Slogans from a motivational poster

 

A buzzword;

A cliche.

But it’s true, I

 

Suppose. Do not

Sit back & take it.

Eagles soar.

 

Hang in there, baby.

Hang in there, baby.

Hang in there, baby.

 

 

This is Poem #9 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. These are second drafts of  pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. Feel free to give useful critique.

 

Some of these  poems are quite  “cringe-worthy” but I’m publishing them here anyway. Let it suffice to say, there had been some very bad things happening for a lot of us at work, but we were one the cusp of action and change. A few of the upcoming poems reflect this time of uncertainty.

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Rotary phones dialed in. Black

Bakelike receivers

Light up like the red-hot

 

Bat-phone on a mischievous Gotham

Night. “Whom will you

 

Vote for this primary season?”

Who can you trust

When super-pacs and

 

Big Macs run our country

Through attack ads

And fast food commercials?

 

The big lie alluded

Us all. Now,  most are

Too lazy to deconstruct

 

The less than airtight alibis

Of the accused.

 

This is Poem #8 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. These are second drafts of  pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. Feel free to give useful critique.

The following quotes are scribbled, one horizontally, in my notebook: “Your number’s been disconnected” and “Let me just tase the part of my brain that understands sentence structure.” ~Stephen Colbert

On Main Street

The Five and Ten Cent opened

Its doors to a

 

Street where ladies

In gloves and smart,

Tailored suits pushed

 

Prams and a tiny girl

Shoplifted seven copies

Of the same Little

 

Golden Book. Cats

Who Paint or a

Pokey Little Puppy

Out of sorts.

 

In the supply aisle

The girl knew,

Somewhere down,

 

That one day she’d

Conduct a classroom

Or a typewriter.

 

Or just maybe both.

They bought plastic

Soldiers with parachutes

 

More flimsy than

The ones her father

Used when he jumped

 

From planes in the sky.

Airborne Ranger.

And Airheads

And rubber balls.

 

 

Poem #7 of the Poem (almost) Everyday Project. These are second drafts of  pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. Feel free to give useful critique.

 

I am also reading Robert Bly’s  Morning Poems as I revisit the poems in this project and am finding it interesting to imagine and analyze the inspirations he found each morning as he wrote, as his project was one of my key inspirations. Today I read “Bad People,” which seems particularly relevant at the moment. Do we need bad people the way we need claws? Do they free us from our laziness into action?

I cannot get out

of the driveway. Blame

it on lost keys-

 

Hidden in some

jeans’ pocket, obscure

corner where I set

them down, or in

the Lost and Found

 

at the local bar.

Where I could drink

troubles dizzy if I

 

could only get there.

So, I’ll circle the house;

 

the cat chasing

her own tail

in a bathtub.

 

Looking in the same

places two or three

times – but to no avail.

 

They’ve not – those

keys to ignition –

magically resurfaced

 

since I last left

the room and the car’s

a powerless lump

 

of insufficient

engine, and metal

and glass – inescapable

 

in the side yard.

 

Poem #6 of the Poem (almost) Everyday Project. These are second drafts of  pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. Feel free to give useful critique.

 

I am also reading Robert Bly’s  Morning Poems as I revisit the poems in this project and am finding it interesting to imagine and analyze the inspirations he found each morning as he wrote, as his project was one of my key inspirations.

 

 

I was tethered

But floating for months.

Work can do that to you.

 

I had a weak radio

Signal – thank God – but

I couldn’t bring me home

 

Just yet. Check ignition

and may God’s love

be with you.  I’d hoped

 

To make Sunday’s service,

But floating with no

Sunday best, it was impossible.

 

Somedays the tether

Was so taut

It would not let

 

Me float away and Doctor

Said drugs would

Bring me home

 

From this malfunction.

 

Can Earth fix me –

NASA help – when

 

I left my tools

On the kitchen counter

Next to a tall glass

 

Of water, waiting

To be sipped and instructions

So difficult for me

 

To follow?

 

Poem #5 of the Poem (almost) Everyday Project. These are second drafts of  pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. Feel free to give useful critique.

The computer’s virtual

Realm is a vacuum;

It’s sucked up

 

The Main Street video

Store and conversations

With clerks regarding

 

New films, and comics,

And war. Stacks of

VHS tapes lining walls

 

And piled on the floor

And the way he knew

Just where to locate

Any obscure B-film

Title no matter

 

How close to the ceiling

Its rank. One day

We bought 8-tracks,

 

Cassettes, records. Then

CD’s – but each groove

was recommended by

 

The man behind the counter.

Yesterday, we made

A concerted effort

 

To buy actual music

Pressed into vinyl

For a needle to

Scrape and scratch

Over – no digital

remastering. No

Transfer to MP3

 

Or virtual this or

Virtual that.

 

And bumper stickers

Crying out against

The World Wide Web

Adorned a pole

 

Near the register.

Buy me. Attach

Me to your actual

 

Reality.

 

 

This is Poem #4 from the Poem (almost) Everyday Project. These are second drafts of  pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. Feel free to give useful critique.

The middle of anything

is a mess & mire

of chaos. Imagine

 

cleaning out a closet –

the way that the clothes

are piled on the bed, hangers

 

tangled in hangers. The

shoes, boots, & pumps,

piled like some

 

funeral pyre

in the middle

of your bedroom floor.

 

Scarves, belts, ties

cascade over arm

chairs and night stands.

 

And the greedy boxes

awaiting decisions for

goodwill or garbage,

 

or keep and organize

back. The meltdown

when you are half

 

way through a job

and the brightness

of looking back

 

on work completed

is but a distant

fantasy. Yes,

 

there is chaos

in the decisions

of the middle

 

but wade through

the murky deep

the shallow shores are.

 

Poem #3 of the Poem almost everyday project.

This a.m.

The alarm bleeps

but you do not

wake. The cats

and I sit

in anticipation,

 

But the cough syrup

you’ve taken and the

earplugs you’ve inserted dull your

senses. Put up a

wall between

the world of

 

the sleeping and

the realm of the awake.

 

Sleep’s been dodgy

as of late. This morning

My turn to wake

at 3:30 a.m. in darkness.

 

Pinned like a butter-

fly to the matt-

rest. Cat on my hip.

Kitten at my

feet, and husband,

motionless, on

my other side.

 

This is poem #2 of the 2016 Poem almost everyday project.

 

On January 11, 2016 the world learned that David Bowie had died at age 69 of cancer. Heartbroken, I turned to poetry, and wrote “#DavidBowieReal” and thus began a year-long project that I called something like a “Poem-a-Day (for-everyday-that-I’m-not-teaching.) This was inspired, I believe, by a Robert Bly and Donald Hall poetry reading I’d attended several years earlier after Bly had published his collection, Morning Poems. Bly discussed how he’d embarked on the year-long project of writing a poem a day each morning before he even got out of bed. Later, he edited and collected the best of these into one of his acclaimed collections of work.

My approach was a little different. I wrote on my couch with my first cup of coffee near by, and decided that on the days that I need to be out of the house by 6:45 am, I would not require the writing. Hence, the total of 241 poems rather than 365. (In the end, Bly’s deemed 82 of his worthy to make it into his book.)

I posted a few here as I was immersed in the project, but most of them have sat dormant in my writing journals for over a year and a half.

2016 was a good year to have such a project going. It was a terrible year filled with significant celebrity deaths – after Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds – and that “election” we endured . . .  As well as personal trials and tribulations, and I’ve always intended to go back and “do something” with the work.

Now, after reading Maggie Millner’s article “Instapoets Prove Powerful in Print” in the latest issue of  Poets & Writers , fretting over the fact that I’ve not written much poetry since January of 2017, and missing the virtual artist communities of TGAP and the Myspace Poetry Society,  I’ve decided to publish all (or maybe most) of the poems from this project here in their unedited glory, in order, one a day.

I hope you’ll join me for this literary adventure.

 

 

 

I received this game for Christmas and the possibilities are inspirational. The rules: draw a prompt card and use it to inspire a poem that uses some of the 12 “paint chip colors” in your hand. In the vein of Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, the person to play the prompt card judges the “best” poem. This is, however, also a one-player game.

Here are two I’ve written. Paint chip colors indicated by Italics.

 

Paint Chip Poem I

Far, Far Away (Prompt)

 

Others celebrate, black

tie around long, thin necks.

 

But me, I’m on pins

and needles,

 

Preparing for

total eclipse. 

 

 

Paint Chip Poem II

 

This Is How It Will All End (Prompt)

 

It’s always on the tip 

of the tongue, preserved

 

like an heirloom tomato

clinging to the lettuce

of your salad days. But

 

the reflection in your eyes

reveals the stones in your pockets, waiting

 

as the babbling brook

swells to tsunami.

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