Napo 14

A tiny anecdote about my day before I share this poem:

I often blog about trying to write fiction. I am trying. My best. But it's hard, you know?

I've written a handful of stories over the past two years, and now, I'm just getting to the point of submitting them. In fact, one of them was just published in The Thing Itself! I am so incredibly proud of that, because it means that my efforts aren't futile, but to be completely honest, it's amazing how fiction comes so, UNnaturally to me, compared to poetry anyway.

Or maybe I struggled this much with poetry, too, only it's been so long ago that I don't remember?

Anyway, today was kind of funny.

I got a rejection letter from a literary journal from a fiction editor. It's a nice rejection with a few suggestions for revision, an encouraging note to try them again. But the curious thing? At the end of the email, it says, "Oh, and by the way, congrats on your big Texas Institute of Letters win..."


Why, thank you very much. I just thought that was too funny. Poetry I'm good at. Fiction? Well, I guess I still have some alearnin' to do. 

Anyway, here's Napo 14. I'm going to TRY TO get caught up with Napoing this weekend, since I'm actually caught up on grading and everything else (A miracle? I think so).

Today's prompt was to write a social media poem. I don't know what a social media poem is, so I just kind of scrolled through my feed and wrote about the things I saw. I don't know, not feeling too much promise here, but it's good to exercise the old poetry muscle nonetheless.

Social Media Poem

All the beauty, all the ugliness
that turns up on my Facebook wall. I scroll
through it in the morning from my bed,
my lazy finger lifting as I glimpse

the world before I rise – A picture
of a squirrel asleep and curled within
the arms of a stone angel,
A lovesick groom declaring his love for the bride
He’ll marry tomorrow, snapshots of a winterscape
in April that make the Texas spring outside my window
Seem so loud, so bold, so filled with life,
A video of two cats licking one another’s faces,
A tangling of tongues, of fur, of purrs,

The faces of three pups, forgotten in
The animal shelter, their eyes wide, afraid,
The weather forecast predicting hail,
Damaging winds, and thunder
That sweeps across the map before midday,
Depressing news about the oil prices
How another dozen men will be laid off.

As I toss the covers aside, I can’t help but think
about the squirrel, how he looked so peaceful
lying there in the angel’s arms, staring up
towards the sky, and I wonder where
that peace can come from,
what can make an animal that’s made
of fear lay back and close his eyes and dream
Of nuts, of trees with endless branches for hiding,
Of spring that’s bountiful and never ends,
And I figure that the only answer is
He must be dead.