon,
or that unicorn, which never existed,
but no. Let’s go low, they said.

Talking creepy crawlers, snakes,
and fruit peddling serpents make
splendid scapegoats. Why not a goat?

We can’t talk, bark, purr, or bleat.
She points to me, he believes her,
and all hell (right panel pun) happens.

Pin it on snakes, they said. Scary,
but defenseless. Look at panel two’s
big party of naked fruit eaters.

We got the rap for all of that. Sinners
should blame monkeys. At least they
look and act like you people.

And what’s with the guy
growing flowers out his arse?
Who does that that? Not us.

So, what do you get? Panel three.
From a diluted old man
with bad acid in his enema.

Time now to get over it.
Past post-medieval art is fine,
slithering snakes are silent.


Look both ways, or with triptychs, three ways.
Mind the gaps, it’s where the story’s told and the pictures fold.

Click for link.

NaPoWriMo: 30 Poems in 30 Days (day 5)


Day 5 Prompt: write one poem using or doing the Twenty Little Poetry Projects of Jim Simmerman. You can google it for other examples.


Torn Knights

He yelled into my face,
“Life’s not a bowl of cherries.”

I wanted to rip him to pieces
then and there, feeling his grip on my neck,
smelling the furious anger of alcohol breath,

I heard the silence of witnesses
sulking away, their fear fed my will to fight,
as his words breathed fire into my eyes,
all could see desperate anger quake the Earth
and shake trees as leaves fell like tears of fear.

Bill and Dan at it again on Butler Street,
brotherly love, kin with no wisdom to share
as each could see the envy of one
less favored dragon slayer.

“You da cool fool, hayna, baby-bro?
Ah tells ya, ‘cuz I luvs ya brudder.’

“Well I’ll swanny over such tots,”
tasting sweat mixed with vile spit.

Waltzing a pugilistic polka
inflamed a poison pit of spite,
played to muffled grunts and groans
Dan became the dragon, thus
Bill drew a slayer’s sword
to end of the fiery brand
brother’s battle forever.
Soft liquid steel shattered
the end, an old beginning.

Fata Morgana
reaching fait accompli,
times past without tears,
Earth swallowed Irish blood
into a hell of hate. Two men swearing,
dancing in the dark
to unending songs of never love.


Look both ways as life is not always as we wish.
Mind the gaps and choose wisely.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 4)

Day 4 Prompt: write a poem based on an image from a dream.


Falling

I dream. Real life things.
Clears the mind is what they say,
acting out, kicking or yelling.

I remember falling,
although
I’ve never fallen like that,
frightened.
Trying to swim
in the air, in my bed.
Crazy, right? But seems so real.

The fall ends
with an awakening,
a tension,
heavy breathing, until then
It’s like Aerosmith
singing, telling me to sing,
screaming in my ear
dream on…
Dream On…
DREAM ON!

Uncontrolled. Letting go,
all of it,
the stress, the tests
normal life washed
from my mind as fear falls
into a new day
of happiness and blissful life.
Dream on, dream on,
and sing with me. Before
he takes you away.


Look both ways.
Sleeping and dreaming, both part of living.
Mind the gaps with me, sing with me. Dream on, with me.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems (day 3; language warning for Aussies, Brits, and Yanks+)


Day 3 Prompt: List ten words. Then, list two to four (that’s three) similar sounding or rhyming words for each of the ten. Use the listed words to write a poem.

If Tony Hoagland could write a poem titled dickhead, I can write one using Australian, British, and (when common to all three English speaking countries) American swear words. My list is of ten chosen Aussie/Brit swear words. The rhymes are another matter. Some folks think I need an excuse to swear. I do not (like this guy). I do it a lot, just not so much in the blog.

My List (10+30=40 words). Ten Aussie terms are in italics.

  1. bullocks, hookups, pushups, full lips
  2. bugger, buzzer, butter, sucker
  3. bloody, bunny, dummy, plucky
  4. shag, hag, fag, tag
  5. twat, got, caught, shot
  6. wanker, bonk ‘er, honker, conquer
  7. root, chute, scoot, flute
  8. wristy, twisty, nifty, whiskey
  9. fuckwit, suck it, tuck it, pluck it
  10. dickhead, bed spread, ‘nuf said, bunk bed

Bloody Sweary

Artful Aussies
sound so bloody plucky,
like Brits, when they cuss
to discuss dickhead fuckwits
of a hag. In a pub
they say bullocks
to hookups
with a wanker who’d bonk ‘er
while the dummy bunny
does pushups
holding a fag to his honker.

When the twisty wristy bugger
got caught with a thought
of a twat
he made a nifty switch
to whiskey. That sucker
wanted to root in the chute,
but he had to scoot,
or he’d be shot.

A full lips tag
punched at the buzzer,
a loss I couldn’t conquer
with my twisty flute
when I jumped
into the bunk bed
with a new spread,
when the utter said suck it with butter,
I decided to tuck it or pluck it. ‘nuf said.


Even embarrassed by poems,
look both ways for the universal swear.
Mind the gap lest you twist and shout a cuss or two.