NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 30)

Click for prompt page and more poems.

My final 2022 NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a cento. This is a poem made up of lines taken from other poems. For my cento, I took lines from various poems in Donkey Gospel and What Narcissism Means to Me, both books of poems by Tony Hoagland.


Heavy Humor

We were drinking beer with the sound off
Greg said that things were better in the sixties
when I was pale and scrawny

and we soar up into the summer stars
but I admit that in the dark
(where a whole life can be mistaken) cavern of that bar

where men throw harpoons at something
costly, beautiful, but secret
jockstraps flew across the steamy

rickshaws gliding through the palace gates,
an act of cruelty which we both understood
the dreams rising from the sleep of children

far out from the coastline of America
a ten-foot sign says, WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
which makes us wonder if Time loves Memory back.


Look both ways (forward to May, back at April) and wonder.
Mind the gaps for those chores left undone.

For Want of a Poem


Sometimes, I want a poem. A Bukowski can be so easy, but seldom sweet or relaxing. Or maybe something by Auden, Oliver, Kaur, Bloch, or Hughes. Or a Tony Hoagland piece about the word dickhead or a barbeque with friends. A Billy Collins poem is usually more of a clean-cut, smooth-spoken, New York laureate who smiles while staring out windows.

The right poem is like a cool glass of clean water, one you don’t know you need until you drink it. So, refreshing; may I have another?

Music helps but poetry works. I read slow and silently. I may move my lips. Maybe I’ll read the poem out loud to hear it in my voice. Or I’ll listen to poems read by one of the great poetic pros. Men with rich rhythmic baritone or base voice tones like Morgan Freeman, Tom O’Bedlam, James Earl Jones, or Johnny Cash. Maybe I’ll hear the fun wrangler sound of some cowboy poet. Or the attractive Brit accents of Sirs Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, or Patrick Stewart.

Please spare me the stoic, boring, cackling of electronic automatic computer-generated readings by unconscious semi-robots. Why do they do that? It is poetry. Speaking of dickhead decisions. Just no. I can’t!

When I don’t know what’s wrong with me, or what I need, or what I want, the right poem helps.

Sometimes we need to share darkness or a sad bit of life. It’s comforting that while we may be alone, we are not the only ones feeling lost.


Look both ways for refuge from the storms.
Mind the gaps. Ignore the dickheads.
Wear a mask and get the shot.