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November 21, 2016

How many times did he have to
Come to the podium and help
Us grieve the latest mass

Shooting? How many dead,
This time? Tears
Not allowed to pool and drain

Like the blood on a nightclub
floor. This recent

Grief many never end
And not a shot's been fired,
Yet. I may just arm

Myself to fight this.
Four slow years of mourning
The loss and nothing gained.

This is Poem #204 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

August 8, 2016

It starts with Pulse,
Orlando, and does not
Get better after that. 

The National were fabulous,
But social media postings
halted in exchange

For death at a related 
Venue. Guns all over
The place. Open

Carry. "Let me assault
You with this ridiculous
gun I collect-

I'm not sure why."
When will common sense
Return or was it ever here?

The media construct
The dichotomy of our
Worst and best. 
They highlight the differences
So well, and fail,
Every time, on shades

Of grey. A plan
For chaos. A plan
To sell ad space
And runs on the market. 



This is Poem #142 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

June 29, 2016

Panic! At The Disco has 

A whole new rhythm now –

 

When alarm at such venues

Is warranted. Security

 

Tighter than your leather  

Pants, Brendon, or at Logan

 

Confetti guns and fake

Smoke, once harmless-

 

Seeming, really, now stir,

Even just a little, our

 

Own anxiety – is real.

 

Would you have chosen

This name after Pulse

 

And after Paris? You

Grumble when asked

 

The origins of your name,

But all know great care

Goes into the selection. 

 

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This is Poem #107 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

June 22, 2016

All it takes is one voice

From the podium or pulpit 

To validate years of hidden

Hatred; give permission 

To acts of violence

Or microaggressions

Du jour. The woman 

Heckled in a bathroom

Or the couple pummeled 

In a Floridian Burger King

Just before a mass 

Execution. Authority

Is not always earned –

When granted by those in the audience

Who have nothing better

To do on a Tuesday night;

The venom infused,

Leaking into their skin.

This is Poem #101 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. 

On November 9, 2016, those of us who’d slept woke to a dystopian nightmare. We cried. The poem above, written months before that day, spoke to the fears those tears were reacting to.

The events of the other day, where young, Catholic, MAGA-hat wearing boys taunted and mocked Native American Veteran Elders, is a prime example of the ways in which our country is NOT edging towards greatness in any sense of the the word. It also demonstrate that our fears, unfortunately, we’re founded. 

Today, due to timeliness,  I once again feel compelled to publish a second poem – in its original slot at #101. 

(On a #medialiteracy note, I noticed that Fox “News'” coverage of the event mentions that the boys were wearing clothing from their school, but NOT that they donned MAGA hats. It also uses the word “confrontation” rather than “mock.” Interesting.)

Tomorrow is Marin Luther King, jr. Day. United States, we can do better than this.

#resist 

June 14, 2016

img_1558

So much likes to shoot

out of the end

of some barrel.

 

Lives get altered – 

or ended-

everyday by what’s

 

been pushed through the tiny hole

at the end. Stand erect and shoot.

 

That’s what boys

do – isn’t it?

And the rest of us-

victims always- argue

about how to best keep 

those swords sheathed. 

 

 

This is Poem #95 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

June 13, 2016

This poem was previously published on July 8, 2016

img_1549

They do not mention

Disney, just

next door to this;

 

49 absolute human

beings chopped down,

last call after the drag

 

queens had wiped off

their make-up and gone

home. No one is

 

waiting in line for Ariel’s

autograph or in the dark

cavern of Space Mountain

 

anymore. Sons texting from rest

rooms never

to be dropped off

 

into the gift-shop

at the end of the ride, where Mickey

waits in welcome.

 

Now, blood leaks

under the door of Pulse,

runs down Main Street, USA,

 

contaminates the slow stream

sliding through Pirates of the Caribbean

and pours down the face of each

 

princess. Eisner, Iger, heck,

Walt, himself, knows – every tragedy is

worse hitched to the Magic Kingdom.

 

img_1594

My family ready to march at Portsmouth Pride 2016.

This is Poem #94 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

 

This poem was previously published on my blog. 

June 12, 2016

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Jumping from bed 

To bed is all she ever wanted

To do: Howard Johnson’s,

 

Holiday Inn, The Ramada. 

Walking down hallways

In the morning, looking at

The newspapers next 

To the doors of strangers. 

 

What happened yesterday,

Last night, as you

Were tucked away

In white hotel sheets,

 

On down pillows,

Falling asleep to the many

televisions and the snores

Or love cries of the people

In the next room?

 

This is Poem #93 from the Poem (Almost) Every Day Project. I awoke on the morning of June 12, 2016 with my husband and daughter in a Vermont hotel suite. We’d been upgraded.

img_1513The night before had been both wonderful and sad and weird. We’d gone to see The National at the MASS MoCA. (Wonderful) But, on our drive returning to our hotel room, we had to stop and help other drivers move a dying deer off of the twisting backroad road. (Sad and Weird)

The next morning, I wrote in my journal and then composed this poem before I checked the news on my iPad and learned of what had happened at Pulse the night before to forever alter our world.

This morning as I revisit this poem, I realize it’s a little eerie.

The next two poems I in this project were written after I’d learned the news and were attempts, as poetry often is, to navigate the devastation.

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