NaPoWriMo // Week 2

There be awkward poetry under this cut…

Day eight // magic like Shelley

A kind of magic

There is no magic for Earth girls
aside from anti-aging serums, good
lighting, flavored waters & learning
that anytime is a good time to stay
quiet. Spend your life in a fever,
never is the right time to get well,
never is & never was & wasn’t. Think
it’s so unfair but there’s no fair
or unfair here. There’s no hills &
dales, no shaky ground & no minefields
where every precarious step can be
answered with a crack. Never is the
right time to get well, never is &
never was & wasn’t in the backseat
of the car when you were cry-driving
home from work, when they threw a
piano onto the mule’s back it was
neither fair nor unfair. There is
no consistency in this galaxy, there
are no feelings in neutron stars,
there is no magic here, Earth girl,
so just relax & pluck the poppy pods
from their stems. Just picture a
universe with a heart that is thrum-
throbbing, instead of a black-hole
dead-core which is & isn’t fair.


Day nine // something big, something small

The call of…

Eight digits with
eighty-eight hooks
Seafloor discord,
climbing over corals
With a motion like
a scarf tumbling
In the wind.

Two dead birds in
three flower beds,
wing & head & beak
feathers standing
in the weeds soft
& clinging to a post
in an updraft.

Midnight sky cold & open,
eternity interrupted by
fission-fusion reactors
marring the perfect darkness
with light collapsing under
gales that come & go with
the breaths of gods.

Eight digits with
eighty-eight hooks
wing & head & beak
feathers standing
marring the perfect darkness
with light collapsing under
the wind, the updraft,
the cold & ancient respiration

of stone & core & atom & light,
interrupting intelligences shouting
their meanings into the darkness
perfect & complete & quiet.


Day ten // simultaneous

Spring cleaning

Each drop like a wish, like feet running across the roof, like creatures burrowing into the petal-strewn grass; each stroke stronger than the next, I move with such grace when I’m running through the lines like dance, waltzing toward the open door, there’s the patio, then the lawn, & the sky, open-mouthed and purging, great claps of thunder stick in my throat like sobbing. Each stroke of the keys like making peace, like making a payment, I think if only I could remove myself from this keyboard. I’d move with such grace as I’m running over the messy pavement; like a ghost in all black, sneakers sloshing through puddles, fingers swollen and reaching. Language reinvented with each stroke, new as the sky when the clouds clear. I wish, I wish, I could run & I wish I could write.


Day eleven // state of the union

Gutter words

I address you as the universe,
as stars & atoms, all moving
& independent & bound
by laws defining motion
& energy as mystical beings.

The lump of fuck that is your brain doesn’t care
that you ate half a bag of chia seeds, doesn’t care
that you’re sorry chocolate is a terrible antacid,
doesn’t care that the black hole in your chest keeps
swallowing light and leaking adrenaline. Your limbs
like exposed wires; like overdone bacon, curled &
blacking and radiating heat like a sunburn. Dare you

postulate your future? Dare you look at
The cards like constellations blinking
back when all your own stars have gone
dark? My my, universe, you are an unknowing
thing, you are an uncaring thing & I
have never felt smaller than I do now
counting cards & stars & waiting for
the wheel to lay me back on my feet.


Day twelve // haibun

Sunday night is the darkest

Just one more episode, or half. I’ve got to leave the story somewhere better than I am right now. Somewhere I can get in the last few hours before I’m daysick, nightdrunk, I’m setting up words with likely compliments and hoping to avoid the nasty phone calls. I won’t know who I am by Wednesday. I’ll be sitting out in the middle of the lawn with my skirt hiked up, drawing wavy lines on my legs thinking that I wish I knew a spell that would work. Ten of swords driven into the dust behind a clump of dandelions. The open sky clotted with the dark that could be blood or tears but I don’t know the flow, I set all my words up, ya know? They’ve already started families and I—I am an interruption of grass. I am a blank page tucked between the leaves. I am, I am, ready to go to sleep.

Renewed overnight
each blade straightens toward the sun
who stays far away.


Day thirteen // Cliche


It is a fucking shame
you know what I’m saying?
I say it over & over,
you know what I mean
when I say — it is
though it means nothing
for something to be as
it is, as it was, as it
always will be — it’s all
out of my grasp, my fingers
all dust & the universe all
sand — no matter what force
I put in, the result is
the same & while it is
simply unavoidable that I
will say that fucking phrase,
it is a curse for polite company
it is digression for aggression,
a downshift when the trajectory
has already been measured &
dammit we’re going off the cliff.
It fucking is what it fucking is,
it will be what it will fucking be.
Words are cheap labor when building
toward obstruction, toward obscenity,
toward denial & deflection, but those
syllables are ever so dear when
the building is the subject &
the object is looking on.

Day fourteen // dream dictionary

Lord Doctor Gordy’s gentleman dream diviner

O, I know of the visions which
disturb & distort your tossing &
your waking, even after having
required three drams of poppy
milk & with a whiskey chaser &
500 steps pacing ‘round your
father’s study wondering how
in the fresh hell he ever put
quill to page in a damnable age
like the one in which he emerged
bloomed and withered within, nor
like the one that waits outside
the iron gates of the place that
is all he left to you when you’d
rather he left you to a pack of
wolves… Anyway, my dear man,
please take heart & mind in hand
& recall what plague upon plague
has disturbed you so. From symbols
& visions we shall project what
your future holds…

Teacup: Should you grasp a teacup in your hand while off in a dream, you shall entertain a great & powerful guest who shall be impressed with the wilted grandeur of your once proud manor.With great patriotic duty, he shall offer you an income for little effort at all on your part & should you be so inclined, you may use your new-found gains to revitalize your decaying country house.

Hammer: Should you spy a lad or a lass with a hammer in hand during your prophetic jaunt, you shall find a fine & worthy craftsman among the lazy poor in your village.

Seagull: A three-month cruise in paradise is in your future.

Ballet slipper: A lithe & delightful lady has stolen your heart. If she has income, marry her. If she’s destitute or you are already married, simply keep her as a mistress.

Shark: Watch yourself in business dealings — take care to be the predator, not the prey.

Wobbly table: It’s time to buy new furniture. If you stash the old rags in the attic, your sons will thank you.

Dentist: A fiend is in your midst with an eye on your fortune. They shall take all you have bit by bit, while telling you they mean to fix your problems, all under your nose. Observation is crucial because the lax man will not know any better until he closes his mouth and it’s all gone.

Rowboat: Adventure waits on foreign shores. Leave the country now & do not tell the taxman where you go.

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