Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Napowrimo #23

Today's task was a homophonic translation. This is just ridiculous. I "translated" Rilke.

Die Mandelbäume in Blüte: alles, was wir leisten können, ist, sich
ohne Rest zu erkennen in der irdischen Erscheinung.

Unendlich staun ich euch an, ihr Seligen, euer Benehmen,
wie ihr die schwindliche Zier traget in ewigem Sinn.
Ach wers verstünde zu blühn: dem wär das Herz über alle
schwachen Gefahren hinaus und in der großen getrost.

The man delved in me, in blood, alas, was weird, kitten is six
On the rest of the zoo, the archaic men in the kitchen piercing them

Underneath the stone itch you’re on, it’s singing, ever been a man
The early swindler fears chugging in a vegan sin.
Awkward verses on Tuesday, you blew him: Denver was hers, all around
She watched him get far and he listened in their grossness and got lost.

Then, I fixed it up a bit, but it's still no less ridiculous:

The man delved into me, into the blood, into the weirdness of my being.
There were six kittens and the house felt like a zoo. An archaic man sat in the kitchen,

piercing them underneath the stone of his heart, satisfied his itch. I was singing, Ever Been a Man
to myself, wondering if I was that early-morning swindler, chugging my vegan sin,
wiping the white mustache from my lips. It was an awkward verse because there was a grain of truth
in the breadbox. It was Tuesday. You blew him. Denver was hers, and all around
she watched him grow more and more distance. He listened to their grossness, got lost in it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Napowrimo #22

Something super short and simple for this busy day.

I love it when air
smells like rain
and the earth moans
with thunder. Dust
kicks up with the wind
and the first drops fall
so hard they imprint
the thirsty earth
like the pocks of my skin
beneath the impassioned
tips of your fingers.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Napowrimo #21

Today's prompt was to write something ala the New York School. I've never been to NYC, and to be honest, I'm not certain I'd like to go. So here's something completely different, inspired by a moment's glance at a fleabane blossom yesterday.

There are times when I’m lulled
Into believing that I’ve forgotten
About you, but there you are,
Appearing in the sweetest of spaces,
The moments when my mind wanders.
We were stopped at a red light
On Pecan and 23rd, across
From the crumbling police station,
When I looked out the passenger window
And saw you on the side of the road
And something took my breath away.
You weren’t the wrinkled woman
Inching towards the crosswalk,
Nor the raspa stand, the chamoy-stained
Lips of a child. You weren’t the tall weeds,
The wild guinea grass, the drifting blossoms
Of wild olives, so white and numerous
You’d almost think they’re springtime snow.
You were there, nestled in the dust,
in the unexpected smiles of fleabane buds,
Their alabaster petals arching like the back
Of a lover, you were the eye, a surprise  of gold,
erect and waiting for the brush of a honeybee’s toe
against its pollen-heavy disk.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Napowrimo 20

This is really rough because I've been insanely busy today, but I think this is an interesting idea. Write in the voice of a family member. I chose my deceased grandma. The story goes that when she found out she was pregnant with my dad, she went to the bar and wept with her girlfriends. I didn't know my grandma very well, which makes this interesting to think about:

Napowrimo 20

This is what the body’s made for –
Love. For love and ripening,
For cycles of life that take us
In unexpected directions.

I never would have guessed
that I’d be here, with my elbows
on the bar, weeping because my heart
is broken and almost out of love. 

I want to come back to this idea and explore a little further, but on a day when I don't have so many looming deadlines. 

I had another idea for a poem, that maybe I'll explore tomorrow -- those tiny white flowers on the side of the road with their yellow centers, erect for the sun.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Napowrimo #19

Today, I didn't follow instructions again, but I certainly think I COULD incorporate some shell names into this poem, maybe particularly when describing what goddess-skin looks like. Anyway, I really like the opening of this poem, but I need to work on the transitions and, most especially, the second half. What I'm TRYING to do here is show the paradox of power/beauty/femininity through a contemporary retelling of the Diane/Actaeon myth. Hmm... I'm also thinking about those ridiculous Venus razor commercials.

The Myth of the Goddess, When She Wakes

Above all myths you must uphold this one:
the beauty of a goddess comes with ease,
that you're reborn each morning from the ocean
of your sheets in all your goddess splendor,
full-formed, complete with slightly wind-blown locks,
with skin that smells perpetually of lilac,
legs without a trace of hair that beg
to be caressed with just a hint of shine.
Make your expression always painted smug,
a smile that shows you're better than the rest
because your beauty is a sacred gift.
Maintain this image. No one has to know
what happens in the bathroom, all you do
to serve your body on the scallop shell,
make it presentable to mortal men,
to give you power. If, by some mistake,
he catches just a glimpse of you, peers through
the shower curtain of your self and sees
the mess you really are, your power's gone.
You'll have to silence him like Diane did
to Actaeon, with just your eyes, make him
a deer caught in the headlights of your rage. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Napowrimo 18

I didn't listen to the napo prompt today and kind of went off on my own. This "poem" or err.. shitty draft of a poem, was inspired by this poem by Karr and walking in the garden with Brubru.

The Grapevine

In spring, it's green, life-giving green and wide
with leaves the size of outstretched hands that give.
Its limbs are shelter for the ladybugs
that come like weary hobos, always hungry
and the vines are refuge for the persecuted
fireflies that need a little respite
for the day until the Texas sun
goes down and night will cover up their faces,
set them free. But somehow, you know that autumn
will come and as the cold front blows in,
life will river from leaves like blood
from the dying as the ground grows cold.

Instead of mourning at the loss of fruit,
of sweetness on the tongue, you'll nod your head
and patiently explain to me that's how
the story has to go -- that every season's
hard-earned growth will need your hands
to sheer it all away. You'll snap the limbs,
dismember, leave a lifeless shell of trunk.

It's what you have to do, you'll say, and turn
the hose on, if you want to have this water
turned to wine.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Napowrimo 17

Today's instructions were to describe something using multiple senses. What an easy prompt. At first I wasn't sure what I should write, but with a little thought, this came:

Morning Commute

I taste the bitter coffee on my tongue.
It fills my throat with lukewarm hope of waking,
that somehow this will bring me back
to life. Each morning smells like gasoline,
like fumes. The sea's of pavement, reaching past
the point of vanishing. Horns cry. Engines
hum. They drown the cooing of a mourning
dove that perches on a power line,
her song foretells the sun, its resurrection
over the horizon, its warmth against
my face like breath, its rays that flood my eyes.
I pull the shade down, slip sunglasses on. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Napowrimo 16

Today I have Vagina Monologue dress rehearsals, so I guess my monologue is on my mind :)


At first it tastes a little bitter
on the tongue, but soon
it learns to curl around them
and like black coffee, it's taste
is acquired. The word is yes.
You'll use it as your daily bread.

Yes, my space is yours, come
closer. Yes, this is the smell
of me, cherry petals, lavender
in spring. Yes, my hair's
its natural hue, a wheat field
in the sun, and yes, they're real,
the golden grapefruits blushing red
when peeled. Yes, I feel sexy
when I listen to the clicks
my heels make against the pavement.
Yes, the blisters make me feel alive.
 Yes, it's homemade. Yes, I feel
the right amount of shame,
and yes, I do it for you
and you alone. Yes, you taste
like rain and yes, I like the scent
of musk at sunrise. Yes,
I always look like this, and yes,
my skin's a smooth as sky.
Yes, you always leave me

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Napowrimo 15

Today's NAPO is super rough, because, well, I only had a few moments for poetry, unfortunately.

The Body's Prophecies

Like blood moons, they come in terads: rage
you swallowed down and kept hidden deep
within the tabernacle of your throat
that only shows in the ruddy hue
your cheeks wear when you clench
your teeth, the aftermath of kisses
on the neck, the sudden rush of shame
that fills your downturned face, and finally,
the moment when the body lets go
of this month's faithful prophecy
and leaves a mark the color of the moon.

Here, what I want to do, is incorporate the fantastical and biblical language surrounding the blood moon to describe the body. Eh. Maybe I'll come back to it later.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Napowrimo 14

Today's prompt was to write a poem in the form of questions. Here's mine:

Ten Questions

Why forgive when you can hold a grudge,
like Adam with his arms across his chest,
a chunk of apple stuck inside his throat?
And how can my mesquite tree keep faith

in such a violent gust of wind, release
the bean pods to the storm that took her limbs?
Did Noah's wife protest, doubt for a moment,
second guess and call his prophecies

the murmurings of madness? How does crow
taste? Is it sweet like dove? Did Hera
ever really think that Zeus would learn
to keep it in his pants? Why don't lantanas

just close up their petals when they're done,
why keeping on feeding thirsty hummingbirds?
And why should I forgive your numerous
mistakes? A toilet seat left up, machete

taken to my favorite prickly pear,
the way you always listen to the wind?
Because like Adam needed Eve, I need
you more than just an empty paradise.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Napowrimo 13

Today's assignment was to write something that included a kenning, a kind of Norse metaphor. The kenning I decided to modify was "destroyer of brambles" which means, well, wind.

What Dolly Did to my Palm

She was a lover of the loose,
could make a skirt fall
to the ground with just a whisper.

It began as just a gentle sway,
like two awkward teens
a slow dance at prom,
unsure of who should lead
and who should follow.
It wasn't until the wind
kicked up, a fast-paced cumbia,
a finger ran through loose
and tangled hair, a gasp
of gusts, a whistling of wind,
an arm around the waist
that she let go.

I couldn't watch for fear
that I would too become
a willing victim to the wind,
take flight and sing the song
of hurricanes. In the few calm
moments as the eye passed over
I peered out my window,
saw the discarded skirts
along the garden's bed,

and there my palm tree stood,
naked, breathless, ready
for another dance with Dolly.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Napowrimo #12

Today's prompt was to think of a tangible and intangible noun, and then find sentences, and swap them out. I used "loneliness" and "boat" and came across an interesting find:

Did humans colonize the world by boat?

Swapped out loneliness for boat, and began musing. Here's my freewrite:

The Boat

Did humans colonize the world by loneliness
and loneliness alone? The search to see our faces
smiling back at us across generations of water,
continents of bodies, glaciers of tears and rivers
of pain? Was it loneliness that made us search
horizons, shield our eyes from the sun, seek out
one another? Was it loneliness that blew against
our sails like the wind takes twirling oak seeds
from the tree? Was it loneliness that taught
our tongues to speak, to mingle, intertwine
and kiss? Was it loneliness that made us see
our faces in the moon, our stories in the stars
our goddess in the sun's heavy rays? Was it loneliness

that brought my parents together one evening
in a cramped dorm room, was it loneliness
that brought me into being? Was it loneliness
that brought me here, staring at your face
illuminated by a candle's light, listening
to the quietness of raindrops on the roof.
We talk, exchange the pleasantries of words,
consider going through the motions of life
together: interlocking fingers, pressing lips
on lips, a tangling of legs beneath bedsheets.
But is it always loneliness that greets me
in the morning, before the day's first awkward kiss,
as the cold wind blows against my naked skin
and draws me out of bed, keeps me always searching
for something different, something more.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Napowrimo 11

I want to come back to this poem later on. Today's prompt was to write a wine love poem, and I decided to write it in the voice of a Meanad.

Advice from a Thirsty Maenad

Because we're not immortal
and life is far too short,
you have to learn to savor

every moment. Uncork this evening
with laughter, slide off your shoes
and raise a glass to everything.

Learn to swallow discretion
and let your lips touch every glass
you find. Leave your mark

in scarlet kisses of the past.
Send back what doesn't bring
you pleasure with a wave

of the back of your hand.
Savor tartness on the lips,
honey on the tongue. Taste

earth. Taste sweat. Taste raindrops.
Kiss strangers. Don't look back.
Bite lips. Dance to the pulses.

Wake with fog in your head
with mauve on your lips,
a parched throat, an aftertaste

of doubt always on your tongue.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Napowrimo #10

Today's task is to write an adverstisement:


Forget sex. Sex sells itself. Sell this instead:
the quiet moment afterwards when time
begins to flow again, the opening of eyes,
the paniced realization that the world
is still the same: the moonlight, cold
and silver though the opened window,
the television's buzz, the emptiness
of wine glasses on the nightstand,
just a ring of mauve at the bottom,
a smudge of lipstick on the rim.
Find beauty in the body as the goosebumps
fade, in the slow curl back into itself
as it redraws the boundaries of yours
and mine, the drifting down from Olympus,
the slow walk out of Eden, head hung low,
the picking up of pieces from the ground
like windblown catkins after a storm.
The cicadas cease their singing. Stop
and listen to the sound of breath
between the numbness of your lips.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Napowrimo #9

Today's prompt was to get your playlist and write a poem that included the titles of 5 random song titles. A few months back, a student of mine gave me some of his hipstery folk music, and actually, sometimes I like to listen to it while I'm working. My "heavy lifting" music is classical/instrumental, but this music is kind of nice for more freewrites and such. So anyway, it's become a part of my writing playlist on pandora. I digress. Here's my "poem" -- song titles in bold.

Who was that teenage girl with moons
For eyes, who thought that she could pack
Her things inside a beat-up baby blue
Sedan and leave her self behind:
A magazine of CDs, backpack filled
with Kerouac and tattered love poems
to some abstraction (that day, a boyfriend’s
midnight spikes of hair) black nail polish,
glass bottles filled with cherry coke?
You had your life before you to screw up –
It was too precious to waste on good behavior,
All the right decisions. You couldn’t wait
To shake it loose. This was a time for mistakes:
Closing your eyes and letting the wind
Run through your tangled hair, speeding
From this southern state of slow contentment.

And somehow you still ended up right here –
Like a specks of pollen or paint tossed
Onto a canvas, a beautiful mess of color
And of life. But now the baby blue sedan
Is rusted out and life’s soundtrack
Sounds like silence in the wind.
The little left of the boyfriend’s spikes
are slicked back and wet. Admit it now:
you’ll always be in love with this,
the sound of pennies shaken in a jar,
the shattering of glass on tiled floor.