National Poetry Month, Updates, and a Poem

Oh dear.
It's been awhile since my last update again. I hope you'll forgive me. 

This month, I will be participating in This City is a Poem, a NaPoWriMo poem-a-day type of event that provides daily prompts and a writing community to share works. They will be sharing one of my poems as a feature, too, though I'm not sure when!

Before we delve into NAPO, though, let me give you a quick update from my little neck of the thicket.
Of course, AWP happened. It was the usual whirlwind, though enjoyable. A health scare ALMOST got in the way of my trip, but just the day before, I got the A-O-K from the doc to make the trip by car (not plane!) all the way from Beaumont to Tampa. B and I tag-teamed the 15 hour drive and made it in a day. I was extra grateful to be there, given the circumstances! I got to meet my all time favorite living poet, though the experience was perhaps a little anticlimactic. I presented on a panel about publishing. I wandered the book fair aimlessly. I attended inspiring panels and readings. I made new friends and reconnected with old ones. All-in-all, it was a pretty typical AWP.

After AWP, I had a nice long spring break. B and I spent some time in our favorite city, New Orleans, which left me rejuvenated and inspired to finish up this semester. Since break, life's been pretty wonderfully mundane. During this long holiday weekend. I made it down to the valley and attended a poetry reading at a local bar. It was wonderful to reconnect with old friends. Now, I'm gearing up for TIL, which is this weekend. I'm all kinds of excited and nervous! 

This month, it'll probably be challenging to keep up with my poem-a-day goal, but I'm going to give it my very best shot!

Today's prompt was an introductory one. I was to muse on the idea of "This City is a Poem." The project is based in San Antonio, but I'm not, so instead, I wrote about Beaumont. This needs some cleaning up, to be sure, but here's where I'm going with my NAPO 1.

Beaumont is a Poem

This city is a poem—
Not the pretty kind,
But instead the kind
Of poem that speaks
The truth. This city
Is a twisted metaphor,
A highway slicing through
It filled with cars
On their way to somewhere
Better. This city is a poem
That you read once
And think you get it,
But really you don’t understand.
This city is a poem
with a Cajun accent.
This city is a poem
drenched in red pepper
and deep fried in heat.
This city is a poem
With stanzas like neighborhoods

Keeping races separated.
This city is a poem
That wears a metaphor
Of smog from the refinery
Flaring hot and bright
That hides the strange beauty
Underneath that’s made of strength.
This city is a poem
That’s seen better days.
This city is a poem
With pot-holed syntax.
This city doesn’t have the time
To rhyme. This city is a poem
With calloused lines.
This city is a poem with dirty lungs.
This city is a poem that crumbles
Underneath the weight of being.
This city is a poem
About a woman. This city
Has a resting bitchface.
This city doesn’t owe you
Beauty. This poem doesn’t
Either, but if you linger
For awhile, you’ll find
This city is a poem,
Fed on a steady diet
Of hard work and smog,
Biscuits and poverty,
Discrimination and greed,
And somehow, still, this city
Raises up her chin,
A poem unafraid of truth,
A poem that takes pride
In being the heart
That keeps the blood
Of this nation moving.
This city is a poem
That fuels us all.