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Poem-a-day challenge for April 4, 2015
(Prompt: "write a departure poem." I used an old poem that fits the theme; I don't think I've ever posted it before.)

Read more... )
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Yesterday's poem.

Poem-a-day challenge for April 3, 2015
(Prompt: "write a machine poem")

Read more... )
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I was gone for a week, so I'm catching up.


It doesn't take much to call it back
the twinge of pain, the total lack
of grace, the beating of my heart
when fourth grade was about to start

I thought I'd come to the wrong class
it said "Miss Friedman" on my pass
but this was Mrs. Something Else
a substitute, the hired help

I'd come three thousand miles or more
to stand all awkward at her door
she had a chance to woo me then
to make it easy to come in

Instead, she sneered and rolled her eyes
she almost hid her heavy sighs
I made it through; fifth grade was better
but she wounded me, and yes, I let her.
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Today's prompt is "Routine".

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water, make
bookshelves, wash the dishes, do the laundry,
light the fire, burn the wood, take the train
to the city, protest the war, buy organic
groceries, visit your congressperson, get
home before dinner.

No, wait.

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water
After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water

Do you understand how simple this is,
and how hard?

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water
After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water

Before enlightenment, be here now
After enlightenment, be here now
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I'm not especially fond of today's challenge poem, but here it is:

she says she likes it that way
clutter everywhere, piles akimbo
and everything, she says,
is where she knows how to find it

we've noplace to sit
so she thinks we're unsociable
and her bathroom scares us
so we don't stay as long as we might

but I've seen her in other people's houses
when she thinks I'm not watching
looking around with joy and wonder
at the clean and tidy landscape
and I know
that she tells herself this fiction
because we love our prisons
to keep from hating ourselves
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This is yesterday's poem, which is supposed to be about something missing:

It was there when I left this morning
the smell of you
clinging to the drapes
and especially my pillowcase

the first thing I noticed when I came home
was its absence
and before I knew that you
had made good on your promise
to leave if it ever got too hard

I knew something was missing,
was wrong,
and I slumped against the door to the hallway
afraid to go any further
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(Today's poem-a-day challenge prompt was to write about a landmark.)

We will meet at your house,
drive together to the airport,
hop a plane for France

We will go to the hotel,
sleep together in a strange bed,
make lazy love,
talk about Paris and our next stop,

We will stroll along the streets
eat together in a small cafe
wonder if we've ever had coffee this good,
or bread

We will walk to the Arc de Triomphe
and I will leave you
to roll down the Avenue
des Champs-Élysées
the way you've always seen it
and then, at the eastern end, at the
Place de la Concorde
we will meet again
to continue our journey
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you are beautiful

you glow from the inside
and my insides tremble with the beauty
of you and your siblings,
fluttering on a hot, philadelphia evening
back when i was small
and things seemed uncomplicated

after i catch you, hold you in a jar
you are the embodiment
of all that is selfish in me
of all that is small and miserly
and willing to take what i want
without regard

and you are beautiful
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The Problem with Beans and Rice

The problem with beans and rice
is not that it's boring
or cheap
or that it's not meat

The problem with beans and rice
is that it spoils me
for warmth
and comfort
and the feeling that you and I,
alone together,
could survive a disaster
like nuclear winter
or a terrorist attack
or a cliche california earthquake
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My poem for the poem-a-day challenge today.

Warning: potential (okay, likely) child-abuse triggers if you tend to be triggered in that direction.

It's a bit long )
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You knew this already, but my friends are geniuses.

Happy National Poetry Month. Here's another poem, the one I did for the poem-a-day challenge today. I will, of course, be sending a copy to my mother:

I haven't got anything
that didn't come from you
my cells, earthen knitting
minerals and sunlight
the spit on a thousand tissues
the voice in my head that wonders

you wanted me,
and danced at the news of me
I don't have to stretch to find
the source of my joy
that I am in the world

I haven't got anything
that didn't come from you


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